Richard Yeargin wins Brian Piccolo Award

Richard Yeargin wins Brian Piccolo Award

Football

Richard Yeargin wins Brian Piccolo Award

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GREENSBORO, N.C. – Former Clemson defensive end Richard Yeargin, who now plays for Boston College, has been named the recipient of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 2019 Brian Piccolo Award, as announced by the league on Monday.

The Piccolo Award has been given annually since 1970 in memory of the late Brian Piccolo to the “most courageous” football player in the ACC. As a standout running back at Wake Forest, Piccolo was the ACC Athlete of the Year in 1965 and played for the Chicago Bears before his career was cut short when he was diagnosed with cancer. His courageous fight against the disease was an inspiration to the Bears and the entire football community.

Yeargin will be recognized this weekend during activities surrounding the 2019 ACC Football Championship Game between Clemson and Virginia, which is set for Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium.

In June of 2017, Yeargin, who began his college career at Clemson and had just completed his second season, was involved in a car accident near Greenville, South Carolina. His injuries included fractures of the C5 through C7 vertebrae at the base of his neck and a concussion.

Yeargin graduated in December of 2017, enrolled in a master’s program and was set to return to action for the Tigers in 2018, but symptoms related to the accident persisted and he decided to retire from football. Yeargin underwent surgery and became a student coach for the Tigers’ national championship run, but he continued to rehab under the watch of the Clemson strength and conditioning staff.

He got engaged, became a father and landed a job offer as he neared completion of work on his master’s degree. Then, during a routine check-up last April, he was surprisingly cleared to return to the playing field.

Yeargin, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, entered the transfer portal and landed at Boston College. Yeargin not only found his way back to the playing field this fall, he appeared in every game as a regular in the Eagles’ defensive line rotation while making six starts.

Nominated for the 2019 Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award after making his first start for Boston College and recording a tackle for loss in a win over NC State on October 19, Yeargin finished the regular season with 12 total tackles, including six for lost yardage, and a quarterback hurry.

“This is a tremendous honor for Richard to be named the Piccolo Award recipient as the ACC’s most courageous player,” said Steve Addazio, who coached Yeargin at BC this past season. “He has been a tremendous addition to our football team both on and off the field, and has shown tremendous courage and passion in returning to the field. We could not be happier for him.”

Yeargin becomes the second student-athlete from Boston College to earn the ACC’s Brian Piccolo Award and the first since linebacker Mark Herzlich in 2010.

ACC Brian Piccolo Award Winners
1970    Paul Miller, QB, North Carolina
1971       Jim Webster, LB, North Carolina
1972       Mark Johnson, QB, Duke
1973       Al Neville, QB, Maryland
1974       David Visaggio, DG, Maryland
1975       Scott Gardner, QB, Virginia
1976       Jeff Green, DE, Duke
1977       Ralph Stringer, DB, NC State
1978       Rex Varn, DB, Clemson
1979       not available
1980       Jack Cain, DB,Clemson
1981       Aaron Stewart, DB, Duke
1982       Kenny Duckett, WR, Wake Forest
1983       John Piedmonte, OLB,Wake Forest
1984       J.D. Maarleveld, T, Maryland
1985       Danny Burmeister, DB, N. Carolina
1986       Ray Williams, WR, Clemson
1987       no recipient
1988       Jerry Mays, TB, Georgia Tech
1989       Michael Anderson, RB, Maryland
1990       Marc Mays, WR, Duke
1991       Scott Adell, T, NC State
1992       Dan Footman, DE, Florida State
Randy Cuthbert, TB, Duke
1993       Scott Youmans, DL, Duke
1994       Chris Harrison, T, Virginia
1995       Warren Forney, DT, Clemson
1996       John Lewis, RB, Wake Forest
1997       Sam Cowart, LB, Florida State
1998       Anthony Poindexter, DB, Virginia
Corey Simon, DT, Florida State
1999       Chris Weinke, QB, Florida State
2000       Ed Wilder, FB, Georgia Tech
2001       Matt Crawford, T, Maryland
2002       Anquan Boldin, WR, Florida State
2003       Kevin Bailey, OL, Virginia
2004       Frank Gore, RB, Miami
2005       Ryan Best, S, Virginia
2006       Glenn Sharpe, Miami
2007       Matt Robinson, DE, Wake Forest
2008       Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
2009       Toney Baker, RB, NC State
2010       Mark Herzlich, LB, Boston College
Nate Irving, LB, NC State
2011       Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina
2012       Shayon Green, DE, Miami
Chris Thompson, RB, Florida State
2013       Robert Godhigh, RB, Georgia Tech
2014       Duke Johnson, RB, Miami
2015       Hunter Knighton, OL, Miami
2016       James Conner, RB, Pitt
2017       Trevon Young, DE, Louisville
2018       Greg Dortch, WR/KR, Wake Forest
2019       Richard Yeargin, DE, Boston College

–courtesy of ACC Communications

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