Nov. 8, 2011
FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. – Florida State junior kicker Dustin Hopkins has been selected as one of 13 finalists for the 2011 Wuerffel Trophy, a national award honoring the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with outstanding academic and athletic achievement.
The finalists were announced Tuesday by the Fort Walton Beach-based All Sports Association, Inc.
“The All Sports Association is proud not only of this year’s Wuerffel Trophy finalists, but all of the nominees,” All Sports President William Thomas said. “These young men set such a great example for others.”
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 and around the country.
A committee that includes the Wuerffel Trophy national directors, selection committee members and past winners, will vote on the finalists later this month, and the winner will be formally announced on December 6.
“Once again, I’m amazed at the quality of character and accomplishments we have in our finalists,” said Wuerffel. “These young men have succeeded both on and off the field in extraordinary ways. It’s definitely going to be a tough process for the selection committee to pick winner.”
Hopkins’ efforts on the field and his exemplary work off it, puts him in select company. The Houston, Texas native sets the standard among Florida State student-athletes with his commitment to community service. As the FSU Chapter president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Hopkins has served as a summer camp counselor, shared his testimony at two regional conferences and participated in a pair of “Do It Big” conferences at local high schools. He also is a regular visitor to local middle and high school Huddle Groups and regularly speaks to various schools and church groups throughout the region.
He spent the 2011 spring break on a mission trip to Honduras, where he helped lay concrete foundations, build roofs and walls and share the gospel. Throughout his FSU career, Hopkins has been involved with the: Children’s Miracle Network Dane Marathon, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Leon County United Way Day of Action, Mayor’s Reading Initiative and countless other activities.
Not surprisingly, he was honored by the ACC in 2010 with the Top Six for Service Award, recognizing him as one of the conference leaders in community service hours served.
Hopkins’ academic record is equally impressive. Winner of the Golden Torch Award for the highest GPA on the football team in both 2010 and 2011, Hopkins is also a candidate for CoSida Academic All-American honors. Hopkins currently has a 3.82 cumulative GPA. He will graduate in the spring with a degree in communications/media studies with a double-minor in Hispanic marketing and international affairs in just three full years, and begin graduate studies.
A two-time ACC All-Academic football team selection, he earned CoSida Academic All-District honors in 2010. He is a member of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society and recipient of the Dean’s Cup, which honors a student who best meets the eight tenants of the Seminole Creed.
On the field, Hopkins has few peers. A semifinalist for the Groza Award as the nation’s top kicker for the second consecutive year, he has converted a school-record 124 consecutive PAT’s and is 15-of-17 on field goal attempts in 2011. Hopkins ranks sixth all-time in FSU scoring with 298 points.
Joining Hopkins among the finalists are: Barrett Jones (Alabama), Robert Griffin III (Baylor), Cody Wilson (Central Michigan), Dawson Zimmerman (Clemson), Drew Butler (Georgia), Stuart Hines (Kentucky), Kirk Cousins (Michigan State), Chandler Harnish (Northern Illinois), Ben Buchanan (Ohio State), Chaz Hine (USF), Matt Barkley (USC) and Emmanuel Acho (Texas).
Hopkins is the second Seminole in three years to be selected as a Wuerffel finalist, joining former quarterback Christian Ponder (2009).
The 2011 Wuerffel Trophy will be presented to the winner at the All Sports Associations’ 43rd annual awards banquet on Feb. 17, 2012.