Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Larsen a Wuerffel Trophy Finalist
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: November 07, 2007
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FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. ˇ? UA senior linebacker Spencer Larsen has been named one of the 11 finalists for the Wuerffel Trophy.

The All Sports Association Inc. announced today the 11 finalists for the 2007 Wuerffel Trophy, a national award that honors the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with outstanding academic and athletic achievement.

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

?ˇ?Itˇ?s really incredible the number of nominees and the quality of institutions that they are coming from,ˇ± said Gene Smith, 2007-2008 president of the All Sports Association. ˇ?The award is only in its third year, and weˇ?re seeing a continuous upward growth.? Our hats are off to all of the universities for nominating such fine student athletes.ˇ±

The finalists, who were nominated by their schoolsˇ? sports information directors or football liaisons are (listed alphabetically by university):

The finalists are:

  1. Spencer Larsen, senior linebacker, Arizona ?
  2. Matt Allen, senior wide receiver, Brigham Young
  3. Clint Stitser, senior quarterback, Fresno State ?
  4. Darryl Richard, senior defensive tackle, Georgia Tech ?
  5. J Leman, senior linebacker, Illinois ?
  6. Jacob Tamme, senior tight end, Kentucky ?
  7. Todd Peterson, junior wide receiver, Nebraska ?
  8. Paul Smith, senior quarterback, Tulsa ?
  9. Travis Dekker, junior tight end, USAF Academy ?
  10. Zac Selmon, senior tight end, Wake Forest ?
  11. Alex Brink, senior quarterback, Washington State ?

A committee that includes 10 prominent Wuerffel Trophy national directors will vote on the finalists later this month, and the winner will be announced in early December.

ˇ?Last year, as I looked at the list of finalists and their accomplishments, both on an off the field, I couldnˇ?t imagine that we could ever have another class that strong againˇ±, said Danny Wuerffel.? ˇ?And now this year, the 2007 nominees exceeded all expectations.? Itˇ?s really amazing not only the quality of these young men, but also the number of them that were nominated, and all of the things that they are doing serving others in their communities.? It is just so impressive.ˇ±?

?CBS and Sporting News Radio broadcaster Tim Brando, one of the national directors, spoke about the difficulty of selecting a winner for the award.

ˇ?Iˇ?ve voted for a lot of different awards, including the Heisman Trophy.? This is by far the toughest to weed through, to pick out one person to win this award based upon the bios that you get from all of these nominees from across the country and every conference.ˇ±

The Wuerffel Trophy will be presented to the winner at the All Sports Associationˇ?s 39th Annual Awards Banquet on February 15, 2008.

Larsen, the Pac-10's leading tackler and one of Arizona's team co-captains, served a two-year Mormon Mission in Chile after starting as a true freshman in 2002. He remains active in Church service including work as teachers quorum adviser for a local ward of the LDS community. He was a semifinalist for the Draddy Award this year and is a leading contender for first-team All-Pac-10 playing honors.

(Endorsement letter from Athletics Director Jim Livengood in Larsen's behalf)

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