Real Life 'Rudys' Honored for Inspiring the Nation and Bringing the Most Heart to the Game

High School Football Rudy Awards announce the nation's top 50 most inspirational players. $25,000 in college scholarships will be awarded to final four.

Dec 02, 2010, 03:34 ET from Trusted Sports

BEND, Ore., Dec. 2, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Drew Bledsoe, Chairman of the High School Football Rudy Awards selection committee, today announced the top 50 national Semifinalists for the award that is fast becoming known among coaches and communities as a way to honor those players who may not have the stats, but who bring the most heart to the game. More than 12,000 high school football coaches were contacted and invited to nominate the 'Rudy' on their team. Founded by Trusted Sports and Daniel 'Rudy' Ruettiger in 2009, this national award is named for college football's most famous underdog. The winner will receive a $10,000 academic scholarship to a college of their choice. Two runners-up will each receive $5,000, in addition to a fan favorite determined by online voting.  A complete rundown of the 50 Semifinalists is available at


"I read the stories of our top 50 High School Football Rudy Award nominees and then I look back at some of the toughest games I played.  Even when I was injured, I didn't have to deal with anything like what these kids have to handle on a daily basis. Playing in the NFL was an honor, and incredibly rewarding," said former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, Drew Bledsoe. "It's also an honor to place the spotlight on these young athletes who are facing inconceivable challenges, yet who soldier on despite the hand they've been dealt.  Words can't begin to describe how much respect I have for them all."

Known for being "5 foot nothing, 100 and nothin' with barely a speck of athletic ability," Ruettiger's dream of playing football at the University of Notre Dame inspired millions and was the subject of the 1993 iconic sports film Rudy. Likewise, the 50 Semifinalists are being honored for their courage and character, and inspirational impact on their teammates and schools.

The 2010 Selection Committee includes notable sporting personalities such as Leigh Anne Tuohy, mother of Baltimore Ravens player Michael Oher and inspirational figure of the film The Blind Side; Shaun Alexander, former Seattle Seahawks running back and NFL MVP; and NBC Football Sideline Reporter, Andrea Kremer. America can be inspired by the player they feel is a 'Rudy' online at Online voting continues through December 28, 2010. Since the site's launch in 2009, nominees have received over 3 million votes.

About Trusted Sports

The High School Football Rudy Awards are operated by Trusted Sports, Inc. who has a focus on getting and keeping kids in the game. Trusted Sports empowers young athletes to live up to their full potential through positive sports experiences that form active, healthy habits for a lifetime.

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SOURCE Trusted Sports