Pitt LB Caprara Semifinalist for Wuerffel Trophy

PITTSBURGH — Pitt senior linebacker Mike Caprara has been named a semifinalist for the Wuerffel Trophy, which is annually presented to the Football Bowl Subdivision player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

(Photo courtesy of Pitt Athletics. Photo by Jeffrey Gamza)

Regarded as college football’s premier award for community service, the trophy is named after Danny Wuerffel, the former University of Florida quarterback and 1996 Heisman Trophy winner.

This is the second recognition Caprara has received this fall for his outstanding community involvement. Previously he was named to the Allstate American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team, which recognizes college football players who dedicate their time to bettering the community and lives of others.

He is also a candidate for college football’s Senior CLASS Award, which highlights four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.

Each of the past four springs (2013-16), Caprara used his semester break to make mission trips to Haiti orphanages through the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO). Through these annual visits, Caprara said he felt like he “grew up” with the orphans. As he got older, so did they, and life-changing friendships were formed. In addition to bonding with the children, Caprara contributed maintenance, construction and upkeep of the orphanages in the impoverished nation.

Caprara actively gives back closer to home as well. This past week he visited Edgewood Primary School to speak to students about bullying and support the school’s anti-bullying pledge.

Caprara’s additional volunteerism includes time spent with Children’s Hospital patients, reading at local elementary schools, gathering food for the CCO’s “Blessings in a Backpack” initiative and Ebola caregiver kit building with the humanitarian organization World Vision. He has also been involved with the “Orange Arrow” mentoring program run by former Pitt football player Shawn Robinson.

A 2015 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in communication, Caprara is currently enrolled in Pitt’s Katz Graduate School of Business.

Finalists for the 2016 Wuerffel Trophy will be announced on November 23. The winner will be named December 6 in New York City.

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