University of Georgia’s Ladd McConkey Selected as the 2023 Wuerffel Trophy Recipient

University of Georgia’s Ladd McConkey

Selected as the 2023 Wuerffel Trophy Recipient –  

College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service

Two-Time National Champion Recognized for Philanthropic Efforts

Atlanta, GA – December 8, 2023 – The Wuerffel Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to inspire greater service and unity in our communities, today announced Ladd McConkey, Georgia (Junior, WR) as the recipient for The Wuerffel Trophy. McConkey was recognized during The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN, and the Chatsworth, GA native will be presented his official award on February 17, 2024, at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, GA.

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.

While winning back-to-back-National Championships and scoring 2 TDs in the 2022 game is the pinnacle of a student-athlete’s career accomplishments, what Ladd McConkey does off the field is just as impressive. From supporting Georgia DFCS and Elks Aidmore Therapeutic Care, who provide therapeutic services and other resources for foster children, he supports kids being treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Georgia. He is also in the UGA Leadership Education and Development (L.E.A.D.) program, where he connects children with the joy of reading and regularly assists programs that support food insecurity in underserved communities, among other community initiatives.

A member of the Gridiron Honor Society, Ladd graduated Magna Cum Laude in 3 years, with a Bachelor of Business Administration majoring in Finance and is currently enrolled in the Entrepreneurship Certificate. He was also recently named a finalist for the 2023 William V. Campbell Trophy, honoring scholar-athletes. On the field, McConkey is one of the most talented wide receivers in the country.  During his freshman campaign he had 31 receptions for 447 yards and 5 TDs and followed that up in his sophomore season with 58 receptions for 772 yards and 7 TDs, highlighted by two scores in the National Championship game victory against TCU. While battling injuries this year, he has 29 receptions for 456 yards and 2 TDs and is currently planning an appearance in the Orange Bowl. He was a 2022 Coaches All-SEC Second Team and 2021 Coaches Freshman All-SEC Team.

“While Ladd is a two-time National Champion, and one the most accomplished wide receivers in the country, his selflessness and commitment to make a difference in the lives of others is truly remarkable,” said Danny Wuerffel. “With most major awards based on athletic achievement and statistics, it’s a privilege to recognize him for his philanthropic efforts, as Ladd continues to make a meaningful impact in his surrounding communities.”

Added Wuerffel, “The selection committee had such a difficult job this year, as 2023 Wuerffel Trophy Finalists included a First Team All-American in Blake Corum and a Defensive Player of the Year in JD Bertrand, both incredibly talented athletes, who are equally impressive young men off the field.”

Nominations for the Wuerffel Trophy were made by the respective universities’ Sports Information Departments.

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.

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ABOUT THE WUERFFEL TROPHY
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