2017 Semifinalists 2017-11-02T07:52:49+00:00

For Immediate Release

Wuerffel Trophy Announces 2017 Semifinalists

11 Players in Consideration for College Football’s Top Community Service Award

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. — Nov. 2, 2017 — The Wuerffel Trophy announces the eleven semifinalists for the 2017 Wuerffel Trophy, known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service,” which is presented annually in Fort Walton Beach.

“Each year I’m amazed by the quality of student athletes who are nominated by their schools, and this year is no different,” said Danny Wuerffel. “Not only is it very difficult to pick a winner, it’s also a struggle to select the semifinalists. In a time when so much negative attention gets directed to a few players and their poor choices, it’s refreshing to see the positive impact these young men are having in their communities.”

The Wuerffel Trophy, named after Wuerffel, the 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback from the University of Florida, is awarded to the Football Bowl Subdivision player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

The 2017 Wuerffel Trophy Semifinalists, listed alphabetically by university, are:

Blaise Taylor, Arkansas State University, senior, defensive back
Daniel Carlson, Auburn University, senior, kicker
Gabe Brandner, Duke University, senior, offensive line
Brent Stockstill, Middle Tennessee State University, junior, quarterback
A.J. Cole, III, North Carolina State University, junior, punter
Harrison Phillips, Stanford University, senior, defensive line
Frank Ragnow, University of Arkansas, senior, offensive line
Courtney Love, University of Kentucky, senior, linebacker
Drue Tranquill, University of Notre Dame, senior, linebacker
Brian O’Neill, University of Pittsburgh, junior, offensive line
Tommy Openshaw, Vanderbilt University, senior, kicker

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. Three finalists will be announced on Nov. 22, 2017, and the formal announcement of the 2017 Wuerffel Trophy recipient will be on Dec. 5, 2017, at the National Football Foundation’s press conference in New York City.

The 2017 Wuerffel Trophy winner will be invited to attend “The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show” on ESPNU and ESPN3 on Dec. 7, 2017, 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 College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. The presentation of the 2017 Wuerffel Trophy will occur at the 49th Annual All Sports Association Awards Banquet on Feb. 16, 2018, in Fort Walton Beach.

Past winners of the Wuerffel Trophy are: 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 a member of the National College Football Awards Association, which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 23 awards boast more than 700 years of tradition-selection excellence. For more information, go to www.NCFAA.org.

The Wuerffel Trophy is supported by its corporate partners, Dart Container Corporation/Solo Cup and Herff Jones.

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Contact: Tom Brassell, tombrassell@wuerffeltrophy.org, 850-585-5512