Morefield beats odds on way to 'Rudy Award' Print E-mail
Tuesday, January 12 2010
Tag it:
Furl it!

ORLANDO, Fla. It will likely be a little different when LeVon Morefield watches the movie Rudy in the future.
Morefield not only met the real Rudy - Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger - recently, Ruettiger presented Morefield with the 2009 College Football Rudy Award. The ceremony was held  Monday in Orlando, Fla.

The Rudy Awards honor student-athletes who demonstrate exemplary
character, courage, contribution and commitment as members of their teams - on and off the field. These same traits were immortalized in the blockbuster film Rudy, enabling Ruettiger to carve his name into college football lore.

 This award represents so much to me, Morefield said. In short, it is the payoff to a decision I made to turn my life around both for myself and hopefully (as) a role model for others. Words really do not express the feelings and emotions."

 He continued, I obviously want to thank the Foundation and Rudy (Ruettiger), as well as congratulate the other finalist and all of those who were nominated. I am proud to represent them all by winning this award.

"I want to give special thanks to the Akron coaching staff, coach (J.D.) Brookhart in particular, (football academic coordinator) Chuck Lewis and the whole athletics staff for their support. I also would like to send a special thanks to all my teammates. Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank Karen Armstrong for believing in me, taking a chance on me and guiding me.

The finalists were honored at the College Football Rudy Awards breakfast, presented by Sprint, during the American Football Coaches Association Convention at the Orlando World Center Marriott. In addition to the bronze Rudy Award trophy, a scholarship grant was made in Morefields name to the University of Akron general scholarship fund. The other two finalists, Brian Coulter ( University of Missouri ) and O'Darris D'Haiti ( Florida International University ), were each on hand for the ceremony and runners-up grants were made in their names to their respective schools.

The award ceremony and being a finalist did not really hit me at first," Morefield said. "Then I began to see all the coaches from around the country and I woke up this morning with the same feeling you get on game day. I was very excited and was blown away getting to meet Rudy and hear him speak. Win or lose, I was just glad to be a part of this. It has been a great experience.

"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 Ruettiger. "LeVon Morefield is a special young man who personifies the spirit of this award. He has overcome tremendous odds and never let life's challenges keep him from achieving his dreams. He is a great example of the values of character, courage, contribution and commitment."

Morefield's amazing story began by being born one month premature and addicted to crack cocaine as a result of his mother's drug use. Both of his biological parents were crack addicts. Morefield and his older brother, Cliff, never lived in a stable home. They constantly were moved around to live with relatives and friends. Morefield easily could have become a product of his environment, as did his brother Cliff, who now is serving a life sentence in prison. Instead, he took the negatives of his life and turned them into positive energy towards his goal of playing Division I college football.

Morefield has played running back, linebacker and safety in practice during his career, moving at his coaches requests in order to help the team. After being redshirted and only participating as a practice squad member in his first two seasons, he made the travel squad in 2008 but did not see game action. In 2009 he battled his way onto the field. He ran the ball twice in the Zips win over Morgan State in the inaugural game played at UAs new on-campus facility, InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field. He additionally served on special teams. Through his hard work, consistency and perseverance as a non-scholarship player, Morefield managed to do all this while working close to 70 hours a week, at three different jobs, to pay for his school.

Morefield emerged as the 2009 Rudy Award winner amongst stiff competition. Forty-nine of the 120 Division I FBS football programs and all Division I FBS Conferences were represented in the Rudy Awards nominations with more than 60,000 fans contributed online votes this year.

The 2009 Award Selection Committee included 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 and Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson. Prominent businessman Peter Murphy, Jr., again served as Chairman.

The College Football Rudy Awards were launched in 2007. The inaugural award was presented to Terry Clayton of the University of Kentucky with Drew Combs, a kickoff specialist for Texas Christian University , winning last year.

Courtesy of Akron Sports


< Prev   Next >

Football - Latest News


Guidry takes interim helm as Haywood goes to Pitt

16.12.2010 | Football

OXFORD, Ohio Lance Guidry has been named Interim Head Coach of Miami Universitys football team, Director of Athletics Brad Bates announced today (Dec. 16). Guidry replaces Michael Haywood who was named…     Read more

Basketball - Latest News


Bobcats bury St. Francis (PA)

16.12.2010 | Basketball

Ohio placed six players in double figures as it recorded its second highest-scoring game of the season with an 87-58 win over St. Francis (PA) on Wednesday evening. The 39-point margin was the largest…     Read more