One of the greatest traditions in college football is the Chucky Mullins Courage Award given to an Ole Miss defensive player before every season the last 34 years.
This season the award, sponsored by Phi Beta Sigma, goes to senior defensive end Cedric Johnson who will wear a No. 38 patch on his jersey in honor of the late Chucky Mullins. A standout and blossoming football player, Mullins was tragically paralyzed making a tackle in the 1989 homecoming game and later returned to Ole Miss to finish his degree though ultimately passed away in 1991.
A bust of Mullins is located at the tunnel entrance in the south endzone of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium where Ole Miss runs onto the field each home game.
Johnson is the active leader in career sacks entering this season with 13.5 and is piling up numerous preseason honors including the Bednarik Award watch list.
This award typically goes to the defensive leader of the team with previous winners such as Patrick Willis, Jamarca Sanford, Kentrell Lockett, Mike Hilton, Marquis Haynes and CJ Moore.
While Johnson was clearly picked for his senior leadership and performance on the field, it’s obvious Cedric has been working hard in the offseason to prepare for the upcoming season.
Ced hit the dang weight room in the off-season pic.twitter.com/AnZ5ufIvd1— OneMan2Beat RCR (@OneMan2BeatRCR) August 13, 2023
Maybe its just me but having traps that are at a 45 degree angle from the neck to the shoulder seems useful in football.
The announcement of this award is one of those huge signals football season is almost damn here. The story of Chucky Mullins has been well documented, but it also seems like every year I meet someone at a Grove tent from an opposing school who does not know the story or tradition. It’s a special thing for Ole Miss and for college football.
Cheers Cedric, here’s to a hell of a senior year.