Colleges

FSU's Thompson, Miami's Green share Piccolo Award

Posted November 29, 2012

— Florida State running back Chris Thompson and Miami defensive end Shayon Green, who both overcame severe injuries to contribute for their teams in 2012, were named co-winners of the Brian Piccolo Award, the Atlantic Coast Conference announced Thursday. 

The Piccolo Award has been given annually since 1972 and honors the "most courageous" football player in the league. 

Piccolo was the ACC Athlete of the Year in 1965 and played for the Chicago Bears before his career was cut short when he was stricken with cancer. His courageous fight against that disease was an inspiration to the Bears and the entire football community.

Thompson suffered a fractured back against Wake Forest in the Seminoles’ fourth game of the season in 2011, suffering compression fractures to his fifth and sixth thoracic vertebrae. 

After extensive rehabilitation, he came back to be Florida State’s leading rusher, with 687 yards on 91 carries and a sparkling 7.5 yards-per-carry average, including touchdown runs of 74 and 80 yards. Unfortunately, Thompson suffered a season-ending knee injury in Florida State’s eighth game of the year against Miami. At the time of his injury, he was the second-leading rusher in the ACC and still ranks third.

Despite missing the final three games of the season, he was voted second-team All-ACC by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.

Green had to overcome four different major injuries. He twice tore the ACL in his right knee, once tore the meniscus in his right knee and also suffered a wrist dislocation, forcing him to miss all or major parts of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons.

Finally healthy, Green was the leading tackler and one of the key leaders to a young Miami defense, with 38 of his 67 tackles unassisted, 2.0 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. He is the first Miami defensive linemen to lead the Hurricanes in tackles for a season in more than 30 years.

North Carolina's Gio Bernard won the award in 2011.

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  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Nov 30, 7:52 a.m.

    Congrats to both players. I'm in awe that both these brave young men were able to overcome such devistating injuries and return to play the sport they love.

  • hi_i_am_wade Nov 29, 6:46 p.m.

    Just reading this makes me want to watch Brian's Song again.

  • Hokies94 Nov 29, 1:16 p.m.

    Congratulations to these two courageous players. Not many would be able to come back and perform like they did.

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Local
3rd
EDM 2
CAR 2
 
Final
SFG 2
KAN 3
 
Final
ORL 92
DAL 117
Final
TOR 83
NYK 80
Final
MEM 98
MIA 104
Final
CHI 112
MIN 113
Final
HOU 96
SAN 87
4th
UTA 96
PHO 101
 
3rd
LAL 53
SAC 51
 
2nd
GSW 50
DEN 39
 
2nd
LAC 36
POR 51
 
Final
CIN 34
SFLA 17
Final
SALABAMA 27
TROY 13
 
3rd
BSU 48
BYU 23
 
2nd
CAL 14
OREG 24
 
Final
NJD 2
DAL 3
Final
WIN 2
TAM 4
3rd
COL 6
VAN 3
 
3rd
EDM 2
CAR 2
 
2nd
ANA 3
CLB 1