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J.J. Weaver a semifinalist for Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year award

Weaver has overcome major injury and unspeakable tragedy to become a star on the UK defense.

JJ Weaver Drew Brown - Sea of Blue

Kentucky Wildcats outside linebacker J.J. Weaver has been named one of nine semifinalists for the 2021 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award.

Also nominated were Taijh Alston (DL, West Virginia); Terrel Bernard (LB, Baylor); Jack Coan (QB, Notre Dame); Ryan Hubley (WR, Johns Hopkins); Aidan Hutchinson (DE, Michigan); McKenzie Milton (QB, Florida State); Cameron Rising (QB, Utah) and Avery Samuels (OL, Stetson).

Weaver, a 6-foot-5, 231-pound defender from Louisville (KY), was nominated for the award after suffering a torn ACL in a loss at Florida last season. That was only part of an extremely challenging year for Weaver, who lost his father to homicide over the summer of 2020. Then in the fall of 2021, Weaver lost his high school coach, Rob Reader, to liver cancer.

In nine games as a redshirt freshman, Weaver recorded 33.5 tackles and 6.5 tackles for a loss while earning All-SEC Freshman Team honors.

This season, Weaver rebounded with authority to play in all 12 games (six starts). He currently has 34 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, six sacks, four QB hurries, two interceptions and a forced fumble going into the Citrus Bowl vs. the Iowa Hawkeyes.

As for the award, on December 21st, three winners and six honorable mentions will be announced and $30,000 will be donated in the names of the honorees to their schools’ general scholarship funds, with $15,000 being awarded in the names of the three winners and $15,000 on behalf of the six named honorable mention.

The three award-winners will also be recognized at a special ceremony during the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1st, 2022.

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