Each year since 1996, the Disney Sports Spirit Award has been presented to the most inspirational student athlete, team, or figure in college football. Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2013 award.
Disney Sports created the award to honor college football’s most inspirational student athlete, team, or figure who has overcome extraordinary physical or emotional hardships, or other challenges, while continuing to exhibit good sportsmanship and a selfless nature.
In 2012, University of Texas player Nate Boyer was given the Disney Sports Spirit Award after earning a Bronze Star for his service with the United States Army Special Forces Unit, and providing assistance to Darfur refugees and autistic children.
Boyer was the 17th recipient of the award and joined past honorees Daniel Huffman (1996), Dwight Collins (1997), Matt Hartl (1998), East Carolina University (1999), Hameen Ali (2000), the United States Service Academy football teams (2001), Dewayne White (2002), Neil Parry (2003), Tim Frisby (2004), the Tulane University football team (2005), University of Louisville band member Patrick Henry Hughes (2006), Zerbin Singleton (2007), Tim Tebow (2008), Mark Herzlich (2009), D.J. Williams (2010), Carson Tinker and the University of Alabama football team (2011).
The Alabama team was chosen in 2011 for helping to rebuild Tuscaloosa and aiding their community after a devastating tornado. The team went on to win the BCS National Championship game in January 2012.
The 2013 Disney Sports Spirit Award will be presented on December 12 during ESPN’s live telecast of The Home Depot College Football Awards at the Walt Disney World Resort.