These same traits were immortalized in the movie "Rudy" by former Notre Dame walk-on Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger.
The three finalists will be honored at a breakfast at the American Football Coaches Association Convention on Jan. 12 at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. Ruettiger will personally present each finalist with an award and a collegiate scholarship. An overall winner will be announced during the event and presented with the top scholarship and first-place sculpture trophy.
Combs was born with a left arm that ends just below the elbow. He has started every game the last two seasons and has recorded a career-best eight touchbacks in 2008. The senior from Houston has totaled three tackles in his career.
Through the Horned Frogs' television exposure, Combs and the TCU athletics department regularly receive e-mails and phone calls from parents of congenital amputees as well as fans who know kids born with the same condition. Combs personally responds to every message. He takes pride in being an inspiration to others in need and providing hope and motivation for anyone he encounters.
"We established this award as a special way to honor and recognize college football players for the size of their hearts instead of the enormity of their stats," Ruettiger said. "We are reminded by each nominee's personal story that there really are no better role models on the gridiron than those who demonstrate great character, courage, contribution and commitment to their team."