Friday February 8, 20132012 Wuerffel Trophy Presented to USC's Matt Barkley
Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
The 2012 Wuerffel Trophy was presented to USC quarterback Matt Barkley on Friday night at the Fort Walton Beach All-Sports Association’s 44th Annual Awards Banquet. The award honors the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with outstanding academic and athletic achievement.
The award is named after former Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel, who led the Florida Gators to the 1996 national championship, played six years in the National Football League and has received national recognition for his humanitarian and community service efforts with Desire Street Ministries in New Orleans and around the country.
Past winners of the award, which was first handed out in 2005, include Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, Texas defensive end Sam Acho and Alabama offensive lineman Barrett Jones, who won the award last year.
Barkley, a senior whose career total of 116 touchdowns places him first in Pac-12 history, was chosen by the All-Sports Association’s Wuerffel Trophy committee over seven other finalists: BYU quarterback Riley Nelson, Central Michigan wide receiver Cody Wilson, Florida State kicker Dustin Hopkins, Georgia QB Aaron Murray, Kentucky center Matt Smith, Ohio State punter Ben Buchanan and Oklahoma offensive lineman Gabe Ikard.
In the end, Barkley was chosen for his dedication in the classroom and away from the field, where the Los Angeles native has worked tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of others.
“This is amazing,” said Barkley. “Danny Wuerffel is a guy who has represented college football as well as it can be represented. He’s a tremendous human being and he’s probably the best example of what an all-around student-athlete can really be. It’s humbling.”
For Wuerffel, who led the Florida Gators to the 1996 national championship in his Heisman-winning season, the choice of Barkley was welcome news.
“Not only is Matt a phenomenal quarterback, he’s also an exceptional person,” said Wuerffel. “From the things he has done off the field to the way that he’s given of himself completely, he deserves every honor that comes his way. I’m proud to welcome him and he will be a fine member of the Wuerffel Trophy family.”