MIAMI -- Anthony Larceval is shaking a lot of hands, meeting a lot of people and his whereabouts are being constantly monitored by chauffeurs.
And the now former San Jose State defensive lineman is enjoying all of it.
"It's been great,' said Larceval, who on Thursday was formally awarded the Football Writers Association of America Courage Award at a luncheon previewing Friday's Orange Bowl between Clemson and Ohio State.
"After going through such a tough year -- probably the toughest of my young life -- it's been great," he said. "It's been awkward to be rewarded and recognized like this for such adversity, but I'll take it."
Larceval was named the Courage Award winner after returning to football when doctors told him he wouldn't. He was diagnosed with viral meningoencephalitis on Dec. 14, 2012, which forced him to miss the Spartans' appearance in the Military Bowl and threatened his life and his career.
But with resolve and determination, Larceval returned by the start of summer training camp and played in nine games for SJSU. He was denied an additional game when the Spartans (6-6) were eligible but not invited to a bowl game.
The experience so far in Miami -- he had dinner Wednesday night at Joe's Stone Crab in Miami Beach and will be honored on the field at the Orange Bowl game -- doesn't quite make up for not participating in a bowl game, but it's put him closer to seeing what his teammates experienced last year.
"It's definitely coming close," Larceval said. "It's tough because I do wish I could have one more game with my teammates, especially our senior class because we were all so close, but it is what it is."
Larceval has been joined on the trip by his girlfriend Selena Brunetto and the smile on his face tells a good tale of how much he's enjoying his first experience in Miami.
"It's been fun," Larceval said. "It's really exciting taking my talents to South Beach."
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