Former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel will represent UF in the SEC Football Legends Class of 2017.
The group, which features one prominent player from each program in the conference, will be honored the week of the SEC Championship game, which is Dec. 2 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Wuerffel, who led the Gators to their first national title in 1996 under coach Steve Spurrier, was a two-time first-team All-American and finished his career with 10,875 passing yards and 114 touchdown passes, the most in SEC history when Wuerffel left Florida.
Georgia’s Aaron Murray set a new mark with 121 touchdown passes from 2010-2013, but Wuerffel remains among the SEC’s career best in several passing categories.
Wuerffel was part of UF teams that won four consecutive SEC titles from 1993-1996 and won the Heisman Trophy during his senior season.
He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2013 and is one of five players in Florida’s Ring of Honor.
In addition to Wuerffel, this year’s class includes Gene Stallings (Alabama), Dan Hampton (Arkansas), Carlos Rogers (Auburn), Champ Bailey (Georgia), Nate Northington (Kentucky), Glenn Dorsey (LSU), Terrence Metcalf (Ole Miss), Floyd “Pork Chop” Womack (Mississippi State), Brad Smith (Missouri), John Abraham (South Carolina), Chad Clifton (Tennessee), Dave Elmendorf (Texas A&M) and Don Orr (Vanderbilt).
Vols switch quarterbacks
Tennessee coach Butch Jones confirmed this week that redshirt freshman quarterback Jarrett Guarantano will make his first career start Saturday against South Carolina in place of junior Quinten Dormady.
The decision is not much of a surprise after the Volunteers were blasted 41-0 at home by Georgia and had a bye week to get Guarantano additional practice reps.
“We just felt Jarrett has earned the opportunity,” Jones said. “We need to score points in this conference. It’s going to take points to win. … Quinten’s done some good things, but you’re always looking for what you feel gives you the best opportunity to win the football game.”
Guarantano has completed 12 of 24 passes for 54 yards with one touchdown in limited work this season.
Dormady was 76-of-137 passing for 925 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions.
Johnson finding end zone
Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson missed two games because of a hamstring injury, but still leads the country with 12 rushing touchdowns.
Johnson’s dozen scores are one better than FAU’s Devin Singletary and two more than Oregon’s Royce Freeman.
Since returning to play, Johnson has run for five touchdowns against Missouri and three each versus Mississippi State and Ole Miss.
“I think running backs are born instinctively,” Tigers coach Gus Malzahn said. “You can coach landmarks, pressing the line of scrimmage and reading the ‘backers. But my experience is special ones have a unique ability where they can make things right and they can make good decisions going full speed.”
New basketball commission
Longtime UF athletic director Jeremy Foley is one of 14 members who will serve on the NCAA’s Commission on College Basketball, a group announced this week partly in response to recent FBI investigations into the sport.
NCAA President Mark Emmert said that former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, who was part of the College Football Playoff selection committee for three seasons, will chair the commission.
Emmert said the commission will focus on “examining critical aspects of a system that clearly is not working.”
“The recent news of a federal investigation into fraud in college basketball made it very clear the NCAA needs to make substantive changes to the way we operate, and do so quickly,” Emmert said. “Individuals who break the trust on which college sports is based have no place here.”
The committee includes former NBA player Grant Hill and former Georgetown coach John Thompson III.
Phillip Heilman: (904) 359-4063