ROCHESTER, Minn. – Hardin-Simmons senior running back Jaquan Hemphill has been named one of the 30 finalists for the 2019 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award as selected by The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), in association with The Associated Press (AP) and the Fiesta Bowl Organization.
Ten times during the 2019 college football season, three inspiring student-athletes from all levels of college football, who have overcome injury, illness or other challenges, will be recognized as Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Nominees by a panel of writers, editors and sports information directors from CoSIDA, AP and Touchdown Illustrated.
Ashton Antwine of Northeastern State University, Jamieson Craske of Stetson University and Jaquan Hemphill of Hardin-Simmons are this week's nominees.
Hemphill, a running back, suffered a season-ending shoulder injury on the first drive of the fourth game last season when he was averaging over 11 yards per carry and leading D3 in rushing. The 5-11, 185-lb senior from Coleman, Texas has led the Cowboys to a 4-0 start, leading the team and NCAA Division III with 595 yards rushing including games of 148, 158 and 198 yards.
Ashton Antwire, a defensive back for Northeastern State University has suffered two significant injuries the past two seasons – a broken right wrist in fall camp in 2017 that forced the Edmond, Ok native to miss the entire season and then last season, a broken left ankle in the second week that required surgery. Through the first four games, he's recorded 20 tackles including 3 for a loss as well as an interception for the River Hawks, who play in the Division II Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association.
Jamieson Craske, a linebacker for Stetson University tore his ACL in the fifth game last year after returning his first career interception 24-yards before being hit late out-of-bounds in the Hatters upset win versus Pioneer League rival Drake. The Largo, Fla. native and 2-time team captain was back for this year's opener and appropriately recorded his second career interception in a win over Louisiana College. Through the Hatters first four games he's recorded 9 tackles, 2 interceptions, 2.5 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks.
Previous nominees are: Kaleb Barker (Troy), Aaron Crawford (UNC), Jonathan Haden (UAB), Josh Paschal (Kentucky), Isaiah Pola-Mao (USC), CJ Sanders (SMU), Amadeo West (Army), Octavion Wilson (Salisbury), Antoine Winfield Jr. (Minnesota).
At the end of the season, three of the nominees will be chosen as Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award winners and will be recognized at a special ceremony during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.
Additionally, $30,000 will be donated in the names of the nine student-athletes selected as finalists to their school's general scholarship fund, with $15,000 being awarded in the names of the three winners and $15,000 on behalf of the six named honorable mention.
"We understand how challenging it can be for student-athletes to return from injury or illness," says Dr. Michael Stuart, co-director for Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine. "We are honored to be part of this award that recognizes qualities like motivation, determination and perseverance."
About Mayo Clinic: Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit comprehensive organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert comprehensive care to everyone who needs healing. Learn more about Mayo Clinic. Visit the Mayo Clinic News Network.
About CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America): CoSIDA was founded in 1957 and is a 3,000+ member national organization comprised of the sports public relations, media relations and communications/information professionals throughout all levels of collegiate athletics in the United States and Canada. The organization is the second oldest management association in intercollegiate athletics. To learn more, visit cosida.com.
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