West Virginia senior safety Osman Kamara is the 30th winner of the Tommy Nickolich Award, presented by the Blue & Gold News.
Since 1991 the winner of the award has been selected each spring by the Mountaineer coaching staff. It is awarded to a walk-on member of the football team who distinguishes himself with his attitude and work ethic. The award is presented in memory of Tommy Nickolich, a Fairmont, West Virginia, native and former WVU football walk-on (1979-82) who passed away as the result of cancer in 1983.
Kamara, a native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has carved a place for himself as a special teams stalwart for the Mountaineers. After redshirting during his freshman season of 2016, Kamara has played in 37 games for WVU. He has been a backup safety with spot duty in that role, but has been an anchor on special teams, seeing action on more than 535 plays over the past three years. He has seven tackles over that span, including a blocked punt against Oklahoma State in his redshirt freshman season.
“Osman is in our MBA program, he’s already graduated,” WVU head coach Neal Brown said. “He is going to be a big time success. He is not only going to help us on the football field this fall, but in life. He earned that on the field. He had already earned a scholarship.”
Brown cited one small, yet telling snapshot, of why he thinks Kamara has been successful on the field, and will be in the future.
“This is just one example. When we have special teams meetings I am so impressed with him. He’s sitting up at a desk every time with a pencil and taking notes. That’s just a brief idea who he is.
“It’s how he handles himself,” Brown continued. “He’s very aware and has great leadership skills. He communicates very well in all settings, and he’s extremely intelligent. I think he has a bright future.”
The Nickolich Award is typically presented prior to the spring Gold-Blue football game, but that event was cancelled this year due to the COVID-119 pandemic.