It was announced Tuesday that Notre Dame linebacker and captain Drue Tranquill was named the 2018 Wuerffel Trophy winner, which recognizes exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.
The Wuerffel Trophy, which is widely regarded as the premier college football award for community service, academic excellence, leadership and on-field play, is named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback and University of Florida alum Danny Wuerffel.
Tranquill, an Academic All-American, has taken part in a number of off-field community service programs according to the University of Notre Dame, including serving as a mentor for the Core Leadership Team for Lifeworks Ministry, is a member of Notre Dame Christian Athletes, Team Fellowship, AWP Sports in his native Fort Wayne, and is an athlete ambassador for Dream Teams. He is a also member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and Rosenthal Leadership Academy. In addition, he created the “5th Quarter” post-game event, giving him the opportunity to share his story of perseverance with the South Bend community at the Granger Oasis Church.
On the field, Tranquill has been outstanding this year, as he helped Notre Dame to a 12-0 record and the first playoff birth for the Fighting Irish. This season alone, Tranquill has 75 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 3 pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. For his career, Tranquill has amassed nearly 300 total tackles, 5.5 sacks and 3 interceptions.
About The Wuerffel Trophy
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?” For us, Danny Wuerffel is the perfect person to have this award named after. He represents that which is good in the world, and truly dedicates his life to community service in the highest form. Danny embodies the three categories of the award: Academics, Athletics and Community Service.
The Wuerffel Trophy is the only major college football award that places the majority of its voting emphasis on Community Service. Danny said of his feelings of the Wuerffel Trophy upon inception, “It will inspire other people to be community minded, to live for others, to sacrifice their own interests for the benefit of the community and other people.”
Past winners of the Wuerffel Trophy are: 2017 Courtney Lewis, 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 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 Company and Herff Jones.
For more information on the Wuerffel Trophy, visit www.wuerffeltrophy.org.