Air Force senior tight end Travis Dekker has been named one of 13 finalists for the 2008 Wuerffel Trophy, a national award that honors the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with outstand academic and athletic achievement.
Dekker returned to the lineup for the Navy game after missing the first four games of the season due to a broken ankle. His impact was felt immediately, as he tied for the team lead in receptions with three for 32 yards. His return also sparked a season high 184 yards passing for Air Force. Dekker added a career-long catch of 59 yards vs. UNLV and made a highlight film leap over a defender attempting to make the tackle. He added his first touchdown of the season with a one-yard catch vs. New Mexico. Dekker added a four-yard TD catch vs. Colorado State.
Dekker finished third on the team last season with 25 catches for 382 yards. His 25 receptions were the most by a Falcon tight end since Trent Van Hulzen had 26 in 1989.
Dekker, who has been accepted into the Georgetown Medical School, has been a standout off the field as well. He is one of 71 nominees for the 71st annual Allstate American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team. The Good Works Team recognizes this group of committed and hard-working players for their off-the-field achievements. He is also one of semifinalists for the 2008 Draddy Trophy, presented by HealthSouth, and the candidates for the 2008 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards as well as one of 30 Division I football players chosen as a candidate for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.
The finalists, who were nominated by their school’s sports information directors are listed below (alphabetically by university):
Travis Dekker, TE, Air Force Todd Peterson, WR, Nebraska
Tim Tebow, QB, Florida Justin Paysinger, C, San Jose State
Austin Starr, PK, Indiana Graham Harrell, QB, Texas Tech
Mike Rivera, LB, Kansas Will Chambliss, OL, Troy
Tim Masthay, PK, Kentucky Louis Sakoda, PK, Utah
Quin Harris, LB, Louisiana Tech Tim Hiller, QB, Western Michigan
Chase Daniel, QB, Missouri
The Wuerffel Trophy will be presented to the winner at the All Sports Association’s 40th Annual Awards Banquet on Feb. 20, 2009.