What is the Wuerffel Trophy?

What is the Wuerffel Trophy? Taking a closer look at a prestigious college football award that recognizes the work off the field as much as on the field.

Most college football awards and honors are for athletic achievements on the football field. The Wuerffel Trophy, however, is an honor bestowed to a college athlete for contributions off the football field.

What is the Wuerffel Trophy exactly, and how have the recipients impacted the lives of many?

What is the Wuerffel Trophy?

The Wuerffel Trophy is considered by many to be the premier college football award for community service. The trophy itself is named after former Florida Gators QB Danny Wuerffel.

Wuerffel became a Gator legend as he won the Heisman Trophy in 1996 while leading Florida to a national title. He completed a remarkable college career with many records and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2013.

As great a player as Wuerffel was on the field, the Florida signal-caller made a far more significant impact off the field. Following his selection in the NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints, Wuerffel would devote his time after practice to Desire Street Ministries, serving in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward.

Following his football career, Wuerffel felt so called by Desire Street Ministries that he became their Executive Director. Under Wuerffel’s leadership, Desire Street Ministries would grow to support leaders and ministries in under-resourced neighborhoods.

Wuerffel has established The Wuerffel Foundation to inspire greater service and unity in communities.

Renowned sculptor W. Stanley “Sandy” Proctor crafted the bronze trophy.

Who is given the Wuerffel Trophy?

In 2005, the Wuerffel Trophy was created to honor those who serve others on and off the football field. There is a process candidates must adhere to to be considered for the Wuerffel Trophy.

  • Community service may be local, statewide, national, or international
  • A University contact must verify the community service. (Sports Information Directors)
  • Community service must be sustained, documented, and measurable to others in need
  • The student-athlete should maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Additional weight could be given to a particular University or field of study
  • Must be a first-team player on a FBS school
  • An All-Conference or All-American designation may add additional weight
  • Nominations must be submitted by FBS sports information/media relations staff to be considered
  • The Wuerffel Trophy nomination period begins August 7 and extends to October 16
  • No public nominations are to be accepted

Here are the previous winners of the Wuerffel Trophy:

  • 2022: Dillan Gibbons, OG- Florida State Seminoles
  • 2021: Isaiah Sanders, QB- Stanford Cardinal
  • 2020: Teton Saltes, OL- New Mexico Lobos
  • 2019: Jon Wassink, QB- Western Michigan Broncos
  • 2018: Drue Tranquill, LB- Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  • 2017: Courtney Love, LB- Kentucky Wildcats
  • 2016: Trevor Knight, QB- Texas A&M Aggies
  • 2015: Ty Darlington, OC- Oklahoma Sooners
  • 2014: Deterrian Shackelford, LB- Ole Miss Rebels
  • 2013: Gabe Ikard, OC- Oklahoma Sooners
  • 2012: Matt Barkley, QB- USC Trojans
  • 2011: Barrett Jones, OC- Alabama Crimson Tide
  • 2010: Sam Acho, LB- Texas Longhorns
  • 2009: Tim Willer, QB- Western Michigan Broncos
  • 2008: Tim Tebow, QB- Florida Gators
  • 2007: Paul Smith, QB- Tulsa Golden Hurricane
  • 2006: Joel Penton, DL/LB- Ohio State Buckeyes
  • 2005: Rudy Niswanger, OC- LSU Tigers

When is the Wuerffel Trophy Given Out?

While the watchlist for the Wuerffel Trophy is dished out early in the offseason, the nomination window is from August 7 to October 16. The semifinalists for the Wuerrfel Trophy are announced on November 2 while the finalists are announced on November 28.

The winner of the Wuerffel Trophy will be announced during The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on December 7. The presentation of the Wuerffel Trophy is scheduled for February 2024 at the 55th Annual All Sports Association Awards Banquet in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.