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Press Release

Media Contact:
Burt Trembly
The Rudy Foundation
(503) 610-1430

Record Number Of Division I Student-Athletes Nominated For 2010 College Football Rudy Awards™

LAS VEGAS, NV (December 1, 2010) - A record 55 of the 120 Division I football programs submitted nominations for the FOURTH ANNUAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL RUDY AWARDS™, it was announced today by The Rudy Foundation 501(c)(3) charitable organization.

Every Division I Conference was represented in the nominations for the Award, which honors student-athletes who demonstrate exemplary CHARACTER, COURAGE, CONTRIBUTION and COMMITMENT as members of their collegiate football teams. These same traits were immortalized in the blockbuster film "RUDY" in 27 seconds and against all odds on a gridiron in South Bend, Indiana, enabling Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger to carve his name into college football lore.

Rudy Award Statue

Three RUDY AWARDS™ finalists will be chosen by the Selection Committee, as well as through fan voting, and honored at the Priority Payment Systems Awards Ceremony to be held in conjunction with the American Football Coaches Convention on January 11, 2011, at the Hilton Anatole, in Dallas, Texas. Rudy Ruettiger will personally present the awards. Fans can view nominees and cast their votes from December 1-13 for the most deserving player at www.CollegeRudyAwards.com.

Each finalist will be presented with a classic finalist award and have an academic scholarship made in his name to the general scholarship fund of his college or university, as well as have travel expenses paid to the event. An overall winner will be chosen and presented with the top scholarship and bronze RUDY AWARD trophy.

"We established this award as a special way to honor and recognize college football players for the size of their hearts instead of the enormity of their stats," said Rudy Ruettiger. "I am so excited to see how this award has grown into one of the top collegiate honors for kids who weren't born with tremendous athletic talent, perhaps, but have overcome the odds and persevered because of their heart. The fact that we again had more than 40% of the Division I football programs submitting nominations, with every conference represented, speaks volumes about the importance of CHARACTER, COURAGE, CONTRIBUTION and COMMITMENT in sports and in our society."

The nominees for the 2010 COLLEGE FOOTBALL RUDY AWARDS™ are:

Chris BanjoSMUJune Jones
Howard BarbieriRutgersGreg Schiano
Gary BeemerFloridaUrban Meyer
Brett BrackettPenn StateJoe Paterno
Dylan BreedingArkansasBobby Petrino
Garrett ChisolmSouth CarolinaSteve Spurrier
Austin ContrerasUTEPMike Price
Doug DeakinSan Diego StateBrady Hoke
Kyle DelahookeNavyKen Niumatalolo
Ras-I DowlingVirginiaMike London
DeQuin EvansKentuckyJoker Phillips
Kevin FoglerAir ForceTroy Calhoun
Andrew GachkarMissouriGary Pinkel
Emmanuel GatlingMississippi StateDan Mullen
Sean GoldsteinMiamiRandy Shannon
Derek GoodColorado State UniversitySteve Fairchild
Daniel GraffLSULes Miles
Brett GreenwoodIowaKirk Ferentz
Adam HarrisSyracuseDoug Marrone
Alex HeneryNebraskaBo Pellini
Mark HerzlichBoston CollegeFrank Spaziani
Michael HodgesTexas A&MMike Sherman
Steven JohnsonKansasTurner Gill
Jeremy KellemMiddle Tennessee StateRick Stockstill
Levi KoskanUtah StateGary Andersen
Mitch KrotzMiami of OhioMichael Haywood
Michael LemonNC StateTom O'Brien
Dustin LinebackEast CarolinaRuffin McNeill
Phillip LivasLouisiana TechSonny Dykes
Will LoweryAlabamaNick Saban
Jamie LukaszewskiIndianaBill Lynch
Eddie McGeeIllinoisRon Zook
Matt MerlettiNorth CarolinaButch Davis
Bryan MorganDukeDavid Cutliffe
Darius NallCentral FloridaGeorge O'Leary
Ashlyn ParkerFlorida InternationalMario Cristobal
Kevin PoolRiceDavid Bailiff
Jerrell PoweOle MissHouston Nutt
William PowellKansas StateBill Snyder
Daniel ReesUCLARick Neuheisel
Nick ReveizTennesseeDerek Dooley
Andrew RichBYUBronco Mendenhall
Ashton RichardsonAuburnGene Chizik
James RodgersOregon StateMike Riley
David RufferNotre DameBrian Kelly
Phil SwansonWestern MichiganBill Cubit
Bronson TiwanakHawai'iGreg McMackin
Michael WadeClemsonDabo Swinney
Jeff WardachVirginia TechFrank Beamer
J.J. WattWisconsinBret Bielema
Ricky WeinaNorthwesternPat Fitzgerald
Mark WettererLouisvilleCharlie Strong
Matt WoodliefWake ForestJim Grobe
Victor YatesArizonaMike Stoops
John YurekConnecticutRandy Edsall

The 2010 Award Selection Committee includes football coaches Barry Alvarez, David Bailiff, Gary Barnett, Fisher DeBerry, Dennis Franchione, June Jones, Chuck Knox, Gary Patterson, Buddy Pough, Jackie Sherrill and Dick Tomey, as well as former Washington Redskins Quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams. Prominent businessman Peter Murphy, Jr., again serves as Chairman. Fan votes for the RUDY AWARDS™ also will contribute to the Selection Process. Finalists will be announced December 14 and listed on www.CollegeRudyAwards.com.

Past Rudy Award Winners

Terry Clayton, then a senior linebacker at the University of Kentucky, who, despite losing his hearing at the age of five, persevered as a walk-on for the Kentucky football team for five seasons and twice was named to the Southeast Conference Academic Honor Roll was the recipient of the 2007 INAUGURAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL RUDY AWARD.

Drew Combs, then a senior kickoff specialist for Texas Christian University, who, despite being born with a left arm that ends at his elbow, made the TCU football team as a walk on and became a key weapon on special teams, was the recipient of the 2008 COLLEGE FOOTBALL RUDY AWARD.

LeVon Morefield, then a junior running back at the University of Akron, overcame several obstacles early in life just to reach college, including being born addicted to crack cocaine, being arrested for selling drugs and nearly dropping out of high school. While holding down three jobs, he decided to walk on to the Akron football team, eventually earning a scholarship. He was the recipient of the 2009 COLLEGE FOOTBALL RUDY AWARD.

Terry Clayton
Terry Clayton
Drew Combs
Drew Combs
LeVon Morefield
LeVon Morefield

"You're five foot nothin', a hundred and nothin', and you have nearly a speck of athletic ability. And you hung in there with the best college football team in the land for two years. And you're getting a degree from the University of Notre Dame. In this life, you don't have to prove nothin' to nobody but yourself."

Fortune (as played by Charles S. Dutton) in the film "RUDY."

About The Rudy Foundation

Rudy Award Statue

The Rudy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the support and recognition of those who aspire to fulfill their dreams through character, courage, contribution and commitment. Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger and his wife Cheryl founded The Rudy Foundation in 1997. Members of the board of directors include Jerome Bettis, Ross Browner, Rick Mirer and Aaron Taylor.

Rudy Award Statue

The son of an oil refinery worker and third of 14 children, Rudy Ruettiger rose from valleys of discouragement to the pinnacles of success. Today, he is one of the most popular motivational speakers in the U.S. It took years of fierce determination, yet Rudy achieved his first dream -- to attend Notre Dame and play football for the Fighting Irish. As fans cheered RU-DY, RU-DY, he sacked the quarterback in the only play in the only game of his college football career. Rudy Ruettiger remains the only player in the school's history ever to be carried off the field on his teammates' shoulders.

In 1993, TRISTAR Productions immortalized his life story with the blockbuster film, "RUDY." Written and produced by Angelo Pizzo and David Anspaugh, the critically acclaimed movie continues to inspire millions worldwide.

In addition to his motivational speaking, Rudy Ruettiger has co-authored several books, including: "Rudy's Insights for Winning in Life," "Rudy's Lessons for Young Champions," and "The Rudy In You," and has produced the Dream Power audio series. For more information visit: www.RudyAwards.com.