Utah Football Named 2021 Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award Winner

Dec 17, 2021, 2:34 PM
Ty Jordan - Aaron Lowe - 22 Forever - Utah Utes...
(Photo by Trevor Allen / KSLSports.com)
(Photo by Trevor Allen / KSLSports.com)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Football Writers Association of America named the Utah Utah football team as the recipient of the 2021 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award.

The Utes were honored with the award on Friday, December 17. It’s the 20th annual FWAA Courage Award.

The FWAA said that Utah earned the recognition after winning “its first Pac-12 title in a season that has been defined by both tragedy and triumph, as the program has lost two of its players, Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe, since the end of the 2020 season.”

Jordan and Lowe, who were friends even before their time together at the University of Utah, tragically lost their lives less than a year apart.

“We always tell our guys that adversity will hit at some point, but what matters most is how we respond to it,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said in a statement. “This team has been faced with more adversity than we ever thought possible, and watching our players overcome it and respond to it the way they have has been incredible. The level of unity and love this team has for one another is something special. They define courage and we are proud to coach them.”

During the offseason and through the 2021 campaign, the Utes, and opponents on their schedule, honored Jordan and Lowe with recognition of their jersey number, No. 22. Flowers were placed on the field at the 22-yard line during pregame activities. During Utah’s games, a “moment of loudness” took place to honor the lives of the former Utes.

“Every year, we are privileged to help share the stories of so many remarkable people and programs throughout the college football season,” former FWAA President Matt Fortuna said. “Watching this year’s Utah team was particularly moving. The way the Utes have been able to push forward and find tremendous success on the field, while honoring Ty and Aaron every step of the way, shows that they have never lost sight of life’s bigger picture.”

“The entire Utah football program has embodied what the Courage Award is all about,” Orange Bowl Committee President and Chair Jack Seiler said. “Through their tributes to their fallen brothers, and through their remarkable play on the field, the Utes have simply been inspiring to so many around college football. They have represented the very best of this great game. We are excited to honor them on December 31.”

Utah currently owns a 10-3 record. The Utes captured their first Pac-12 title and earned an automatic bid to play in the Rose Bowl Game. The No. 11 Utes will play the No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, January 1 at 3:00 p.m. (MDT) on ESPN.

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