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Wuerffel to be inducted into College Football Hall of Fame

Danny Wuerffel led Florida to four-consecutive SEC Championships (1993-96) and one National Championship (1996).

Times files (1996)

Danny Wuerffel led Florida to four-consecutive SEC Championships (1993-96) and one National Championship (1996).

Danny Wuerffel, the former Florida Heisman Trophy-winner who led Florida to its first national championship, will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in December.

Wuerffel, 38, led Florida to four-consecutive SEC Championships (1993-96) and one National Championship (1996). When he completed his collegiate career, he held 48 records (four NCAA, 12 SEC and 32 Florida), and threw for 10,875 yards with 114 touchdowns. He is the seventh Florida player to be inducted into the CHOF.

"What an incredible honor," Wuerffel said. "To think about the guys in this class, and looking over the history of it, to be included in this is a tremendous honor for me. Honestly, it's also fun. I think about that. You know, we all love celebrations and if we're honest we love it when the celebration is about us. We love birthday parties, we love the wedding if it's your wedding. There's a part of this that's just fun. I called my wife and she's ecstatic on the phone. And the joy and excitement that's shared around us is really fun."

The Class of  2013 was announced Tuesday by the National Football Foundation, and includes former Miami Heisman Trophy winner Vinny Testaverde. Also in the class: Ted Brown (N.C. State), Tedy Bruschi (Arizona), Ron Dayne (Wisconsin), Tommie Frazier (Nebraska) , Jerry Gray (Texas), Steve Meilinger (Kentucky), Orlando Pace (Ohio State), Rod Shoate (Oklahoma), Percy Snow (Michigan State), and Don Trull (Baylor). Former coaches Wayne Hardin (Navy, 1959-64; Temple 1970-82) and Bill McCartney (Colorado 1982-94) will also be inducted.

One of the first calls Wuerffel made after learning he was named to the class of inductees was to call former coach Steve Spurrier.

"I probably shouldn’t admit this because they told us not to tell anybody, but I did call coach Spurrier (Monday) to leave him a message," Wuerffel said. "I just felt I wanted him to know beforehand and I just took the opportunity to really thank him for all that he’s done in my life, and the way that his coaching has impacted much more than just football for me. And so, it was really nice to get that moment."

Wuerffel led UF to four-consecutive SEC Championships (1993-96) and one National Championship (1996). When he completed his collegiate career, he held 48 records (four NCAA, 12 SEC and 32 Florida). He completed 708 of 1,170 passes for 10,875 yards with 114 touchdowns in his Gator career.

"I couldn't be happier to hear that Danny has been selected as an inductee to the College Football Hall of Fame,'' UF athletic director Jeremy Foley said. "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 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."

Wuerffel's outstanding accomplishments were not just on the field. He was a two-time first-team academic All-American, and was awarded the Draddy Trophy (academic Heisman) presented annually by the College Football Hall of Fame to the nation’s top football scholar-athlete.

"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," Florida coach 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."

As a senior, Wuerffel threw for an SEC-record 3,625 passing yards, and 39 touchdowns, which led the nation.

"Honestly, when I think about it, I get connected with the emotions of playing college football, of playing for coach (Steve) Spurrier, playing with my teammates and being at the University of Florida, and the relationships around that,'' Wuerffel said when asked how he felt about Tuesday's announcement. "And I'm so grateful. Obviously when you look at a list like this, there's people with a lot of God-given talent that worked really hard. But all of us should know that for this to happen there's so many countless other people that played a part in this story for us. And so I'm just so grateful for all the different pieces and parts. I'm really moved when I think about that. And I'm thankful for what college football has meant in my life and what it has allowed me to do to help other people. It's an honor. It's fun. But I think for me, it's also moving as I think about these things."

Wuerrfel said he wanted to make sure that in all of the attention he'll be receiving, people would also stop and think about his former coaches and teammates without whom this honor would not be possible.

"What it takes for something like this to really become a reality is so, so far beyond anyone person or player." Wuerffel said. . . "I just can’t thank the Gator Nation enough. It is great to be a Florida Gator."

The National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held Dec. 10 in New York.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 3:36pm]


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