FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. The Wuerffel Trophy, presented by the Chick-fil-A® Foundation, announces the three finalists for the 2019 Wuerffel Trophy, known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service.”
The 2019 Wuerffel Trophy finalists, listed alphabetically by university are:
Derrick Brown, Auburn University, senior, defensive line
Isaiah Sanders, United States Air Force Academy, senior, quarterback
Jon Wassink, Western Michigan University, senior, quarterback
Sanders has been active in the football team as a motivational leaders while starting games each of the last two seasons. He serves as the team’s community service representative, and has helped coordinate and participate in a service event where team members fix up a playground for a local childcare organization. He has also served as the cadet-in-charge of our Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) group, which has reached up to approximately 50-60 cadets in attendance and meets weekly, by helping plan events and run weekly meetings.
Sanders is also the vice president of Undivided, a non-profit that focuses on strengthening communities and on helping community members create positive change in their spheres of influence. He has gone out in the community, whether at local high schools’ FCA events, retreats, or the Academy’s SPIRE groups, and performed personal spoken word pieces and/or presented biblically-related messages for an estimated 1,000-plus people within the past two years. He was also the keynote/featured speaker at a retreat for high schoolers looking to go deeper in their faith.
“This year’s process has been both inspiring and extraordinarily difficult,” said Danny Wuerffel. “So many quality young men playing college football are doing so many great things in their communities and around the world serving others. That’s the encouraging part. The extremely difficult part is narrowing it down to three finalists.”
The Wuerffel Trophy, named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel from the University of Florida, is awarded annually to the Football Bowl Subdivision player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement. Now celebrating its 15th year, the award has honored over 1,200 nominees since its inception in 2005.
Voting for the Wuerffel Trophy is performed by a national selection committee that includes college football television and print media, industry notables, former head coaches and prior Wuerffel Trophy recipients.
Nominations for the Wuerffel Trophy are made by the respective university Sports Information departments and closed on Oct. 15, 2019. The formal announcement of the 2019 Wuerffel Trophy recipient is scheduled to be made on Dec. 10, 2019 at the National Football Foundation's festivities in New York City.
The 2019 Wuerffel Trophy recipient will be interviewed on The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show on ESPNU and ESPN3 on Dec. 12, 2019, airing at 6 p.m. EST/5 p.m. CST, featuring interviews with award winners and finalists as they approach The Home Depot College Football Awards Show, the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience in downtown Atlanta, Georgia.
The presentation of the 2019 Wuerffel Trophy will occur at the 51st Annual All Sports Association Awards Banquet on Feb. 7, 2020 in Fort Walton Beach.
Past winners of the Wuerffel Trophy are: 2018 Drue Tranquill, University of Notre Dame; 2017 Courtney Love, University of Kentucky; 2016 Trevor Knight, Texas A&M University; 2015 Ty Darlington, University of Oklahoma; 2014 Deterrian Shackelford, University of Mississippi; 2013 Gabe Ikard, University of Oklahoma; 2012 Matt Barkley, University of Southern California; 2011 Barrett Jones, University of Alabama; 2010 Sam Acho, University of Texas; 2009 Tim Hiller, Western Michigan University; 2008 Tim Tebow, University of Florida; 2007 Paul Smith, University of Tulsa; 2006 Joel Penton, Ohio State University; and 2005 Rudy Niswanger, Louisiana State University.
The Wuerffel Trophy is presented by the Chick-fil-A Foundation, the corporate foundation of Chick-fil-A, Inc. A not-for-profit organization, the Foundation's purpose is to lead the company's commitment to support youth and education in Chick-fil-A's local communities. The Foundation's work is focused on developing and educating young people so they can build a positive legacy and become all they can be.