Former Florida Gators quarterback and 1996 Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2013 on Dec. 10 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, NY.
Wuerffel, who was first up for induction in 2012 but not chosen on his first ballot, is the seventh Florida player and 10th representative of the Gators (three coaches) to earn induction into the prestigious group. He joins defensive end Dale Van Sickel (1975), QB Steve Spurrier (1986), DE Jack Youngblood (1992), running back Emmitt Smith (2006), linebacker Wilber Marshall (2008) and wide receiver Carlos Alvarez (2011) as players in the career-defining club. Coaches Charlie Bachman (1978), Ray Graves (1990) and Doug Dickey (2003) are also members.
“This is a great honor and I’m very thankful to the Foundation for giving me this award,” said Wuerffel. “But I want to also thank my teammates and Gator fans at the University of Florida who were a big part of the great years I had there.”
The winner of seven awards in 1996, the Davey O’Brien Award in 1995, two SEC Player of the Year honors and two first-team All-American nods, Wuerffel threw for an astounding 10,875 yards and 114 touchdowns in his four-year career at Florida, both of which remain school records. He also led the Gators to the program’s first national championship and four-straight SEC titles.
In 1995, his efficiency rating of 178.4 set a single-season collegiate record. In his Heisman year of 1996, Wuerffel led the nation with an SEC-record 39 touchdowns while setting another SEC record with 3,625 yards and registering a 170.6 efficiency rating, making him the first quarterback to ever post a rating of 170+ in consecutive seasons.
At the conclusion of his collegiate career, Wuerffel held four national records, 12 conference records and 32 school records.
“I couldn’t be happier to hear that Danny has been selected as an inductee to the College Football Hall of Fame,” said athletic director Jeremy Foley in a statement released by the school. “To say it is a deserving honor would be an understatement. He is one of the best ever to put on a Gator uniform and will always be remembered as such. He will be remembered just as much, if not more, for the type of individual he is – he is truly a great person. We are proud of him and look forward to celebrating this honor with him and the entire Gator Nation.”
Wuerffel was enshrined in the Gators’ Ring of Honor in 2006 and is also immortalized in a brzone statue outside of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
He is now the executive director of Desire Street Ministries, which works to revitalize impoverished neighborhoods through spiritual and community development, and is on his way to a full recovery from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a disease that he was first stricken with in 2011.
“I owe a lot to my family for their love and support, and I’m grateful to God for all He has done in my life,” he said. “This has really been brought home to me in the last couple of years as I’ve been diagnosed, treated and am still recovering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome.”
Wuerffel is the fourth Florida player elected to the hall since 2006.