Former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Richard Collier (pictured right) was voted the 2009 Ed Block Courage Award winner by his teammates, the club announced today. Collier is one of 32 NFL players who will be honored in March at the annual Ed Block Courage Awards Dinner in Baltimore, Md.
"Richard suffered a significant off-field injury in September 2008 when he suffered a spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis of his lower extremities and amputation of one leg," said Mike Ryan, the Jaguars' head athletic trainer/physical therapist. "He has fought a difficult battle and overcame all odds and has moved forward and progressed into this new phase of his life. He spends significant time speaking in the community about being responsible for one's own actions. Richard has also dedicated himself to the youth in the area in hopes that he can inspire and bring positive relations. Richard is a true model of courage."
The award is presented annually to a player from each NFL team who exemplifies a commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. It is named for former Baltimore Colts Head Athletic Trainer Ed Block who worked for the organization from 1954 to 1977. The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation promotes the prevention of child abuse by raising awareness of the epidemic and assisting agencies who provide for the care and treatment of abused children in communities throughout the NFL.
Past Jaguars winners are Brad Meester (2008), Greg Jones (2007), Jorge Cordova (2006), Paul Spicer (2005), David Garrard (2004), Tony Brackens (2003), Fred Taylor (2002), Jimmy Smith (2001), Tony Boselli (2000), James Stewart (1999), Mark Brunell (1998), Dave Thomas (1997), Derek Brown (1996) and Paul Frase (1995).