Wuerffel Trophy Announces Nominees for 2021

90 players receive consideration for award honoring college football’s top community servant

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. – October 21, 2021 – The Wuerffel Trophy announced its 2021 nomination list from college football’s Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).

The Wuerffel Trophy, known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service,” is presented each February in Northwest Florida. Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from the University of Florida, Danny Wuerffel, the Wuerffel Trophy exists to honor college football players who serve others, celebrate their positive impact on society, and inspire greater service in the world.

“It never ceases to amaze me how many of today’s student athletes continue to humbly serve others in their communities, and in some instances, around the world, said Wuerffel.  “Congratulations to these inspirational young men that make up our 2021 class of Wuerffel Trophy nominees.”

Notable returning nominees include 2019 finalist Isaiah Sanders of Stanford University (previously nominated by the United States Air Force Academy), along with 2020 semifinalists Mike Caliendo of Western Michigan University and Mac Brown of the University of Mississippi.

Also, returning are past nominees Chris Owens (University of Alabama), Holton Ahlers (East Carolina University), Hekili Keliiliki (University of Hawai’i), Brock Purdy (Iowa State University), Joshua Mode (Louisiana Tech University), Ben Stille (Nebraska), Swayze Bozeman (University of Southern Mississippi), Kingsley Jonathan (Syracuse University), Bailey Flint (University of Toledo), and Chris Paul (University of Tulsa).

For a complete list of 2021 Wuerffel Trophy nominations, please click HERE or visit http://wuerffeltrophy.org/nominees/.

Nominations for the Wuerffel Trophy are made by the respective universities’ Sports Information departments and closed on October 15. Semifinalists for the award will be announced on November 3 and finalists will be announced on November 23.

The formal announcement of the 2021 recipient will be made on December 9 on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN and the presentation of the 2021 Wuerffel Trophy will occur on February 25, 2022 at the 53rd All Sports Association Awards Banquet in Fort Walton Beach.

Past recipients of the award are:  Rudy Niswanger – Louisiana State University – 2005; Joel Penton – Ohio State University – 2006; Paul Smith – University of Tulsa – 2007; Tim Tebow – University of Florida – 2008; Tim Hiller – Western Michigan University – 2009; Sam Acho – University of Texas – 2010; Barrett Jones – University of Alabama – 2011; Matt Barkley – University of Southern California – 2012; Gabe Ikard – University of Oklahoma – 2013; Deterrian Shackelford – University of Mississippi – 2014; Ty Darlington – University of Oklahoma – 2015; Trevor Knight – Texas A&M University – 2016; Courtney Love – University of Kentucky; 2017; Drue Tranquill - University of Notre Dame; 2018; Jon Wassink - Western Michigan University – 2019; Teton Saltes – University of New Mexico – 2020.

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 25 awards now boast more than 800 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.


Tom Brassell, tombrassell@wuerffeltrophy.org


Shannon Donohue, wuerffelfoundation@berkcommunications.com