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San Jose State football defensive lineman Anthony Larceval is on the comeback trail, preparing to practice on Monday, August 5, 2013 in San Jose, Calif. Larceval was hospitalized last December, shortly before SJSU's bowl game, with viral meningoencephalitis. (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)

San Jose State senior defensive lineman Anthony Larceval was on Friday named the winner of the Football Writers Association of America Courage Award.

"Anthony's story was quite unusual and moving," FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson in a release. "We had numerous good stories of players and others who personified what this award is all about. His was certainly compelling."

Larceval returned to play this season for the Spartans after being diagnosed with viral meningoencephalitis last December. The illness hospitalized him for SJSU's appearance in the Military Bowl and doctors told him his football career was over.

But Larceval persevered and returned to play his final season with the Spartans. He participated in nine games and made two starts for SJSU a year after he was a second-team All-Western Athletic Conference selection.

"I think back a lot on it," Larceval said in a release of his ordeal. "I went a month without knowing any part of my life. I essentially lost a month. I reflect on it, knowing I missed the Military Bowl, Christmas, my dad's birthday and New Year's. It hurts."

Larceval will be honored Jan. 2 in Miami at a luncheon sponsored by the Orange Bowl and he'll be recognized on the field during the game between Clemson and Ohio State.


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He is the second San Jose State player to win this award, joining Neil Parry in 2003. Parry, a graduate assistant coach for the Spartans who is very close to Larceval, was honored after he returned to the field after having his right leg partially amputated due to complications from a compound fracture suffered in a game in 2000.

"Anthony is a great young man and put a lot of work into coming back this year," Parry said in a release. "He did a heck of a job just to get back to a normal life and to get back to being a Division I football player is another. It's very fitting for Anthony to receive this award."