Sixth-year Washington State linebacker Peyton Pelluer was named one of three nominees for the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year award Tuesday morning, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America, the Associated Press and the Fiesta Bowl organization.
Pelluer was nominated along with Cardon Johnson of James Madison University and Sam Shook of Ohio Northern University. The three finalists came from an original pool of 30 players, drawn from all levels of college football. Ten times throughout the season, the Mayo Clinic recognizes three players “who have overcome injury, illness or other challenges.”
A middle linebacker who’d started each of his first three seasons at WSU, Pelluer broke a navicular bone in his foot during the third game of the 2017 season against Oregon State and missed the final 10 games. The school applied for a medical redshirt for Pelluer and successfully obtained it in late January, allowing the Cougars’ defensive captain to return for his sixth season.
The Sammamish, Washington, native posted 93 tackles two years ago – fourth-best in the Pac-12 – and is already up to a team-leading 71 takedowns through the first nine games of the 2018 season. That number currently ranks 12th in the conference. Additionally, Pelluer has seven tackles-for-loss and 3 1/2 sacks for the Cougars, who are ranked No. 10 in the nation and riding a five-game win streak into Saturday’s road test at Colorado.
The Mayo Clinic will donate $5,000 to the general scholarship funds for the three winners and $2,500 in the name of six other worthy finalists. In addition, Pelluer, Johnson and Shook will be recognized during a special ceremony during the 2019 Fiesta Bowl. Honorees and winners are selected by a panel of writers, editors and sports information directors from CoSIDA, AP and Touchdown Illustrated,and representatives of the Fiesta Bowl.
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