NORMAN — Corey Wilson has endured a variety of emotions since the February 2009 car accident that left him paralyzed.
But Tuesday, when the former Sooners receiver was honored with an Athletics Council Achievement Award at Oklahoma's annual Max Weitzenhoffer Scholar Athlete Breakfast, his outlook wasn't so complicated.
Wilson just felt blessed.
“This came from the people that have helped me out so much since the accident, people that I have always seen as role models and mentors,” Wilson said. “For them to vote me for this award means a lot.
“It motivates me to push and continue to work hard in the future.”
Wilson and his brother, former OU standout receiver Travis Wilson, are just getting started on that front.
The brothers will both graduate next month — Travis Wilson came back to finish his degree now that his NFL career is finished — and are starting a nonprofit organization, “GOG,” which stands for “Good or Great,” to help children reach their potential.
And they'll draw on the strength they've built over the past three years in that effort.
“We want to mentor kids, and not only on the football field,” said Travis Wilson. “We want them to know life is bigger than football.
“Whatever you become, you should want to be great, no matter how small the job is. That's the message we want to get out.”
Corey Wilson said the nonprofit will focus on camps, motivation speaking and life coaching. They plan to start in Oklahoma, but hope the project will go nationwide.
“We just want to give back,” Corey Wilson said. “Growing up, we had a lot of opportunities, and we'd love the opportunity to give back.”
Athletic Council Achievement Awards are given to “student-athletes who have overcome great personal, academic, and/or emotional odds to achieve academic success while participating in intercollegiate athletics.”
Also receiving it were women's basketball player Jelena Cerina, gymnast Natasha Kelley and tennis player Peta Maree Lancaster.
For Corey Wilson, his athletic participation was of a different sort after his accident. He became a motivator and virtual assistant coach to the Sooners' receivers.
He sat in on meetings, watched film and encouraged his teammates.
“I was an extra set of eyes for coach (Jay) Norvell,” Corey Wilson said. “I just encouraged those guys, especially the young guys. As a young guy, I wasn't always as focused as I should have been.”
After the accident, Corey Wilson said he grew up and learned a lot about himself.
“I grew up as Corey Wilson the football player, and now it feels good to just be Corey Wilson,” he said. “The future is really looking bright.”
MAX WEITZENHOFFER SCHOLAR ATHLETE WINNERS
* Athletic Director's Leadership Award: student-athletes who demonstrate extraordinary leadership in representing OU and their teams
Whitney Hand (basketball), Megan Ferguson (gymnastics), Nicole Furmanek (rowing).
* Conference Medal: seniors who have the most outstanding record in athletics and academics
Brittany Borman (track and field), Patrick Piscitelli (gymnastics).
* Most inspiring faculty members
Joyce Brandes (educational psychology), Douglas Gaffin (zoology), Steven Livesey (history of science), Sacra Nicholas (instructional leadership and academic curriculum).
* Dan Gibbens Outstanding Scholar Athletes of the Year: student-athletes who have attained the highest level of scholarly and athletic success
Suzy Boulavsky (volleyball), Jessica Engel (track and field), Megan Ferguson (gymnastics), Gabe Ikard (football), Whitney Hand (basketball), Jeremy Sudbury (track and field), Katherine Nutman (soccer).
* Athletic Council Achievement Award: student-athletes who have overcome great personal, academic, and/or emotional odds to achieve academic success
Jelena Cerina (basketball), Natasha Kelley (gymnastics), Peta Maree Lancaster (tennis), Corey Wilson (football).
* Faculty Retirement Recognition
Connie Dillon (faculty athletics representative).
* Athletic Council Service Award: student-athletes who have made important contributions to the community through their commitment to service
Whitney Hand (basketball), William Kogel (track and field), Kayla Nowak (gymnastics), Brooke Sheppard (rowing), Christopher Stehl (gymnastics), Sherine Wells (track and field).
* Jay Myers Awards: freshman student-athletes who best combine excellence in scholarship and athletic potential
Rebecca Clark (gymnastics), Dalton Dennis (wrestling), Brandon Doughty (track and field), Michael Squires (gymnastics), Jessica Vest (softball), Caroline Weir (volleyball).
* Sooner Schooner Scholastic Award: football letterman who maintained the highest grade-point average throughout his career
Daniel Franklin (football)
* Athletics Council's Academic and Student Life Award for Coaches: coach who demonstrates exemplary encouragement of the personal development and academic achivement of student athletes
Jan Ross (basketball)
* Champs/Life Skills Team Competition Award: team that has done the most away from its sport
* Prentice Gautt Award: student-athletes who demonstrate dignity, integrity and strength of character
Sam Proctor (football), Sherine Wells (tennis).
* Gerald Lage Award: Big 12 student-athletes who have earned 100 hours with a 3.8 GPA, be a letter winner and be in residence at their institutino for at least one academic year.
Suzy Boulavsky (volleyball), Ivy Brown (rowing), Natalie Crain (track and field), Molly Ferguson (track and field), Kelly Short (golf).