Wuerffel Trophy Winner
BRISTOL, Conn. – Stanford quarterback Isaiah Sanders was named the recipient of the 2021 Wuerffel Trophy on Thursday night during The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN. Sanders is just the second recipient from the Pac-12 Conference (Matt Barkley, USC, 2012).
"I am beyond honored to be awarded the 2021 Wuerffel Trophy," Sanders said. "I'm extremely grateful to God, my family, friends, coaches, and everybody else who has supported and encouraged me along this journey. I also want to thank Danny Wuerffel and the entire Wuerffel committee for this award. I look forward to joining the the Wuerffel Trophy family and to future opportunities to make a difference!"
The Wuerffel Trophy is awarded to the Football Bowl Subdivision football player who best exhibits exemplary community service, and was created in 2005 to inspire greater service in the world. The award exists to honor college football players who excel in Community Service and celebrate their positive impact on society.
"We are excited to announce that Isaiah Sanders is this year's recipient of the Wuerffel Trophy and are so honored to have him join our family of past recipients," said Danny Wuerffel. "His mindset and strong passion to serve others and inspire change where his platform allows, truly reflects what the Wuerffel Trophy is all about. We salute his accomplishments, and as he is an officer in the United States Air Force, we salute him literally as well. Also, I wish that we could present three Wuerffel trophies, because our other two finalists this year are so deserving as well – Nakobe Dean of Georgia and Patrick Fields of Oklahoma. Congratulations to all these amazing young men. We look forward to following their next chapters as they work to make our world a better place."
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.
"I am so proud of Isaiah for winning the Wuerffel Trophy," said Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football David Shaw. "His impact on our team over the last two seasons has been as significant as his impact on our community. His integrity, unselfishness and effort are impressive to witness every day. He has been a great example for the Air Force, an exemplary Stanford Man, and will represent the Wuerffel name with honor."
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 formal presentation of the 2021 Wuerffel Trophy to Sanders 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.
— Stanford Football (@StanfordFball) December 10, 2021
ABOUT THE WUERFFEL TROPHY
Established in 2005, the Wuerffel Trophy honors college football players who serve others, celebrate their impact, and inspire greater service in the world. A member of the National College Football Awards Association, the Wuerffel Trophy is presented annually to the FBS player who best combines exemplary community service with leadership achievement on and off the field. It is the first major award honoring the character of service to others.
The Wuerffel Trophy is named after Heisman Trophy winner, College Football Hall of Famer, former NFL quarterback, and renowned humanitarian Danny Wuerffel, whose life mission is to inspire greater service in the world. Wuerffel led the University of Florida to four SEC Championships and the Gators' first National Football Championship as the team's star quarterback. The 1996 Heisman Trophy winner set 17 NCAA and Florida records and won a myriad of other awards including the Maxwell Award, the Davey O'Brien Award, and The William V. Campbell Trophy, presented to the nation's top scholar-athlete. As a nationally recognized humanitarian, Wuerffel inspires leaders to use their influence to make a positive impact.