2023 Wuerffel Trophy Finalists Announced

The Wuerffel Foundation Announces Bertrand, Corum and McConkey As Finalists for the 2023 Wuerffel Trophy

Atlanta, GA – November 28, 2023 – The Wuerffel Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to inspire greater service and unity in our communities, today announced JD Bertrand, Notre Dame (SR LB), Blake Corum, Michigan (SR RB) and Ladd McConkey, Georgia (JR WR) as the three 2023 finalists for The Wuerffel Trophy.

 

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

JD Bertrand, Notre Dame (SR LB)

Notre Dame’s 2022 Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time team captain, JD Bertrand started volunteering when he was 3 years old for Must Ministries, as his family was instrumental in packing lunches at a church for those in need. His commitment to service never stopped, as Bertrand is serving his second term as 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗽𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗽𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁 of Uplifting Athletes, an organization that provides experiences for children with rare diseases. Due to his leadership, the chapter has raised over $100,000 for children served. He visits his local Ronald McDonald House each Friday before home football games, is an 𝗘𝗮𝗴𝗹𝗲 𝗦𝗰𝗼𝘂𝘁, and leverages his NIL deals to support these organizations in need.

Blake Corum, Michigan (SR RB)

A unanimous First-Team All-American in 2022, Corum says, “Football is my passion, but giving back is my purpose.” Highlights of his community service include leadership of his annual 𝗚𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗕𝗮𝗰𝗸 𝟮 𝗚𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗧𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗸𝘀 event, a Thanksgiving drive that provided 600 turkey meals in 2023 and over 1000 meals during his Michigan career; he hosts an annual 𝗕𝗖𝟮 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗵 𝗙𝗼𝗼𝘁𝗯𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗖𝗮𝗺𝗽 in his hometown in Virginia and is always a leader of community service projects when the team is on the road. Corum leverages NIL deals to support kids in underserved communities and was the recipient of the Bank of Ann Arbor 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗔𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗱 for his efforts to support families in need in neighboring Ypsilanti.

Ladd McConkey, Georgia (JR WR)

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 also supports kids being treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Georgia, is in the UGA 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽 𝗘𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗗𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹𝗼𝗽𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 (𝗟.𝗘.𝗔.𝗗) 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺, 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗰𝘁𝘀 𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗻 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗷𝗼𝘆 𝗼𝗳 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 and regularly assists programs that support food insecurity in underserved communities, among other community initiatives.

“Congratulations to Ladd, Blake, and JD for being named 2023 Wuerffel Trophy finalists. These amazing student-athletes are true servant leaders, and I am proud of the impact they have had serving their communities,” remarked Wuerffel. “We are honored to invite the final recipient to the Heisman Ceremony and Gala in New York City. Special thanks to our selection committee, who succeed each year at the challenging task of narrowing our list of 100+ FBS nominees to three finalists.”

Nominations for the Wuerffel Trophy were made by the respective universities’ Sports Information Departments. The formal announcement of the 2023 recipient is scheduled to be made on December 8th live, during The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN, and the formal presentation of the 2023 Wuerffel Trophy will take place February 17, 2024, at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, GA.

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