Rice University

2016 NCAA Inspiration Award: O.J. Brigance

Brigance’s battle is moving, but the people who knew him best when he was Rice’s star defensive player in the late 1980s say ALS didn’t make him an inspiration, it simply found its way into a man who already was one: Today, he is the same person who once wrung every drop of sweat from his teammates on the field and who was their conscience off of it.

Lauren Hill, O.J. Brigance to receive 2016 NCAA Inspiration Award

The Inspiration Award is presented to a coach or administrator currently associated with intercollegiate athletics, or to a current or former varsity letter-winner at an NCAA institution. It is reserved for people who, when confronted with life-altering situations, used perseverance, dedication and determination to overcome their trauma.

"People are starting to not see me as a little brother."

Both of Darik Dillard’s older siblings earned valedictorian honors in high school, but Dillard is proving he is a formidable player and scholar in his own right. He ranked third in his high school class of 557 and is now studying mechanical engineering at Rice, where he scored 16 touchdowns in his first two seasons with the Owls.

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