FORT WORTH, Texas — U. S. Marine veteran Steven Rhodes, a senior defensive end at Middle Tennessee State University, is the fifth recipient of the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America, or FWAA.
Coordinated by the staff at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the FWAA was created in June 2012 “to honor an individual and/or a group within the realm of the sport of football.”
Brant Ringler, the executive director of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, and Steve Richardson, the FWAA’s executive director, announced Friday that Rhodes, who will be 28 in 11 days, as the 2016 recipient during an 9 a.m. teleconference.
A seven-person committee made up of FWAA members and Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl officials selected Rhodes from a list of 16 nominations for the 2016 award.
Nate Boyer of the University of Texas was the initial recipient of the award in 2012, followed by Brandon McCoy of the University of North Texas in 2013, Daniel Rodriguez from Clemson University in 2014 and Bret Robertson of Fulton, Missouri’s Westminster College in 2015.
All four were U. S. Army veterans before playing college football.
“On this very special day, Veterans’ Day 2016, we are pleased to join with the Football Writers Association of America to honor Steven Rhodes as the fifth recipient of the Armed Forces Merit Award,” said Ringler.
“We had a list of 16 outstanding nominations for this year’s award and it is difficult to honor only one each year when we have individuals and programs that are very deserving of the honor.”