By Tim Glon
ADA — Ohio Northern graduate student Sam Shook (New Philadelphia) on Tuesday has been named an Honorable Mention Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year award winner by the editors of Touchdown Illustrated, the gameday publication for college football.
The College Sports Information Directors of America, in association with The Associated Press, selected Antwan Dixon of Kent State, Seth Simmer of Dartmouth and Antonio Wimbush of Carson-Newman as the inaugural Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award Winners. The three players, recognized for overcoming injury, illness or other challenges, will be honored during an on-field ceremony at the 2019 Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., on New Year's Day.
Shook joins David Blough (Purdue), Eric Dungey (Syracuse), Caleb Farley (Virginia Tech), Josh Poplar (Tennessee Tech) and Austin Tillman (Washburn) as Honorable Mention award winners.
Mayo Clinic, the premier sponsor, will donate $5,000 to the general scholarship funds at the schools representing the three award winners in the name of the winners. Additionally, $2,500 will be donated to each of the six schools in the name of the players chosen honorable mention, including Shook.
Shook was also named 1st Team All-America by D3football.com, 2nd Team All-America by the Associated Press, was the Ohio Athletic Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year, was named First Team All-OAC, 1st Team All-North Region by D3football.com and Academic All-Conference this season.
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 percent.
He graduated from Ohio Northern with a Bachelor's degree in accounting last spring and is currently pursuing his Master's degree.
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 were recognized as Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Nominees. At the end of the season, the 30 nominees were eligible for the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award.
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 and was selected in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the New York Jets.