Kielan Whitner - Syracuse - Linebacker

Updated: Nov 19, 2018

Kielan Whitner has been a regular on the Dean’s List, is a six-time member of the Syracuse University's Athletic Director’s Honor Roll, a three-time ACC Honor Roll selection and a 2015 All-ACC Academic Football Team. Whitner not only leads the team in tackles, he is a leader off the field with multiple Mission trips to Haiti, raising money at “Lifts for Life”, being a Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and Team IMPACT member.


  • Dean's List (Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2017).

  • Six-time member of the SU Athletic Director's Honor Roll (min. 3.0 GPA).

  • Three-time ACC Honor Roll selection (min. 3.0 GPA for the academic year).

  • 2015 All-ACC Academic Football Team.


  • Named ACC Linebacker of the Week after making a career-best 11 tackles and causing a fumble in Syracuse's Sept. 15 win over Florida State.

  • Team's leading tackler in 2018 with 43 stops through five games .

  • Has more than 100 tackles in his career.


  • Eternal Hope for Haiti (2015 & 2017 Mission Trips) - Most recent trip was in December 2017. Whitner helped lead a group of volunteers in the construction of two orphanages and the distribution of free medical care to severely impoverished areas of the country.

  • Syracuse University chapter of the Uplifting Athletes (Public Relations Director: 2017-18): Helped organize the chapter's 2017 and 2018 "Lift for Life" events, which brought in more than $18,000 for rare-disease research and patient-focused programs. In 2017, the group raised more than $11,000. In 2018, the chapter raised more than $7,000.

  • Syracuse Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (2016) - Examines student-athlete life at Syracuse, gives feedback on ACC/NCAA legislation, organizes events for the student-athlete body, and acts as a liaison between student-athletes and administration. Whitner attended bi-weekly meetings and helped organize events.

  • For A Day Foundation (Team Member - 2018): Whitner makes periodic local hospital visits in Central New York to provide therapeutic experiences for sick children.

  • Team IMPACT (Player Captain - 2018): Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit that connects children facing serious or chronic illnesses with local college athletic teams. Whitner is the liaison between the football team and a little boy named Noah Satterlee, whom the team has "adopted." Noah occasionally attends practice and team meals. The goal is that the relationship enhances Noah's quality of life and provides life lessons and perspective to our student-athletes.

A member of the 2018 AFCA Good Works Team, Kielan's commitment and dedication to volunteerism and enriching the lives of others is an inspiration to everyone associated with the Syracuse football program.


Why was the Wuerffel Trophy created?  We felt that there was a void in major college football awards. Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel put it best when he wrote, “The Wuerffel. It’s about time. There’s an award for the best quarterback, best running back, wide receiver, best linebacker, best center and even best kicker and punter. Why not one for the best human being?”


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