ROCHESTER, Minn. - Salisbury University senior wide receiver Octavion Wilson was named one of the nominees for the 2019 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award, which is selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), in association with The Associated Press and the Fiesta Bowl Organization.
Wilson, a Lincoln, Del. native, played his first two seasons of college football with the University of Mount Union. Following a promising freshman season, in which he recorded 11 receptions and five touchdowns, he was diagnosed with pericarditis—an inflammation of the lining around the heart. While training for a comeback in 2017, the Lincoln, Del., native was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy—a neuromuscular disease resulting from damage to the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord.
The two years of serious illness, coupled with the inability to play football, led the distraught young man to attempt to take his life several times. But, in January 2018, with both his physical and mental states improved, he dedicated himself to family, friends and faith. He transferred to Salisbury in the Fall of 2019 to earn his degree in Engineering Physics and return the gridiron. In two games, Wilson leads the Sea Gulls in receptions with five catches for 41 yards.
Ten times during the 2019 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 by a panel of writers, editors and sports information directors from CoSIDA, AP and Touchdown Illustrated.
At the end of the season, three of the nominees will be chosen as Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award winners and will be recognized at a special ceremony during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Additionally, $30,000 will be donated in the names of the nine student-athletes selected as finalists to their school's general scholarship fund, with $15,000 being awarded in the names of the three winners and $15,000 on behalf of the six named honorable mention.
About Mayo Clinic: Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit comprehensive organization committed to clinical practice, education and research, providing expert comprehensive care to everyone who needs healing. Learn more about Mayo Clinic. Visit the Mayo Clinic News Network.
About CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America): CoSIDA was founded in 1957 and is a 3,000+ member national organization comprised of the sports public relations, media relations and communications/information professionals throughout all levels of collegiate athletics in the United States and Canada. The organization is the second oldest management association in intercollegiate athletics. To learn more, visit cosida.com.