MTSU Quarterback Among this Year’s Candidates for Comeback Player of the Year Award



College Sports Communicators (formerly College Sports Information Directors of America [CoSIDA]) in association with The Associated Press (AP) and the Fiesta Bowl Organization, released a “Watch List” of 61 college football student-athletes from 46 schools currently under consideration for the 2022 Comeback Player of the Year Award.

Middle Tennessee quarterback Chase Cunningham is among this year’s candidates. Cunningham, a former walk-on, was thrust into the starting role in the fourth game of the 2021 season and promptly threw for 379 yards and five touchdowns.

Four games later, the Knoxville native saw his season come to an end early in a home game against Southern Miss with a knee injury. Cunningham returned in 2022 stronger than ever and is off to a career season through six games.

The award recognizes college football student-athletes from all divisions of college football for overcoming injury, illness, or other circumstances.  At the conclusion of each season, in a vote by a panel of writers, editors, and sports information directors, three college football student-athletes will be honored as Comeback Player of the Year Award winners at the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl.

The initial watch list only includes players from Division I schools.  Subsequent lists will include players from all levels of college football.  Sports Information Directors are encouraged to nominate deserving candidates at

Previous winners have included: 2018 – Antwan Dixon (Kent State), Seth Simmer (Dartmouth); Antonio Wimbush (Carson-Newman); 2019 – Jake Luton (Oregon State); Drew Wilson (Georgia Southern); Octavion Wilson (Salisbury); 2020 – Jarek Broussard (Colorado); Kenneth Horsey (Kentucky); Silas Kelly (Coastal Carolina); 2021 – Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan); McKenzie Milton (Florida State); J.J. Weaver (Kentucky). For a complete list of past honorees, visit

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