Former Nebraska fullback C.J. Zimmerer has followed his recognition as a second-team Academic All-American and a member of the Good Works Team with another honor.
Uplifting Athletes on Saturday named Zimmerer the recipient of the 2014 Rare Disease Champion Award.
“C.J. continues a strong tradition of selfless service to others by using his platform as a college player to expand and promote the mission of inspiring the rare disease community with hope,” Uplifting Athletes Executive Director Scott Shirley said in a release.
Zimmerer will be presented his Champion Trophy at the Maxwell Club Award’s Gala on March 14 in Atlantic City, N.J., where he will join other Maxwell Award winners that include Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Duke coach David Cutcliffe. NFL winners who will be recognized at the same banquet include Denver quarterback Peyton Manning and Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly.
A public online vote decided the 2014 award with more than 15,000 total votes cast. Zimmerer becomes the second Husker to win the Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Trophy, following the selection of Rex Burkhead in 2012.
Uplifting Athletes presents the Rare Disease Champion Award annually to a college football leader who has realized his or her potential to make a positive and lasting impact on the rare disease community.
“C.J. certainly maximizes his potential as a leader and will continue to be one of America’s best young leaders in an area that truly needs leadership,” Nebraska Associate Athletic Director Keith Zimmer said. “C.J. is part of what we call the Rex Burkhead effect, and Nebraskans are blessed that two of the first six Champion Award winners are Huskers. We’ve built a culture that reaches out to others, and we believe an honor like the Champion Award will continue to grow in stature because leadership seems to multiply every year. C.J. is and will continue to be a positive role model for student-athletes nationwide.”