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Danny Carollo Nominated for Holder of the Year

SB Nation logo SB Nation 11/17/2019 Travis Miller
a baseball player holding a bat © Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Yes, Holder of the Year is a real thing.

Every position in college football has an ward watch list. Punters get the Ray Guy Award. Kickers get the Groza Award. Even longsnappers have the Patrick Mannelly Award. While none of these awards hold a candle to the Piesman Trophy, it is great to see unsung heroes get some deserved recognition. The Holder of the year is the Mortell Award, and it has been given to the nation’s best holder on placekicks sicne 2015, when it was given to its namesake Peter Mortell at Minnesota.

This year Purdue’s Danny Carollo has been named a smeifinalist:

Mortell himself has a great story behind the award:

The next week, Mortell paired up with the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s hospital. He launched a fundraiser called, “A Very Specialist Christmas” where, the self-proclaimed (but critically acclaimed) Holder of the Year set out to raise money for the hospital’s teenage patients who would be spending their Christmas in a hospital room.

What happened next was astonishing.

Mortell set a lofty $10,000 goal. However, the former walk-on greatly underestimated the community’s willingness to support this cause. The goal was achieved 8 hours later, and a new one was soon established. Goals were set and reached four more times that week, before concluding at approximately $30,000, triple of the original goal. Over 350 people donated to his cause, many of whom wrote, “I only heard about you last week through the Holder of the Year Award, however, I’d very much like to contribute to your special cause.”

Carollo is one of 23 semifinalists, and here is what he had to say:

Here is hoping Danny brings this home because his hopes for the Ray Guy are... not great.

Seriously though, congratulations, Danny, and LACES OUT, DAN! Also, Danny could still be a bowl MVP, as he is currently the No. 3 QB on the depth chart and, at the rate we’re losing guys, might be starting by the IU game.

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