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Taijh Alston Nominated for the 2021 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award

West Virginia defensive lineman Taijh Alston has been nominated for the 2021 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award.

On Tuesday, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), in association with The Associated Press (AP) and the Fiesta Bowl Organization, has nominated West Virginia defensive lineman Taijh Alston for the 2021 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award.

The Lumberton, North Carolina native, began his collegiate career at East Carolina in 2017, but before recording a snap, he suffered a season-ending knee injury. He transferred to Copiah-Lincoln Community College the following season, where he finished the season with 78 tackles, including seven sacks, 15 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. Alston then transferred to West Virginia in 2019 and suffered his second significant knee injury in his second game with the Mountaineers. Then, on the road to recovery in 2020, he tore his Achilles tendon and missed the entire season. 

Alston is now 10 games into his redshirt junior campaign and has been a vital piece along the defensive front, accumulating 28 tackles, five sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss this season. 

Sep 18, 2021; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers head coach Neal Brown celebrates with defensive lineman Taijh Alston (12) following a turnover during the fourth quarter against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium.

Through weeks of the college football season, a panel of writers, editors, and sports information directors from CoSIDA, AP and Touchdown Illustrated, nominate three players a week from all levels of college football who have overcome injury, illness, or other challenges, are recognized as Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Nominees. In December, three of the 30 nominees will be chosen as winners of the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award and recognized at a special ceremony during the PlayStation® Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1, 2022, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

2021 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award Nominees

Copiah-Lincoln Community College

Terrel Bernard (LB, Baylor)

Shamari Brooks (RB, Tulsa)

Yohance Burnett (LB, Tulsa)

Noah Cain (RB, Penn State)

Sean Chambers (QB, Wyoming)

Jack Coan (QB, Notre Dame)

Brandon Council (OL, Auburn)

Tobias Harris (DB, West Texas A&M)

Ryan Hubley (WR, Johns Hopkins)

Aidan Hutchinson (DE, Michigan)

Brian Kearns, Jr. (RB, Stonehill College)

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Alex Keith (DL, Washington & Jefferson College)

Cole Maxwell (DL, Baylor)

Ricky Miezan (LB, Stanford)

McKenzie Milton (QB, Florida State)

John Mitchell (TE, Florida Atlantic)

Jeremiah Moon (LB, Florida)

Patrick Paul (OL, Houston)

Cameron Rising (QB, Utah)

Reggie Roberson, Jr (WR, SMU)

Justyn Ross (WR, Clemson)

Avery Samuels (OL, Stetson)

Corey Sutton (WR, Appalachian State)

Skylar Thompson (QB, Kansas State)

Demitri Washington (Edge, Boise State)

J.J. Weaver (LB, Kentucky)

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