A Campbell senior offensive lineman was presented with the 2022 Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award.
Campbell senior offensive lineman Austin Blake was presented with the 2022 Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award by the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals (N4A) Monday.
The N4A Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award honors players who have overcome great personal, academic, and/or emotional odds to achieve academic success while participating in intercollegiate athletics. These individuals have persevered and made significant personal strides toward success.
Blake arrived at Campbell and immediately made an impact on the football field.
However, in 2020, Austin was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), a rare autoimmune disorder that damages nerves. He spent three to four months at Shepherd Center, in Atlanta, Georgia, where he endured a very intense rehab schedule to relearn basic human movements and functions.
Blake experienced some complications from GBS, including being diagnosed with CIDP – a chronic form of GBS – but he continued to fight to get back on the field.
Even though he spent a majority of that semester in outpatient rehab, he completed coursework so he would not fall behind in his classes.
When he got back to school, he decided to change his major to healthcare management so he could one day start his own rehab facility. By the 2021 season, Blake was back on the football field.
He was honored along with fellow 2022 Wilma Rudolph recipients Riley Clark (University of Maine), Mary Griffin (Virginia Tech), Taylor Robertson (University of Dayton) and Jack Winkler (Michigan State University), in conjunction with the 2022 N4A Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.