One of 12 finalists will be named college football’s top community leader
IRVING, Texas (Nov. 25, 2014) – The National Football Foundation (NFF) announced today that the winner the of the Wuerffel Trophy, which is presented by the All Sports Association in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and honors the college football player who best exhibits exemplary community service, will be announced during the NFF morning press conference as part of the festivities surrounding the NFF Annual Awards Dinner in New York City on Dec. 9.
“We are extremely pleased to share our spotlight with the Wuerffel Trophy on Dec. 9,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “The Wuerffel Trophy represents everything right with college football, and Danny Wuerffel holds a special connection to the NFF as the first person in history to claim the William V. Campbell Trophy, the nation’s premier scholar-athlete award, and then subsequently earn induction in to the College Football Hall of Fame. The candidates for this award, like its namesake, are all leaders in the community, which is an attribute that the NFF works hard to promote. It’s a natural fit for us to collaborate with the All Sports Association to support the ideals of the award.”
The 2014 Wuerffel Trophy finalists, listed alphabetically by university, are:
- Taylor Kelly – Arizona State University – quarterback
- Bryce Haynes – Ohio State University – long snapper
- Sam Rodgers – Syracuse University – long snapper
- Chris Conley – University of Georgia – wide receiver
- Brennen Beyer – University of Michigan – defensive end
- Deterrian Shackelford – University of Mississippi – linebacker
- Ameer Abdullah – University of Nebraska – running back
- Trevor Knight – University of Oklahoma – quarterback
- Dylan Thompson – University of South Carolina – quarterback
- Corey Acosta – University of Southern Mississippi – place kicker
- Greg Mancz – University of Toledo – center
- Andrew East – Vanderbilt University – long snapper
“Each year I’m amazed by the quality of student-athletes who are nominated by their schools, and this year is no different,” said Wuerffel, who will attend the press conference to announce the winner. “Not only is it very difficult to pick a winner, it’s even a struggle to select the finalists. In a time when so much negative attention gets directed to a few players and their poor choices, it’s refreshing to see the positive impact these young men are having in their communities.”
Wuerffel owns one of the most impressive résumés in all of college football history, claiming the Heisman Trophy and quarterbacking the University of Florida to four SEC championships and the 1996 national title. Wuerffel currently heads the Desire Street Ministries in Decatur, Ga., training leaders to transform impoverished neighborhoods through spiritual and community development, and he has received national recognition for his humanitarian and community service efforts.
“This year we had a record number of universities nominating their athletes,” said Tom Brassell, executive director of the Wuerffel Trophy. “It just continues to amaze us to see what good things so many of these young men are doing in serving others in their communities and around the world.”
A football player is nominated for the Wuerffel Trophy by his university or college sports information director or football liaison. A committee, which includes the Wuerffel Trophy national directors, selection committee members and past winners, will vote on the finalists later this month, and the winner will be formally announced on Dec. 9, 2014. The 2014 Wuerffel Trophy will be presented to the winner at the All Sports Association’s 46th Annual Awards Banquet on Feb. 13, 2015, in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
About the Wuerffel Trophy
The Wuerffel Trophy is college football’s premier award for community service. The All Sports Association presents the Wuerffel Trophy to the Football Bowl Subdivision football player who best exhibits exemplary community service, along with qualifying academic and athletic achievement. As the trophy namesake, Danny Wuerffel embodies the three categories of the award: Community Service, Academics and Athletics. Past winners of the Wuerffel Trophy are: 2013 Gabe Ikard, University of Oklahoma; 2012 Matt Barkley, University of Southern California; 2011 Barrett Jones, University of Alabama; 2010 Sam Acho, University of Texas; 2009 Tim Hiller, Western Michigan University; 2008 Tim Tebow, University of Florida; 2007 Paul Smith, University of Tulsa; 2006 Joel Penton, Ohio State University; and 2005 Rudy Niswanger, Louisiana State University. Learn more at www.wuerffeltrophy.org.
ABOUT The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, the NFF Leadership Hall of Fame, the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards presented by Fidelity Investments, the NFF High School Showcases, the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, the NFF Faculty Salute Initiative presented by Fidelity Investments, the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Alumni Association, and scholarships of more than $1.3 million for college and high school scholar-athletes. The NFF also collaborates with the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) to release the FWAA-NFF Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll; awards The William V. Campbell Trophy presented by Fidelity Investments and prominently displayed at its official home inside the New York Athletic Club; and bestows several other major awards at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner. NFF corporate partners include the Allstate Sugar Bowl, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, the Sports Business Journal and Under Armour. Learn more at www.footballfoundation.org.
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