When envisioning a college football player, most tend to think of on-field prowess and superhuman physical ability, but rarely is off-field impact considered.
A few West Virginia players are excelling on and off the field in Morgantown. WVU had three players named to the Wuerffel Trophy watch list, the award given to the collegiate player who best combines exemplary community service with leadership on and off the field.
WVU redshirt senior quarterback Jarret Doege, redshirt senior safety Sean Mahone and redshirt senior kicker Evan Staley have been named to the watch list.
It’s another watch list for Doege, who has already been named to the Maxwell Award watch list. Doege threw for 2,587 yards last season (completing 64% of his passes) while throwing for 14 touchdowns and just four interceptions. The redshirt senior is hoping to take a step forward this season and emerge as one of the top quarterbacks in the conference.
Mahone was a key cog in WVU’s Big 12 leading defense last season, recording 54 tackles (34 solo), 2.5 tackles for loss, an interception and five passes defended. Mahone will be one of the leaders of a WVU defense hoping to remain as the conference’s best.
Staley has rapidly climbed the career WVU field goals made list, ranking seventh in team history heading into this season. Staley connected on six of nine field goals last season, with a long of 45 yards, to push his career total to 39. His percentage dipped last season, but he should connect on 75% of his kicks next season.
Doege, Mahone and Staley have been heavily involved in WVU’s community service initiatives, with Mahone serving as one of WVU’s football team accountability leaders. Among their community service activities, they’ve served as mentors for WVU’s Mountaineer Day of Play, read at local schools, contributed to local community clean-up days, built and repaired local homes and served as Big Brothers, among others.
Semifinalists for the Wuerffel Award will be announced on Nov. 2, and finalists will be announced on Nov. 22. The winner will be announced on Dec. 9, but the official ceremony will be held at Fort Walton Beach in February of 2022.