Published: Dec 19, 2011 7:34 PM EST
Updated: Dec 20, 2011 7:32 AM EST

DALLAS (AP) - Michigan State offensive lineman Arthur Ray has won the Courage Award given by the Football Writers Association of America for his comeback from cancer.

Ray signed with Michigan State as a highly recruited lineman from Chicago in 2007, but was soon diagnosed with cancer in his left leg.

He had nine surgeries - including four bone grafts - underwent chemotherapy and dealt with several outbreaks of infection. For almost two years, he was unable to walk without crutches.

Last April, doctors cleared him to resume football, and he played in three games this season for Michigan State.

The award, sponsored by the Orange Bowl, will be presented Jan. 4 in Miami.