Extensive community service lands IU football Bull Michael Ziemba on Wuerffel Trophy watch list

Indiana’s Michael Ziemba earned a spot on one of college football’s most prestigious preseason lists.

The fifth-year player was named to the Wuerffel Trophy watch list, an award that honors college football players who serve others, celebrate their positive impact on society, and inspire greater service in the world.

The 6-foot-3 and 260 pound Ziemba moved to Indiana’s hybrid outside linebacker/defensive end “bull” position during the offseason.  He has played in 43 games and amassed 54 tackles over the last four seasons.

The full release from IU Athletics on Ziemba and the Wuerffel Trophy, including the Florida product’s extensive community service, follows.


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana senior outside linebacker Michael Ziemba collected a spot on the Wuerffel Trophy Watch List, the award announced on Thursday morning.

Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback from the University of Florida, Danny Wuerffel, the Wuerffel Trophy is presented in February annually in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. The trophy exists to honor college football players who serve others, celebrate their positive impact on society, and inspire greater service in the world.

IU’s 2020 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree graduated with a criminal justice degree in May 2021. He has volunteered with The 2nd & 7 Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Camp Riley, and the Cocoa Couture Fashion Show.

Ziemba has played in 43 career games with 10 starts. He owns 54 tackles, 34 solo, with one sack, 8.5 stops for loss, and two fumble recoveries.

Nominations for the Wuerffel Trophy are made by the respective universities’ Sports Information Departments and will close on Oct. 15. An up to date list of nominees can be found at www.wuerffeltrophy.org beginning on Aug. 1. Semifinalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 2 and finalists will be announced on Nov. 22.

The formal announcement of the 2021 recipient will be made on Dec. 9 and the presentation of the 2021 Wuerffel Trophy will occur in Feb. 2022 in Fort Walton Beach.

Past recipients of the award are: Rudy Niswanger – Louisiana State University – 2005; Joel Penton – Ohio State University – 2006; Paul Smith – University of Tulsa – 2008; Tim Tebow – University of Florida – 2008; Tim Hiller – Western Michigan University – 2009; Sam Acho – University of Texas – 2010; Barrett Jones – University of Alabama – 2011; Matt Barkley – University of Southern California – 2012; Gabe Ikard – University of Oklahoma – 2013; Deterrian Shackelford – University of Mississippi – 2014; Ty Darlington – University of Oklahoma – 2015; Trevor Knight – Texas A&M University – 2016; Courtney Love – University of Kentucky; 2017; Drue Tranquill – University of Notre Dame; 2018; Jon Wassink – Western Michigan University – 2019; Teton Saltes – University of New Mexico – 2020.

The Wuerffel Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 25 awards now boast more than 800 recipients, dating back to 1935. The members of the NCFAA are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a two-week period this month. Sixteen of the association’s 25 awards select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates.


Established in 2005, the Wuerffel Trophy honors college football players who serve others, celebrate their impact, and inspire greater service in the world. A member of the National College Football Awards Association, the Wuerffel Trophy is presented annually to the FBS player who best combines exemplary community service with leadership achievement on and off the field. It is the first major award honoring the character of service to others.

The Wuerffel Trophy is named after Heisman Trophy winner, College Football Hall of Famer, former NFL quarterback, and renowned humanitarian Danny Wuerffel, whose life mission is to inspire greater service in the world. Wuerffel led the University of Florida to four SEC Championships and the Gators’ first National Football Championship as the team’s star quarterback. The 1996 Heisman Trophy winner set 17 NCAA and Florida records and won a myriad of other awards including the Maxwell Award, the Davey O’Brien Award, and The William V. Campbell Trophy, presented to the nation’s top scholar-athlete. As a nationally recognized humanitarian, Wuerffel inspires leaders to use their influence to make a positive impact.

Find us on Facebook:  thedailyhoosier

You can follow us on Twitter:  @daily_hoosier

The Daily Hoosier –“Where Indiana fans assemble when they’re not at Assembly”

Seven ways to support completely free IU coverage at no additional cost to you.