FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. – Stanford quarterback Isaiah Sanders was named one of 12 semifinalists for the 2021 Wuerffel Trophy on Wednesday. Sanders, a graduate transfer from the Air Force Academy, is studying for his master's in management science and engineering. He was previously a finalist for the award in 2019 while at Air Force.
Sanders is one of the most dedicated servants both on and off the field. While dealing with the COVID-19 global pandemic throughout his entire career at Stanford, Sanders has still found creative ways to volunteer in the community. He recently launched a program called "Adopt-A-Cardinal" which will pair a Stanford football player or position group with a local classroom. Sanders is paired with Ms. Holder's fourth-grade class at East Palo Alto charter.
Sanders is commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. In addition to his "Adopt-A-Cardinal" program, he has regularly read to local classrooms – whether over zoom or in person. He most recently was in the community yesterday talking to students about the importance of voting for Civic Engagement Day.
The Wuerffel Trophy, known as "College Football's Premier Award for Community Service," is presented annually to the Football Bowl Subdivision player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement. Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback from the University of Florida, Danny Wuerffel, the Wuerffel Trophy exists to honor college football players who serve others, celebrate their positive impact on society, and inspire greater service in the world. The award has honored over 1,400 nominees since its inception in 2005.
"Once again, I'm amazed by the quality of the student athletes who impact and influence others in their communities," said Danny Wuerffel. "We are so excited for these young men who represent the best in serving others and inspiring others to follow their lead. Congratulations to the 2021 Wuerffel Trophy semifinalists."
Nominations for the Wuerffel Trophy are made by the respective universities' Sports Information departments and closed on October 15. The three finalists for the award will be announced on November 23.
The formal announcement of the 2021 recipient will be made on December 9 on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on ESPN and the presentation of the 2021 Wuerffel Trophy will occur on February 25, 2022 at the 53rd All Sports Association Awards Banquet in Fort Walton Beach.
Past recipients of the award are:?Rudy Niswanger – Louisiana State University - 2005; Joel Penton - Ohio State University - 2006; Paul Smith – University of Tulsa - 2007; Tim Tebow – University of Florida - 2008; Tim Hiller - Western Michigan University - 2009; Sam Acho – University of Texas - 2010; Barrett Jones – University of Alabama - 2011; Matt Barkley – University of Southern California - 2012; Gabe Ikard – University of Oklahoma - 2013; Deterrian Shackelford – University of Mississippi - 2014; Ty Darlington – University of Oklahoma - 2015; Trevor Knight - Texas A&M University - 2016; Courtney Love – University of Kentucky;?2017; Drue Tranquill -?University of Notre Dame;?2018; Jon Wassink -?Western Michigan University – 2019; Teton Saltes – University of New Mexico - 2020.