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Ole Miss Football’s JJ Pegues Named to Wuerffel Trophy Preseason Watch List

Photos by Joshua McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics

Ole Miss football senior defensive tackle and Oxford’s own JJ Pegues has been named to the Wuerffel Trophy Preseason Watch List, the Wuerffel Foundation announced on Thursday.

Pegues is one of 110 football student-athletes selected to the watch list for the Wuerffel Trophy, which is presented annually to the FBS player who best combines exemplary community service with leadership achievement on and off the field. The trophy is named after Danny Wuerffel, the 1996 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from the University of Florida who parlayed his success on the football field into a lifetime of service.

Pegues has already been named as a nominee to the 2023 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, and is coming off a productive first season with the Rebels in 2022. He appeared in all 12 games for Ole Miss on the defensive line in 2022, notching 26 total tackles and five tackles for a loss – including three sacks. Pegues capped off the regular season in excellent fashion as well, recording four tackles, one TFL and a pass breakup in the Egg Bowl against Mississippi State, where he also lined up on offense and hauled in a one-yard touchdown pass.

Pegues is heavily active within the Lafayette-Oxford-University community, partaking in numerous community service events such as Adopt-A-Basket, Feed the Sip, Reading with the Rebels, the Boys and Girls Club, the CASA of North Mississippi Adopt-A-Child Christmas Program, KD’s Community Fun Event, a water drive to assist the city of Jackson, Mississippi, and multiple efforts to help communities throughout Mississippi affected by devastating tornadoes this past spring.

Nominations for the Wuerffel Trophy are made by the respective universities’ Sports Information Departments and will close on October 16. An up-to-date list of nominees can be found at wuerffeltrophy.org.

Semifinalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 2, and finalists will be announced on Nov. 28. The formal announcement of the 2023 recipient is scheduled to be made on Dec. 7 or Dec. 8 during The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN, and the presentation of the 2023 Wuerffel Trophy will take place on Feb. 17, 2024, at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia. The 2023 recipient will be invited to join Wuerffel in New York City to attend the Heisman Trophy ceremonies, including the press conference, televised announcement show, and the gala. 

The Wuerffel Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA includes college football’s most prestigious awards and its 24 awards have honored more than 900 recipients dating back to 1935. This season, 12 NCFAA awards will honor national players of the week each Tuesday.

Sixteen NCFAA members are unveiling preseason watch lists over a two-week period as the association spearheads a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates:

Mon., July 31: Maxwell Award
Tues., Aug. 1: Outland Trophy/Bronko Nagurski Trophy
Wed., Aug. 2: Lou Groza Award/Ray Guy Award
Thurs., Aug. 3: Paul Hornung Award/Wuerffel Trophy
Fri., Aug. 4: Mackey Award/Rimington Trophy
Mon., Aug. 7: Biletnikoff Award
Tues., Aug. 8: Davey O’Brien Award
Wed., Aug. 9: Doak Walker Award
Thurs., Aug. 10: Butkus Award/Paycom Jim Thorpe Award
Fri., Aug. 11: Walter Camp Award
Mon., Aug. 14: Bednarik Award

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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