NEW YORK – University of Kentucky senior linebacker Courtney Love (pictured) was named the winner of the 2017 Wuerffel Trophy, an award that honors college football’s top community servant, it was announced Tuesday, Dec. 5 at the National Football Foundation’s Press Conference at the New York Hilton Mid-town Hotel in New York.
The Wuerffel Trophy, known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service,” is presented annually by the All Sports Association in Fort Walton Beach Florida. Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel from the University of Florida, the Wuerffel Trophy is awarded to the FBS player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academ-ic achievement.
Love, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, leads the team in community service hours and has a passion for mentoring children especially those living in a one-parent household or children who have parents who are incarcerated. Because of his passion, he currently volunteers at Amachi Central Kentucky, a mentoring program that seeks to pair caring, positive adults with children and youth in the Bluegrass who have one or both parents in state or federal prison or are affected by incarceration in some way.
He also has served in a Skype mentoring program with area high school students, and has taken part in many events with the UK Children's Hospital, Read Across America, and Special Olympics, along with many other service activities. In May of 2016, Love was chosen to participate in a service/educational trip to Ethiopia where he helped build houses as well as shoe-shining boxes for men to be able to work and provide for their families. He also delivered food to impoverished families and visited with orphans and widows.
In the classroom, Love was named to the 2016 SEC Academic Honor Roll, graduating in May with a de-gree in community and leadership development. He is currently working on a second degree in com-munications. He also serves as one of UK football’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) repre-sentatives for the second straight season.
On the field, he ranks second on the team in tackles with 82 and has started and been in a captain in all 12 games. He ranks tied for 23rd nationally in fumble recoveries with two and has posted a career-high in tackles twice with 10 vs. Missouri and Louisville.
Past winners of the Wuerffel Trophy are: 2016 Trevor Knight, Texas A&M University; 2015 Ty Darlington, University of Oklahoma; 2014 Deterrian Shackelford, University of Mississippi; 2013 Gabe Ikard, University of Oklahoma; 2012 Matt Barkley, University of Southern California; 2011 Barrett Jones, University of Alabama; 2010 Sam Acho, University of Texas; 2009 Tim Hiller, Western Michigan University; 2008 Tim Tebow, University of Florida; 2007 Paul Smith, University of Tulsa; 2006 Joel Penton, Ohio State University; and 2005 Rudy Niswanger, Louisiana State University.
Love will be interviewed at “The Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show” on ESPNU and ESPN3 on Dec. 7, 2017, airing at 6 p.m. EST, featuring interviews with award winners and finalists as they approach The Home Depot College Football Awards Show at the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta. The presentation of the 2017 Wuerffel Trophy will occur at the 49th Annual All Sports Association Awards Banquet on Feb. 16, 2018, in Fort Walton Beach.
UK Athletics Photo