FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla – Tulsa quarterback Paul Smith has been named the winner of the third annual Wuerffel Trophy by the All Sports Association of Fort Walton Beach.
The Wuerffel Trophy is presented to the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.
Smith was named a first-team Academic All-America while maintaining a 3.84 GPA in communication.
On the field he was equally impressive throwing for a Conference USA record 4,327 yards and 39 touchdowns while passing for more than 300 yards in each of Tulsa’s regular season games. Smith was named the Conference USA Co-Offensive Player of the Year and garnered first-team All-Conference honors at quarterback.
Smith led the Golden Hurricane to a berth in the Conference USA championship game against Central Florida where he threw for an additional 426 yards and three touchdowns.
Although Tulsa lost the title game, the Golden Hurricane will play meet Bowling Green in the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Jan. 6, 2008.
“We are all thrilled to find out you won because this is an incredible, incredible year with so many finalists that are so deserving,” Wuerffel told Smith on Monday. “We are just thrilled to death to announce that you are the winner. My family and I are proud that you will be representing our family as the winner of the Wuerffel Trophy.
“In fact, both my mom (Lola) and dad (Jon), at different points made the comment that of all the candidates you reminded them the most of me. I don’t know whether that was good or bad, but according to them that was good, so congratulations Paul.”
Smith said he was excited and humbled to join past winners LSU’s Rudy Niswanger and Ohio State’s Joel Penton as a Wuerffel Trophy winner.
“This is the biggest thing (honor he could receive) just because of my knowledge of Danny Wuerffel and what this trophy is,” Smith said. “I was honored to be nominated and become a finalist. To be mentioned in the same sentence with those that have won it, or were even nominated for it, is probably one of the biggest accolades of my life, if not the biggest.”
“There’s no better person (than Danny Wuerffel) to model your life after, so I’m really excited.”
In addition to Smith’s achievements on the playing field and in the classroom, he is actively involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes having served as the Tulsa University FCA president the last three years.
He is a popular speaker and singer throughout the Tulsa area, and has participated in inner city ministry, and has been active in programs that educate young people so they can make positive choices about drugs and alcohol.
The Wuerffel Trophy will be presented to Smith at the 39th annual All Sports Association Awards Dinner to be held at the Emerald Coast Conference Center in Fort Walton Beach, Florida on February 15th, 2008. South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier will be the keynote speaker at the banquet