Former Gator Great and 1996 Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2013 class.
Wuerffel joins players like fellow Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne (Wisconsin) , Tommy Frazier (Nebraska), Vinny Testaverde (Miami) Ted Brown (North Carolina State), Tedy Brushci (Arizona), Jerry Gray (Texas), Steve Meilinger (Kentucky), Orlando Pace (Ohio State), Rod Shoate (Oklahoma), Percy Snow (Michigan State) and Don Trull (Baylor).
Wuerffel was passed over in 2012; his first time on the ballot, but that doesn’t take anything away from the tremendous honor.
“What an incredible honor,” Wuerffel said. “There’s a part of this that’s just fun. The joy and excitement that’s shared around us is fun. For this to happen, there are so many countless other people that have played a part in this. I’m so grateful.”
Wuerffel put together one of the best seasons in 1996 that any Gator has ever had in the school’s history. Wuerffel led Florida to their first ever National Championship while also winning the Davey O’Brien Award and the Heisman Trophy. The SEC Player of the Year and was also named to two different All-American teams during his historic season. His passer efficiency rating of 178.4 set a single season record in 1995 and he became the first quarterback to ever post back-to-back 170+ efficiency ratings when he posted a 170.6 the following season.
He threw for 10,875 yards and 114 touchdowns in his four-year career at Florida.
“I couldn’t be happier to hear that Danny has been selected as an inductee to the College Football Hall of Fame. To say it is a deserving honor would be an understatement,” Athletic Director Jeremy Foley said of Wuerffel. “He is one of the best ever to put on a Gator uniform and will be always 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.”
Foley alluded to Wuerffel being more than just a football player. Wuerffel is now the director of Desire Street Ministries, which according to their website strives to “love our neighbor by revitalizing impoverished neighborhoods through spiritual and community development.”
“Danny is certainly one of the all-time Gator Greats and I’m very excited to hear that he has been announced as a inductee to the College Football Hall of Fame,” Will Muschamp said. “As a defensive coach I’ve always had a high regard of him as a player, but after I’ve had a chance to spend some time with him, I have even a higher regard for him as a person. He is one of the most humble, honest and genuinely giving people I have ever met.”
Wuerffel became a fan favorite during his time in Gainesville. Not just for being the quarterback of some very successful football teams but for the kind of person he was both on and off the field. Wuerffel was enshrined in the Gators’ Ring of Honor in 2006 and is one of three players to have a statue in front of the stadium.
Wuerffel is the seventh player from Florida to be elected into the Hall of Fame including Dick Van Sickle (1927-29), Steve Spurrier (1964-66), Jack Youngblood (1968-70), Emmitt Smith (1987-89), Wilber Marshall (1980-83), Carlos Alvarez (1969-71) and three coaches Charles Bachman (1928-32), Ray Graves (1960-69) and Doug Dickey (1970-78).
The induction ceremony will be held on December 10, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.