NORMAN — University of Oklahoma sophomore Tre Brown is this week’s Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award nominee, the Orange Bowl Committee announced Wednesday.
Brown lost his mother, Beverly Brewer, on Oct. 14, and her funeral was three days later in Tulsa, where several of Brown’s Sooner teammates served as pallbearers. Just six days after her death and two days after the funeral, Brown played for the Sooners in a game at TCU. In that 52-27 win over the Horned Frogs, he made his first start of the season, tallying four tackles and two pass breakups. Following the game, he earned a game ball from head coach Lincoln Riley in the locker room.
“It was just powerful,” Riley said two days after the TCU game. “I still really don’t know how the kid did it; to come play at the level he did. He played extremely well. Credit to him, the inner strength he has, the support system around him; his family, friends, teammates here, family here. I think a lot of people lifted him up. And he lifted a lot of us up, too, even in a hard time for him. Having him back was special.”
Brown started at corner again in Saturday’s 51-14 win over Kansas State, and returned the game’s opening kickoff 27 yards. A 5-10, 182-pounder from Tulsa, he leads the Sooners with six pass breakups this season, and has 25 total tackles and three tackles for loss. He also leads the Big 12 and ranks ninth nationally in kickoff return yardage, averaging 28.7 yards per return.
The Courage Award was first presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) in 2002. A select group of writers from the FWAA vote on the winner each year. The requirements for nomination include displaying courage on or off the field, including overcoming an injury or physical handicap, preventing a disaster or living through hardship. The winner of the award will be included in festivities during Capital One Orange Bowl week and receive his trophy at an on-field presentation.