LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky senior tight end C.J. Conrad is one of 106 candidates for the 2018 The Wuerffel Trophy, known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service.” 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 academic achievement. The 2017 Wuerffel Trophy winner was former UK linebacker Courtney Love.
Conrad, a native of LaGrange, Ohio, is one of the most active players at Kentucky in terms of community involvement. He was chosen to participate in a one-week service trip to the Dominican Republic in 2017 where he interacted with residents of impoverished communities, visited an orphanage, constructed park benches in a sugar cane village, distributed food to the hungry, visited a nursing home and spent time with special needs children at a local daycare.
In the spring of 2017, Conrad befriended nine-year old cancer patient Ryan Cremeens of Richmond, Kentucky. Ryan was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in the summer of 2016, a soft-tissue muscle tumor that had grown in his sinus cavity. Conrad heard about Ryan’s illness and along with several teammates, began visiting him in the hospital. Cremeens had most of the tumor removed and underwent 42 weeks of chemo and seven weeks of radiation. Conrad and his teammates were present at the hospital to help Ryan celebrate his last day of chemotherapy and ring the bell, which celebrates the end of chemo treatments. Conrad invited Cremeens to be his special guest at the 2017 Blue/White Spring Game and run out of the tunnel with the team.
Conrad has also been a guest speaker at several local schools and organizations and in his hometown of LaGrange, Ohio, talking about leadership. Conrad’s mission is to educate and help provide opportunities to young children from small towns like himself, the chance to succeed on and off the field by using the game of football.
In addition, Conrad has volunteered with Amachi Central Kentucky along with 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team member Courtney Love. Amachi is a mentoring program that seeks to pair caring, positive adults with children and youth in the Bluegrass who have one of both parents in state or federal prison or are affected by incarceration in some way. In addition, Conrad is a frequent visitor at Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
He is also a nominee for the 2018 Allstate AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) Good Works Team®.
Conrad, a member of the 2017 SEC Academic Honor Roll and Dean’s List, is on track to graduate in December with a degree in communications.
Nominations for the Wuerffel Trophy are made by the respective universities’ Sports Information Department and will close on October 12. A current list of nominees can be found at www.wuerffeltrophy.org beginning on August 1. Semifinalists for the award will be announced on November 1 and finalists will be announced on November 19.
The formal announcement of the 2018 recipient will be made at the National Football Foundation’s press conference in New York City on December 4. The presentation of the 2018 Wuerffel Trophy will occur at the 50th All Sports Association Awards Banquet on February 15, 2019 in Fort Walton Beach.
Past winners of the award are: Rudy Niswanger – LSU – 2005; Joel Penton – Ohio State – 2006; Paul Smith – Tulsa – 2007; Tim Tebow – Florida – 2008; Tim Hiller – W. Michigan – 2009; Sam Acho – Texas – 2010; Barrett Jones – Alabama – 2011; Matt Barkley – USC – 2012; Gabe Ikard – Oklahoma – 2013, Deterrian Shackelford – Ole Miss – 2014, Ty Darlington – Oklahoma – 2015; Trevor Knight – Texas A&M – 2016; Courtney Love – Kentucky – 2017.
‑ GO CATS –