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Danny Wuerffel's Message to the Fans
Daniel Carl Wuerffel (born May 27, 1974 in Pensacola, Florida) is a former American football player who won the 1996 Heisman Trophy while playing quarterback at the University of Florida under coach Steve Spurrier. He later played for several NFL teams, retiring in 2002.
Since retiring from football Wuerffel has been engaged in charitable work in New Orleans.
Quarterback Jersey #(s):
Born: May 27, 1974 (1974-05-27) (age 33)
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
NFL Draft: 1997 / Round: 4 / Pick: 99
New Orleans Saints (1997-2000)
Rhein Fire (Europe) (2000)
Green Bay Packers (2000)
Chicago Bears (2001)
Washington Redskins (2002)
QB Rating 56.4
Stats at NFL.com
Career Highlights and Awards
1995 Davey O'Brien Award
1996 Davey O'Brien Award
1996 Draddy Trophy
1996 Heisman Trophy
1996 Johnny Unitas Award
1996 Maxwell Award
1996 Walter Camp Award
World Bowl VIII MVP
Wuerffel is a military brat being the son of a Lutheran chaplain in the United States Air Force. He lived in South Carolina, Spain, Nebraska, and Colorado before attending Fort Walton Beach High School where he was a standout in football and basketball. In football, he led the Vikings to an undefeated season as a senior while winning the Florida AAAA state football championship in 1991 and #2 national ranking in USA Today. His coach, Jimmy Ray Stephens, became responsible for protecting Wuerffel on the field after being hired as the offensive line coach at Florida. His teammate and friend, wide receiver E.G. Green, would go on to star at Florida State University under coach Bobby Bowden.
Wuerffel attended the University of Florida and was a good student and a good athlete. The most decorated player in Florida's football history, Wuerffel won the 1996 Heisman Trophy while quarterbacking the Gators to the consensus national championship. He led the Florida Gators to four consecutive Southeastern Conference titles between 1993 and 1996, and the 1996 National Championship, won in decisive fashion (52-20) over archrival Florida State University at the 1997 Nokia Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is the only Heisman Trophy recipient to receive the Draddy, which is presented by the National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame to the nation’s top football scholar-athlete
Wuerffel First-team All-America selection in 1995 and 1996 and two-time recipient of the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's top college quarterback both of those seasons. Also awarded the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award award as the nation's top senior quarterback. In 1995 he also was awarded the Sammy Baugh Trophy, emblematic of the nation's top collegiate passer. Named to the Gainesville Sun’s UF Team of the Century in 1999 and was chosen the century’s top Gator offensive player by that publication. Also a member of the Florida Gator's 100th Anniversary Team, which was chosen in 2006.
He finished his Gator career by completing 708 of 1,170 passes for 10,875 yards with 114 TD passes, the best in SEC history and second-most in major college history. His career pass efficiency rating of 163.56 was the best in major college history and his percentage of passes which went for a TD (9.74) ranked first in collegiate history. In 1995, his efficiency rating of 178.4 set a single-season collegiate record. During his Heisman-winning season of 1996, he completed 207 of 360 passes for 3,625 yards (an SEC record at the time) for 39 TDs (leading the nation and tops in SEC history) and his efficiency rating of 170.6 made him the first QB to ever post a rating of 170 or better in back-to-back years.
Known for clamping his hands together after throwing touchdowns, Wuerffel made his religious faith known throughout his college career.
Career stats at Florida
Most Pass Attempts
Career : 1,169
Season : 360 (1996)
Game : 50 (1993) at Auburn
Most Pass Completions
Career : 708
Season : 210 (1995)
Game : 29 (1995) vs. Tennessee
Most Pass Yards
Career : 10,875
Season : 3,625 (1996)
Game : 462 (1996) vs. Arkansas
His National Football League career was significantly less successful. After playing seven seasons in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, and Washington Redskins, Wuerffel retired. One highlight of his professional career was winning the MVP award in World Bowl 2000 while playing for Rhein Fire in NFL Europe (the game was won by Fire 13-10 over the Scottish Claymores).
Life after the NFL
Wuerffel began work at Desire Street Ministries, a non-profit faith-based organization focusing on spiritual and community development in one of the poorest areas of New Orleans. He also speaks to college groups, such as the University of Florida Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In 2004 Wuerffel co-authored a book called Tales from the Gator Swamp, in which he covers his college football career at Florida.
For his exemplary achievements on and off the field, the All Sports Association of Fort Walton Beach created the Wuerffel Trophy in his honor in 2005. It is to be awarded annually to the athlete who best exemplifies the character and play on the field that Wuerffel achieved. . Due to his student-athlete accomplishments, moral integrity, and spiritual inspiration, a small stretch of road between the Mid-Bay Bridge and Highway 98 in Destin has been dedicated Danny Wuerffel Way by the Florida state legislature.
Hurricane Katrina destroyed Wuerffel's home and Desire Street Ministries. He has made national news with his calls to action and plans to rebuild Desire Street Ministries and New Orleans.
On September 30, 2006, Wuerffel was inducted into the Gator Football Ring of Honor alongside his former coach Steve Spurrier and two other Gator legends: Jack Youngblood and Emmitt Smith.
Source: Wikipedia.org at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Wuerffel
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