By Cody Soto
Senior quarterback Bryce Petty was named the 2014 Seminole Tribe of Florida Bobby Bowden Award winner Sunday morning by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
The Bobby Bowden award is presented to one football player who best optimizes the role of a student-athlete both on and off the field during the 2014 season.
Petty displayed good sportsmanship and poise after Baylor’s 42-41 loss to No. 8 Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 1. He also maintained a faithful spirit during his time as a starter for the Bears.
“This is meaningful for me for two reasons,” Petty said. “First, it’s an award about Christ, and to me that’s the ultimate prize anyway when we talk about success. It needs to be credited to the One who has enabled us to have success.
“Second, the platform we have as football players is not to be taken for granted. Too often, players think it’s just about them and get too caught up in thinking that all have the same opportunity and that’s not true. We’ve been given the same opportunity; we need to keep it in perspective. It’s not just about wins on the field, it’s as much about off the field accomplishments.”
Petty is the fourth student athlete from current Big 12 schools to win the award since it was established in 2003. He was presented with the honor at the College Championship breakfast at the Hyatt Regency Dallas one day prior to the national championship Monday night.
Mississippi defensive lineman D. T. Shackleford and Indiana safety Mark Murphy were the other two finalists for the award.
Petty finished his Baylor career with a personal best 550 passing yards and shattered a Cotton Bowl record in the process. He was awarded the Most Outstanding Player award for his performance in his final collegiate start.
“It comes as no surprise that Bryce is the recipient of an award such as this,” head coach Art Briles said. “Being around him day-in and day-out for the last five years I can say I’m a better person. I can say that everyone Bryce comes into contact with is better. That’s due to his demeanor, his attitude and his faith.”
Petty graduated in May 2013 with a degree in health science students and finished his master’s degree in sports management in December 2014.