University of Florida

Danny Wuerffel became the second player from the University of Florida to win the Heisman, joining his coach, Steve Spurrier.

Heisman Winner

Danny Wuerffel

QB | RS Senior | University of Florida

Danny Wuerffel became the second player from the University of Florida to win the Heisman, joining his coach, Steve Spurrier. It marked the first time a Heisman winner came from a school coached by another former Heisman winner.

Wuerffel was born in Pensacola, Fla., the son of an Airforce Chaplin. He lived all over the country during his childhood, as well as three years in Spain, before he attended Fort Walton Beach (Fla) High. Wuerffel was his class valedictorian and led his football team to the state championship. He was widely considered the top player in the state of Florida as a 1991 senior.

The 6-1, 210-pound Wuerffel signed with Florida the following spring and, after redshirting his first season in Gainesville, made a big impact as a freshman in 1993. Playing as part of a platoon with Terry Dean, Wuerffel threw for 2,230 yards and 22 touchdowns. In 1994, he started again in a platoon role but eventually took over the starting job, throwing for 1,754 yards and 18 scores.

He had a breakout All-American season in 1995, throwing for 3,266 yards and 35 touchdowns while leading Florida to the national championship game against Nebraska. For his efforts, Wuerffel finished a strong third in the Heisman vote behind Eddie George and Tommie Frazier.

Wuerffel bounced back in 1996 with another stellar season, throwing for 3,625 yards and 36 touchdowns as he guided the Gators to an 11-1 record and another shot at the national title. After winning the Heisman, he threw for 306 yards and three TDs to lead Florida to a 52-20 victory over rival Florida State as the Gators claimed their first national title.

He finished his Gator career by throwing for 10,875 yards and 114 touchdown passes, the best in SEC history and second-most in major college history (at the time). He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public relations.

Wuerffel was selected in the fourth round of the 1997 NFL draft (99th overall) by the New Orleans Saints. He spent six years in the NFL with the Saints, Packers, Bears and Redskins before retiring.

After football, Wuerffel began work at Desire Street Ministries, a non-profit, faith-based, organization focusing on spiritual and community development in areas of New Orleans.

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Heisman Voting Results

Number of electors: 920 - Announced: December 14, 1996.

 PlayerClassPositionSchool1st2nd3rdTotal Points
1Danny WuerffelSRQBFlorida3001581471363
2Troy DavisJRRBIowa State2092061351174
3Jake PlummerSRQBArizona State116113111685
4Orlando PaceJROTOhio State87101136599
5Warrick DunnSRRBFlorida State407669341
6Byron HanspardJRRBTexas Tech156870251
7Darnell AutryJRRBNorthwestern9192085
8Peyton ManningJRQBTennessee4232381
9Marcus HarrisSRWRWyoming771953
10Beau MorganSRQBAir Force331126

Three points are awarded for first place on a ballot, with two points for second place and one point for third place.

Heisman Voting By Region

Heisman voters are spread out across six regions, with roughly 145 per region.


1Danny Wuerffel358
2Troy Davis141
3Orlando Pace80
4Jake Plummer56


1Danny Wuerffel238
2Troy Davis175
3Orlando Pace121
4Jake Plummer109


1Danny Wuerffel222
2Troy Davis168
3Jake Plummer94
4Orlando Pace91


1Troy Davis226
2Danny Wuerffel167
3Orlando Pace138
4Jake Plummer128


1Troy Davis260
2Danny Wuerffel192
3Jake Plummer108
4Orlando Pace72

Far West

1Troy Davis204
2Jake Plummer190
3Danny Wuerffel186
4Orlando Pace97


anny Wuerffel’s Heisman Season Stats

DateOpponentResultAttCompPct.YardsYPATDIntRatingRush AttYardsYPCTDPlaysTotal OffYPPTotal TDs
8/31/96SW LouisianaW 55-21281554.62248.0010132.56230-15.000302548.461
9/7/96Georgia SouthernW 62-14161593.826716.6820275.184-15-3.7502025212.602
9/21/96at #9 TennesseeW 35-29221150.01557.0440169.187-16-2.280291394.794
9/28/96KentuckyW 65-0312167.72799.0031168.831-4-4.000322738.533
10/5/96at ArkansasW 42-7392359.046211.8441187.20441.0004346610.834
10/12/96#12 LSUW 56-13251768.027711.0831192.615112.201302889.604
10/19/96#24 AuburnW 51-10301756.734611.5331179.884-10-2.501343369.884
11/2/96+ GeorgiaW 47-7231669.627912.1341220.163-21-7.000262589.924
11/9/96at VanderbiltW 28-21291862.12839.7541182.669-30-3.330382536.654
11/16/96South CarolinaW 52-25341132.42908.5222111.652-13-6.500362777.692
11/30/96at #3 Florida StateL 21-24482347.93627.5433119.398-25-3.160563376.013
12/7/96+ #11 AlabamaW 45-30352057.140111.4562198.5314-11-0.780493907.956
Heisman StatsAP #311-136020757.5362510.063613167.8663-100-1.58242335258.3338
1/2/97+ #3 Florida StateW 52-20341852.93069.0031151.786-10-1.671402967.404
Totals#1, National Champions12-139422557.139319.973914166.4769-110-1.59346338218.2542


Danny Wuerffel 1996 Heisman Trophy Winner
Danny Wuerffel 1996 Heisman Trophy Winner
Danny Wuerffel 1996 Heisman Trophy Winner
Danny Wuerffel 1996 Heisman Trophy Winner
Danny Wuerffel 1996 Heisman Trophy Winner