2020-07-23 Penn State QB Sean Clifford .jpg

Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford. Source: PSU Sports

Trophy is “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service”

University Park, Pa.  Penn State junior quarterback Sean Clifford has been added to the Wuerffel Trophy Watch List, announced on Wednesday. 

The Wuerffel Trophy, known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service,” is presented each February in Fort Walton Beach.

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. 

Sean Clifford Bio: 

  • Has appeared in 16 games, making 12 starts at quarterback.
  • Selected All-Big Ten honorable mention by the coaches and media in 2019.
  • Academic All-Big Ten honoree in 2019.
  • Named to the 2019 CFPA National Performer of the Year Trophy Midseason watch list, the Manning Award Midseason watch list and the Maxwell Award watch list.
  • Completed 39 passes of 20 or more yards in 2019.
  • Ranked third in the Big Ten in 2019 in passing touchdowns (23; 32nd in the FBS), yards per completion (14.04; 18th) and yards per pass attempt (8.32; 22nd), was fourth in in passing efficiency (148.54; 26th) and was seventh in passing yardage (2,654).
  • Was third in the conference in points responsible for per game (14.3; 29th in the FBS) and fourth in total yards per game (254.7; 43rd) in 2019.
  • Ranked third among Big Ten quarterbacks with 33.5 rushing yards per contest in 2019.
  • Tied for 13th all-time at Penn State with 25 career touchdown passes.
  • In 2019, became the third Penn State quarterback to have three games with 250 passing yards and three passing touchdowns in a season, joining Trace McSorley (2017, 4 games) and Christian Hackenberg (2013, 3 games).
  • Was the fifth quarterback in program history to have multiple games with four or more passing touchdowns.
  • In 2019, finished fifth at Penn State in passing touchdowns (23), seventh in passing efficiency (148.54), eighth in passing yardage (2,654), ninth in completion percentage (59.2), tied for 10th in 200-yard passing games (6) and 14th in completions (189).
  • Threw for 287 yards in the first half at Maryland (9/27/19), breaking the PSU record held by Trace McSorley (258; Georgia State, 2017).
  • Threw for 398 yards at Maryland (9/27/19), the third-most in a game at Penn State, trailing only Christian Hackenberg (454; vs. UCF, 2014) and Zack Mills (399; vs. Iowa, 2002).
  • Threw for 340 yards at Minnesota (11/9/19), tied for the 16th-most in a game at Penn State.
  • Is a member of Penn State’s Athletic Director's Leadership Institute (ADLI).
  • Has prior served as the president for Penn State’s Uplifting Athletes, helping the chapter raise nearly $1.4 million for kidney cancer treatment and research since the first Penn State Lift for Life was held in 2003.
  • Participates in the Penn State THON Explorers Program as Clifford and his teammates host a number of Four Diamond families into the Lasch Building for tours, games, and more. 

Semifinalists for the award will be announced on November 3 and finalists will be announced on November 23. 

The formal announcement of the 2020 recipient will be made at the National Football Foundation’s festivities in New York City on December 8. The presentation of the 2020 Wuerffel Trophy will occur at the 52nd All Sports Association Awards Banquet on February 19, 2021 in Fort Walton Beach. 

Past recipients of the award are: Rudy Niswanger – LSU – 2005; Joel Penton – Ohio State – 2006; Paul Smith – Tulsa – 2008; Tim Tebow – Florida – 2008; Tim Hiller – Western Michigan – 2009; Sam Acho – Texas – 2010; Barrett Jones – Alabama – 2011; Matt Barkley – USC – 2012; Gabe Ikard – Oklahoma – 2013; Deterrian Shackelford – Ole Miss – 2014; Ty Darlington – Oklahoma – 2015; Trevor Knight – Texas A&M – 2016; Courtney Love – Kentucky – 2017; Drue Tranquill – Notre Dame – 2018; Jon Wassink – Western Michigan – 2019.

Penn State on 2020 Watch Lists

Bednarik Award: Micah Parsons

Biletnikoff Award: Pat Freiermuth

Butkus Award: Micah Parsons

Doak Walker Award: Journey Brown, Noah Cain

Hornung Award: Journey Brown

Lott IMPACT Trophy: Micah Parsons

Lou Groza Award: Jake Pinegar

Mackey Award: Pat Freiermuth

Nagurski Trophy: Micah Parsons, Shaka Toney

O’Brien Award: Sean Clifford

Thorpe Award: Lamont Wade

Wuerffel Trophy: Sean Clifford