The Walter Camp “Alumni of the Year” award is bestowed on a worthy individual who has distinguished himself in the pursuit of excellence as an athlete, in his personal career and in doing good works for others. He must be an individual who has exhibited dedication and good moral conduct in achieving success. He must be a compassionate and unselfish person who contributes his time and assistance in helping to encourage and comfort fellow human beings less talented and less fortunate than himself. He must be an individual who takes pride in having been a Walter Camp All-American.
2018 Alumni Award – Larry Fitzgerald, University of Pittsburgh
2003 Walter Camp Player of the Year and NFL All-Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (University of Pittsburgh/Arizona Cardinals) is the recipient of the 2018 Walter Camp “Alumni Award.” Fitzgerald joins a distinguished list of former “Alumni Award” winners, including Alan Page (Notre Dame), Bo Jackson (Auburn), Tony Dorsett (Pittsburgh), Herschel Walker (Georgia), Mark May (Pittsburgh), Tim Brown (Notre Dame), Doug Williams (Grambling State) and last year’s recipient Eddie George (The Ohio State University).
“We are delighted to recognize Larry Fitzgerald with the Walter Camp Alumni Award,” Foundation president Michael Madera said. “Larry’s exploits on the football field have been legendary, but his selflessness and commitment to helping others are admirable and worthy of recognition.”
Born in Richfield, Minn., Fitzgerald played prep school football at the Academy of Holy Angels before attending Pittsburgh. Fitzgerald excelled in his two collegiate seasons (2002 and 2003), catching 161 passes for 2,677 yards and 34 touchdowns. As a sophomore, he caught 92 passes for 1,672 yards and 22 touchdowns and was a unanimous All-American and was named the Walter Camp Player of Year. He also was the recipient of the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation’s top receiver.
Selected in the first round (3rd overall pick) by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2004 NFL Draft, Fitzgerald has played for the organization for his entire 15-year career. On December 9, Fitzgerald broke Jerry Rice’s record for the most catches with one team (1,282). Fitzgerald’s 1,286 career receptions rank third on the NFL’s all-time list, and his 16,108 receiving yards rank second.
Fitzgerald completed his undergraduate degree with the University of Phoenix in 2016, fulfilling a promise he made to his late mother. In addition, Fitzgerald has been active in the community and established the “Larry Fitzgerald First Down Fund,” which helps kids and their families in crisis. Fitzgerald has been a finalist for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.