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).
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.
“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.
Fitzgerald, along with the 129th annual Walter Camp All-America team and Player of the Year Tua Tagovailoa, and other award winners (Archie Manning-Distinguished American; Mike Golic-Man of the Year; Jake Olson-Perserverance Award), will be honored at the organization’s 52nd national awards banquet on Saturday, January 12, 2019, at the Yale University Lanman Center in New Haven. For more information, visit www.waltercamp.org
Walter Camp, “The Father of American Football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation – a New Haven based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.
Walter Camp Alumni Award Recipients
2018 – Larry Fitzgerald, University of Pittsburgh
2017 – Eddie George, The Ohio State University
2016 – Orlando Pace, The Ohio State University
2015 – Doug Williams, Grambling State
2014 – Chad Hennings, U.S. Air Force Academy
2013 – Ken Huff, North Carolina
2012 – Derrick Brooks, Florida State
2011 – Chris Spielman, Ohio State
2010 – Tedy Bruschi, Arizona
2009 – David Fulcher, Arizona State
2008 – Tim Brown, Notre Dame
2007 – Ray Guy, Southern Mississippi
2006 – Mike Rozier, Nebraska
2005 – Cornelius Bennett, Alabama
2004 – George Rogers, South Carolina
2003 – Mark May, Pittsburgh
2002 – Dave Casper, Notre Dame
2001 – Herschel Walker, Georgia
2000 – Don McPherson, Syracuse
1999 – Bo Jackson, Auburn
1998 – Tony Dorsett, Pittsburgh
1997 – Jim Plunkett, Stanford
1996 – Lee Roy Selmon, Oklahoma
1995 – Jim Covert, Pittsburgh
1994 – Ed Marinaro, Cornell
1993 – Archie Griffin, The Ohio State University
1992 – Kellen Winslow, Missouri
1991 – Steve Owens, Oklahoma
1990 – Thomas L. Jackson, Louisville
1989 – Dr. Tom Casanova, Louisiana State
1988 – Alan Page, Notre Dame
1987 – Mike Reid, Penn State
1986 – Joe Greene, North Texas