Tyler Trent, the former Purdue University student who has inspired the Boilermakers football team and thousands of fans with his courage in battling cancer, is this year’s winner of the Disney Spirit Award.
Given annually to college football’s most inspirational figure, the Disney Spirit Award will be presented next Thursday, Dec. 6, in Atlanta at the College Football Awards show, televised live on ESPN at 7 p.m.
Trent, 20, was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2015, but refused to let the disease get the best of him. In 2017, Trent started classes at Purdue on time despite a surgery to remove his pelvis 11 days prior, and even got to camp out for football tickets with several of his fellow classmates.
ESPN College GameDay reporter Tom Rinaldi put Trent’s story in the national spotlight earlier this season, profiling his fight with cancer and his prediction that Purdue would take down the then No. 2-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. Purdue went on to defeat Ohio State, 49-20, with Trent watching from the sidelines.
College football season often provides sports fans with memorable, inspirational moments that go beyond the play on the field.
This year is no different.
Check out this ESPN story from earlier this season and it should be pretty obvious why we chose Trent for this prestigious award.