By Tim Glon
ADA — Ohio Northern graduate student Sam Shook (New Philadelphia) has been named a Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Nominee this week.
Shook, Cardon Johnson of James Madison University and Peyton Pelluer of Washington State were the week seven nominees.
Ten times during the 2018 college football season, three inspiring student-athletes from all levels of college football who have overcome injury, illness or other challenges will be recognized as Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Nominees. At the end of the season, the 30 nominees will be eligible for the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Johnson, Pelluer and Shook join previous nominees Caleb Farley (Virginia Tech), Cody Thompson (Toledo), Nate Ricci (Minnesota–Duluth), Antwan Dixon (Kent State), Tanner Mangum (Brigham Young), Marquez Stevenson (Houston), Jonathan Duhart (Old Dominion), Donte' Harrell (Widener), Antonio Wimbush (Carson-Newman), David Blough (Purdue), Jordan Miller (Washington), Niall Lewison (Otterbein), Don Butkus (St Francis Ill.), Eric Dungey (Syracuse), Chapelle Russell (Temple), Travis Bassett (Bridgewater State), J-Shun Harris II (Indiana) and Josh Poplar (Tennessee Tech).
Shook is a three-year starter who missed the entire 2016 season and all but four games last season due to a pair of foot injuries that both required surgery and extensive off-season rehabilitation.
He is the leader of an offensive line unit that has helped ONU average 34.6 points and 425.6 yards per game.
The New Philadelphia, Ohio, native is a two-time team captain, two-time Academic All-Conference honoree and has been the Polar Bears highest rated offensive lineman this season with a grade of 89%.
He graduated from ONU with a Bachelor's degree in accounting last spring and is currently pursuing his Masters' degree
All nominees are now eligible for the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award, presented at the end of the season.
Mayo Clinic, the premier sponsor, will donate $5,000 to the general scholarship funds for the three winners and $2,500 in the name of six other worthy finalists.
In addition, the three honorees will be recognized during a special ceremony during the 2019 Fiesta Bowl. Honorees and winners are selected by a panel of writers, editors and sports information directors from CoSIDA, AP and Touchdown Illustrated, and representatives of the Fiesta Bowl.
Chad Pennington, the only player twice named professional football's comeback player of the year award winner (2006, 2008), will serve as the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award ambassador. Pennington played his college football at Marshall University and was selected in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the New York Jets.