East Carolina junior quarterback Holton Ahlers has been named to the 2020 Wuerffel Trophy Watch List according to an announcement by the organization in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. Thursday.
A 2020 Preseason All-American Athletic Conference selection by Athlon’s, Ahlers has already surpassed the 5,000-yard aerial mark in 22 career (15 starts) contests. In his two seasons with the Pirates, he has completed 391-of-705 passes for 5,172 yards and 33 touchdowns while only suffering 13 interceptions. Ahlers owns one 500-yard, four 400-yard and eight 300-yard passing outings and has thrown at least one scoring pass in 15 of 22 games. He currently ranks seventh on ECU’s career passing yards, completions and total offense (6,123) lists.
Last year, Ahlers threw for 3,387 yards (264-of-442) and 21 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions. On the national (FBS) level, he ranked ninth in total offense (3,746 yards), 12th in passing yards per game (282.2), 17th in completions per game (22.0) and 21st in passing yards. He also established three single-game school records during the course of the season – passing yards (535 vs. Cincinnati), passing touchdowns (six vs. SMU) and most total yards (556 vs. Cincinnati).
A dual-threat quarterback, Ahlers has racked up 951 yards on 227 carries (4.2 ypr) and tallied 12 touchdowns. He stands sixth all-time in ECU quarterback rushing yards, just 535 shy of surpassing Leander Green’s current school-record of 1,485. He has accounted for 45 career touchdowns (33 passing, 12 rushing), and of his 33 aerial scores, 29 have come in league play.
In the classroom, Ahlers is a four-time ECU Director of Athletics Honor Roll and two-time AAC All-Academic selection majoring in communications. He has also volunteered his time in the community working with programs such as Aces for Autism, Food Bank of Eastern North Carolina, James & Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital/Vidant Medical Center, Pirate Armada, Pitt County Trash Pick-up, Ronald McDonald House and the Special Olympics.
The Wuerffel Trophy, known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service,” is presented each February in Fort Walton Beach. Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback from the University of Florida, Danny Wuerffel, the Wuerffel Trophy exists to honor college football players who serve others, celebrate their positive impact on society, and inspire greater service in the world.
Voting for the Wuerffel Trophy is performed by a national selection committee that includes college football television and print media, industry notables, former head coaches and prior Wuerffel Trophy recipients. The formal announcement of the 2020 recipient will be made at the National Football Foundation’s press conference in New York City on Dec 8. The presentation of the 2020 Wuerffel Trophy will occur on February 5, 2021.
East Carolina sophomore receiver and return specialist Tyler Snead is one of 47 players named to the 2020 Paul Hornung Award Watch List, according to an announcement by the Louisville Sports Commission Thursday.
Snead is the fifth Pirate since the award’s inception in 2010 to earn inclusion on the watch list following Dwayne Harris (2010), Justin Hardy (2014), Zay Jones (2015) and Quay Johnson (2016).
Last year, Snead started seven of 12 games and hauled down a team-high 66 receptions for 759 yards (11.5 ypc) with a squad-best five touchdowns. He also added 516 return yards (481/KOR, 35/PR) with another score, finishing his redshirt freshman campaign with 1,302 all-purpose yards. Snead stood among the American Athletic Conference’s top 10 in kickoff return average (19.2 ypr) and matched an ECU single-game record with a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the USF tilt.
The Raleigh native authored a pair of 100-yard receiving contests which included a personal-best outing at SMU where he caught 19 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns to earn AAC Offensive Player-of-the-Week honors. The following week at Connecticut, he caught 16 passes for 126 yards for a combined two-game clip of 35 grabs for 366 yards.
Snead closed the season by posting 100-plus all-purpose yards in the last six consecutive contests against UCF (107), USF (222), Cincinnati (102), SMU (102), Connecticut (166) and Tulsa (132). Additionally, he scored a collective six touchdowns in the final six games (five receiving, one kickoff return).
A 2020 Preseason All-AAC pick as a receiver and return specialist by both Athlons and Phil Steel’s College Football Preview Magazine, Snead has caught 81 passes for 995 yards (12.3 ypc) with nine touchdowns, while adding 27 yards on the ground and a combined 516 return yards with another score in 16 career games (10 starts).
The Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse, now in its 11th season, is presented annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission. The LSC created the PHA to recognize the distinctive talents of student-athletes and help preserve the legacy of Paul Hornung – a man many consider the most versatile player in the history of college and professional football. Each year, the winner and his family are honored at a banquet presented by UofL at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville, Ky.
The 2020 Watch List was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on a combination of 2019 statistics, career performance, sports information director recommendations and expectations heading into the 2020 season. Players may be added to the watch list during the regular season based on performance.