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Saltes Named to Wuerffel Trophy Watch List

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Another day, another Lobo on a major award watch list, and once again, it’s Teton Saltes.  Saltes picked up another preseason honor as he was named to the 2020 Wuerffel Trophy Watch List.  A semifinalist for the award a year ago, Saltes was just named to the Outland Trophy Watch List on Tuesday.

Saltes is one of a record 114 student-athletes named to the preseason Wuerffel Trophy Watch List.  Saltes is one of seven Mountain West student-athletes on the list.  A semifinalist last year, he is joined by another semifinalist on the list in Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger and a finalist from last year, Isaiah Sanders of Stanford, who was a finalist for Air Force last year.  Last year marked the third time in the last five seasons that UNM has had a semifinalist for the award, with Garrett Adcock in 2015, and then in 2016 as a finalist.

Saltes was honored over the summer as a Lobo Hero for his work on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis, working with his native Oglala Lakota tribe to distribute needed supplies to those on his home reservation, which was hit particularly hard.  Saltes also has worked in and is passionate about suicide prevention, about children’s reading, and he has served with the Save The Children Action Network as an advocate for children, speaking in Washington in 2019.  He was UNM’s nominee for the All State AFCA Good Works Team, which hasn’t been announced. The depths of Saltes’ community service could fill up a web page, and it certainly has filled up his nomination form.

Salte has graduated with a degree in political science and Native American studies, and he will spend his senior season with UNM while enrolled in Law School.  After suffering a season ending injury in 2017, he gave a live sideline interview with ESPN2’s Molly McGrath about his community service work and what he is hoping to accomplish, using football to further several causes.  He stated back then as a freshman that he needed to go to law school because to affect change, you have to change the law, and that would be the best way to do it.

He continually gives back to his communities in New Mexico and South Dakota.  In South Dakota, he works with the Oglala Sioux Tribe Sweetgrass Project which works in Suicide Awareness and Suicide Prevention. He is trained and has volunteered to work the Suicide Prevention Hotline as Peer Mentor and has goes to schools to speak on Suicide Awareness and Prevention on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and other Indian Reservations within South Dakota.

Saltes has also volunteered with Oglala Lakota Schools by speaking with school aged children on the struggles they face in life on the reservation and on bullying and how it effects as kids and tools to cope with bullying.

He is actively involved in his community through the BEAR Program (Be Excited About Reading).  He also serves as a Peer Mentor and works with youth in the summer, on school breaks and through an online program in improving reading skills. In the BEAR Program children perform live theatrical skits with props and costumes to address bullying, suicide and home life issues.  He works closely with suicide providers teaching life skills and providing support as I have completed ASSIST Training through the program. Through the BEAR Program we also conduct winter coats and clothing drives in which I support and assist from my college campus in New Mexico.   Teton also helps support the community on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation by collecting food for the Food Bank, operating out of our community center for families in need.

Saltes has also contributed in New Mexico, serving as the keynote speaker in Santa Fe, speaking about the importance of being involved in your community and completing your education.  He serves as a student ambassador for the Save the Children Action network and in the spring, he was excused from a week of practice to attend lobbying activities in Washington D.C. to promote early education which involved working closely with our U.S. Congressional Reps in developing Policy.

He initiated meetings with “Save the Children Action Network” to promote working closely with many of the Native American Communities on the reservations throughout the United States.  Saltes has been reviewing potential legislation and initiatives that would fit into the scope of “Save the Children” organization.

With all of that, he has managed to start 24 straight games at right tackle, and he allowed the fewest pressures among MW offensive lineman with 350 passing blocking attempts last season.

Earlier in July, Saltes was one of was named to the College Football America Yearbook Group of 5 Starting Lineup in what amounts to being named to a preseason All-America squad.  Saltes was one of two Mountain West players on offense, and one of six overall.  New Mexico opens its 2020 schedule at home at Dreamstyle Stadium against Idaho State in the first game of the Danny Gonzales era.  The Valley High School graduate will be a senior for the 2020 season.  He graduated from the same high school as new coach Gonzales.

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.

“It is so inspiring to see this record number of athletes being submitted for the award,” said Wuerffel. “These young men truly represent college football’s most impactful community service leaders. We are proud to honor them.”

2020 WUERFFEL TROPHY PRESEASON WATCH LIST (LISTED ALPHABETICALLY BY UNIVERSITY)

Miller Forristall, Alabama, senior, tight end
Noah Hannon, App State, senior, offensive line
Colin Schooler, Arizona, senior, linebacker
Ethan Long, Arizona State, sophomore, tight end
Andre Harris, Jr., Arkansas State, junior, offensive line
Joe Stephenson, Army, senior, linebacker
Chandler Wooten, Auburn, senior, linebacker
Brandon Martin, Ball State, senior, linebacker
Terrel Bernard, Baylor, junior, linebacker
Donte Harrington, Boise State, senior, offensive line
Max Michel, Buffalo, sophomore, defensive line
Bracken El-Bakri, BYU, senior, defensive line
Michael Saffell, California, senior, offensive line
Tyriq Harris, Charlotte, senior, defensive line
Blake Bacevich, Cincinnati, sophomore, defensive line
Darien Rencher, Clemson, senior, running back
C.J. Brewer, Coastal Carolina, senior, defensive line
Colby Pursell, Colorado, junior, offensive line
Barry Wesley, Colorado State, junior, offensive line
Rakavius Chambers, Duke, senior, offensive line
Holton Ahlers, East Carolina, junior, quarterback
Thomas Odukoya, Eastern Michigan, senior, tight end
Dante Lang, Florida, sophomore, tight end
Jaiden Lars-Woodbey, Florida State, sophomore, defensive back
Eric Stokes, Georgia, junior, defensive back
Shai Werts, Georgia Southern, senior, quarterback
Jack DeFoor, Georgia Tech, senior, offensive line
Hekili Keliiliki, Hawai’i, junior, running back
Payton Turner, Houston, senior, defensive line
Doug Kramer, Illinois, senior, offensive line
Harry Crider, Indiana, senior, offensive line
Brock Purdy, Iowa State, junior, quarterback
Api Mane, Kansas, senior, offensive line
Chris Hughes, Kansas, senior, offensive line
Skylar Thompson, Kansas State, senior, quarterback
Dustin Crum, Kent State, senior, quarterback
Landon Young, Kentucky, senior, offensive line
Luke Fortner, Kentucky, senior, offensive line
Jalen Williams, Louisiana, senior, wide receiver
Joshua Mote, Louisiana Tech, junior, offensive line
Reeves Blankenship, Louisiana Tech, junior, long snapper
JaCoby Stevens, LSU, senior, defensive back
Brenden Knox, Marshall University, junior, running back
Jake Funk, Maryland, senior, running back
Brady White, Memphis, senior, quarterback
Zach McCloud, Miami, senior, linebacker
Jack Sorenson, Miami (Ohio), senior, wide receiver
Adam Shibley, Michigan, senior, linebacker
Asher O’Hara, Middle Tennessee State, junior, quarterback
Tanner Morgan, Minnesota, junior, quarterback
Kobe Jones, Mississippi State, senior, defensive line
Kobie Whiteside, Missouri, senior, defensive line
Cameron Kinley, Navy, senior, defensive back
Ben Stille, Nebraska, senior, defensive line
Lawson Hall, Nevada, senior, linebacker
Teton Saltes, New Mexico, senior, offensive line
Sage Doxtater, New Mexico State, senior, offensive line
Trenton Gill, North Carolina State, junior, punter
Deion Hair-Griffin, North Texas, senior, wide receiver/special teams
Daelin Hayes, Notre Dame, junior, defensive line
Master Teague III, Ohio State, sophomore, running back
Caleb Kelly, Oklahoma, senior, linebacker
Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State, junior, running back
Isaac Weaver, Old Dominion, senior, offensive line
Mac Brown, Ole Miss, senior, punter
Brady Breeze, Oregon, senior, defensive back
Isaac Hodgins, Oregon State, junior, defensive line
Jaydon Grant, Oregon State, junior, defensive back
Sean Clifford, Penn State, junior, quarterback
Patrick Jones II, Pitt, senior, defensive line
Grant Hermanns, Purdue, senior, offensive line
Christian Webb, San José State, senior, linebacker
Shane Buechele, SMU, senior, quarterback
Brian Ankerson, South Alabama, junior, offensive line
Dylan Wonnum, South Carolina, junior, offensive line
Swayze Bozeman, Southern Miss, senior, linebacker
Connor Wedington, Stanford, senior, wide receiver
Isaiah Sanders, Stanford, senior, quarterback
Treyjohn Butler, Stanford, senior, defensive back
Kingsley Jonathan, Syracuse, senior, defensive line
Garret Wallow, TCU, senior, linebacker
Kellton Hollins, TCU, senior, offensive line
Isaiah Graham-Mobley, Temple, senior, linebacker
Trey Smith, Tennessee, senior, offensive line
Sam Ehlinger, Texas, senior, quarterback
Kellen Mond, Texas A&M University, senior, quarterback
Zech McPhearson, Texas Tech, senior, defensive back
Bailey Flint, Toledo, senior, punter
Luke Whittemore, Troy, junior, wide receiver
Sorrell Brown, Tulane, sophomore, wide receiver
Akayleb Evans, Tulsa, junior, defensive back
Chris Paul, Tulsa, junior, offensive line
Wilson Beaverstock, UAB, sophomore, kicker
Samuel Jackson, UCF, junior, offensive line
Brian Keating, UConn, senior, long snapper
Cole McCubrey, UMass, senior, linebacker
Solomon Siskind, UMass, junior, tight end
Daniel Imatorbhebhe, USC, senior, tight end
KJ Sails, USF, senior, defensive back
Devin Lloyd, Utah, junior, linebacker
Justus Te’i, Utah State, senior, defensive line
Solomon Wise, UTSA, senior, linebacker
Andre Mintze, Vanderbilt, senior, linebacker
Dillon Reinkensmeyer, Virginia, senior, offensive line
Terrell Jana, Virginia, senior, wide receiver
Sage Surratt, Wake Forest, junior, wide receiver
Race Porter, Washington, senior, punter
Jarret Doege, West Virginia, junior, quarterback
Sam James, West Virginia, junior, wide receiver
Sean Mahone, West Virginia, senior, defensive back
Devon Key, Western Kentucky, senior, defensive back
Juwuan Jones, Western Kentucky, junior, defensive line
Mike Caliendo, Western Michigan, senior, offensive line
Madison Cone, Wisconsin, senior, defensive back
Nominations for the Wuerffel Trophy are made by the respective universities’ Sports
Information Departments and will close on October 15. A current list of nominees can be
found at www.wuerffeltrophy.org beginning on August 1. Semifinalists for the award
will be announced on November 3 and finalists will be announced on November 23.
The formal announcement of the 2020 recipient will be made at the National Football
Foundation’s festivities in New York City on December 8. The presentation of the 2020
Wuerffel Trophy will occur at the 52nd All Sports Association Awards Banquet on
February 19, 2021 in Fort Walton Beach.
Past recipients of the award are: Rudy Niswanger – LSU – 2005; Joel Penton – Ohio State
– 2006; Paul Smith – Tulsa – 2008; Tim Tebow – Florida – 2008; Tim Hiller – Western
Michigan – 2009; Sam Acho – Texas – 2010; Barrett Jones – Alabama – 2011; Matt
Barkley – USC – 2012; Gabe Ikard – Oklahoma – 2013; Deterrian Shackelford – Ole Miss
– 2014; Ty Darlington – Oklahoma – 2015; Trevor Knight – Texas A&M – 2016; Courtney
Love – Kentucky – 2017; Drue Tranquill – Notre Dame – 2018; Jon Wassink – Western
Michigan – 2019.
The Wuerffel Trophy is presented by Chick-fil-A® and is also supported by its corporate
partners Dart Container Corporation/Solo Cup and Herff Jones.
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. Visit www.ncfaa.org to learn more about the association.