2023 Wuerffel Trophy Semifinalists Announced

The Wuerffel Foundation Announces Eight Semifinalists for 2023 Wuerffel Trophy – College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service

Atlanta, GA – November 2, 2023 – The Wuerffel Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to inspire greater service and unity in our communities, today announced The Wuerffel Trophy semifinalists for the 2023 season, consisting of eight student-athletes from college football’s Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service, and one of the most meaningful awards in collegiate sports, The Wuerffel Trophy is named after Danny Wuerffel, the 1996 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from the University of Florida who pivoted his success on the football field into a lifetime of service. The Wuerffel Trophy embodies Danny’s commitment to being a humanitarian, while honoring student-athletes who serve others and make a positive impact on society.


The 2023 Wuerffel Trophy semifinalists listed alphabetically by university:

  • Matthew Cindric, California, Senior, Offensive Line
  • Will Shipley, Clemson, Junior, Running Back
  • Ja’Mion Franklin, Duke, Graduate Student, Defensive Tackle
  • Derek Wingo, Florida, Junior, Linebacker
  • Ladd McConkey, Georgia, Junior, Wide Receiver
  • Blake Corum, Michigan, Senior, Running Back
  • JD Bertrand, Notre Dame, Senior, Linebacker
  • Zach Frazier, West Virginia, Junior, Center

Nominations for the Wuerffel Trophy were made by the respective universities’ Sports Information Departments. Matthew Cindric, a senior offensive lineman from California, is the only repeat semi-finalist from 2022. Finalists will be announced on November 28th. The formal announcement of the 2023 recipient is scheduled to be made on December 8th during The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN, and the presentation of the 2023 Wuerffel Trophy will take place February 17, 2024, at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, GA.

“These semifinalists are an amazing group of student athletes. They impact their colleges, local communities and beyond—an inspiring group of young men,” said Wuerffel.

Offensive lineman Dillan Gibbons of Florida State University was the 2022 recipient of the Wuerffel Trophy. Like Gibbons, the 2023 recipient will join Wuerffel in New York City to attend the Heisman Trophy ceremonies, including the press conference, televised announcement, and the Heisman Gala.

Past recipients of the Wuerffel Trophy include Rudy Niswanger – LSU – 2005; Joel Penton – Ohio State – 2006; Paul Smith – Tulsa – 2007; Tim Tebow – Florida – 2008; Tim Hiller – Western Michigan – 2009; Sam Acho – Texas – 2010; Barrett Jones – Alabama – 2011; Matt Barkley – USC – 2012; Gabe Ikard – Oklahoma – 2013; Deterrian Shackelford – Ole Miss – 2014; Ty Darlington – Oklahoma – 2015; Trevor Knight – Texas A&M – 2016; Courtney Love – Kentucky - 2017; Drue Tranquill – Notre Dame – 2018; Jon Wassink – Western Michigan – 2019; Teton Saltes – New Mexico – 2020; Isaiah Sanders – Stanford– 2021 and Dillan Gibbons – Florida State – 2022.

The Wuerffel Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 24 awards now boast more than 900 recipients, dating back to 1935. For more information on the NCFAA, visit NCFAA.org.

The Wuerffel Trophy is supported by its corporate partners Dart Container Corporation/Solo Cup and Herff Jones.


Established in 2005, the Wuerffel Trophy honors college football players who serve others, celebrate their impact, and inspire greater service in the world.  A member of the National College Football Awards Association, the Wuerffel Trophy is presented annually to the FBS player who best combines exemplary community service with leadership achievement on and off the field.  It is the first major award honoring the character of service to others.

The Wuerffel Trophy is named after Heisman Trophy winner, College Football Hall of Famer, former NFL quarterback, and renowned humanitarian Danny Wuerffel, whose life mission is to inspire greater service in the world. Wuerffel led the University of Florida to four SEC Championships and the Gators’ first National Football Championship as the team’s star quarterback. The 1996 Heisman Trophy winner set 17 NCAA and Florida records and won a myriad of other awards including the Maxwell Award, the Davey O’Brien Award, and The William V. Campbell Trophy, presented to the nation’s top scholar-athlete. As a nationally recognized humanitarian, Wuerffel inspires leaders to use their influence to make a positive impact and currently serves as President of the Wuerffel Foundation. 

For more information, please visit wuerffeltrophy.org.

Wuerffel Trophy Contact
James Gadsby, jg@wuerffelfoundation.org

Media Contact
Ari Edelman, aedelman@mastrocomm.com (908) 313-7861