Anderson Named a Wuerffel Trophy Finalist
Award considered "Humanitarian Heisman"
November 10, 2005

FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. - The All Sports Association, Inc., announced Thursday the 13 finalists for the Wuerffel Trophy, a national award that will honor a college football player who best combines exemplary community service with outstanding academic and athletic achievement. Virginia Tech senior linebacker James Anderson is one of the finalists.

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 most recently has received national recognition for his humanitarian and community service efforts with Desire Street Ministries in New Orleans.

"There are many awards that honor players for excellence at their particular position or for their skills and there are some academic related awards, but there is no award that honors a player for all-around excellence in athletics, academic achievement and community service," said John Watts, president of the All Sports Association. "We feel strongly that Fort Walton Beach's own Danny Wuerffel has become the epitome of someone who best embodies the combination of all three of these important traits and that is why our organization is stepping forward to present this trophy in his honor."

The finalists who were nominated by their schools' sports information directors or football liaisons, are:

Grayling Love, senior offensive lineman, Arizona State
Dane Todd, junior fullback, Nebraska
Luke Johnson, senior punter, Southern Mississippi
Ryan Neill, senior defensive end, Rutgers
Troy Bienemann, senior tight end, Washington State
David Thomas, senior tight end, Texas
David Justice, senior linebacker, North Carolina
Rudy Niswanger, senior offensive lineman, Louisiana State
James Anderson, senior linebacker, Virginia Tech
Brett Basanez, senior quarterback, Northwestern
Antoine Huffman, senior cornerback, Kentucky
Ed Wenger, senior offensive lineman, Florida International
Brandon Hoyte, senior linebacker, Notre Dame

A voting committee, which includes 10 prominent Wuerffel Trophy regional directors, will vote on the finalists and the winner will be announced later this month.

The Wuerffel Trophy will be presented to the winner at the All Sports Association's Awards Banquet in February.

"You always want to be associated with an award that is done well and respectfully. The way the All Sports Association has embraced this award and worked so diligently to select the finalists makes me proud to be a part of it," Wuerffel said. "The more people hear about this award, the more their enthusiasm grows because it recognizes athletes that care about others."

Anderson, from Chesapeake, Va., has already earned a degree in art and is Tech's second-leading tackler with 62 stops.

Former coach Bill Curry, now a college football analyst for ESPN, added: "This award is not just a little different from all the other awards, it's a lot different. When I was approached about this I was a little skeptical until I realized it was the embodiment of everything that Danny Wuerffel stands for. The spirit of this award is something that is long overdue. You're recognizing not only a great athlete and a great student but someone who also gives and gives."