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Fergie Ferguson Award
Awarded for"Senior football player who displays outstanding leadership, character and courage"
Presented byFlorida Gators football
coaching staff
LocationUniversity of Florida,
Gainesville, Florida
CountryUnited States
RewardTrophy
Official websiteGatorZone.com

The Forest K. Ferguson Award is presented annually in memory of one of the University of Florida's greatest athletes. The award is given in the form of a trophy, which remains in the permanent possession of the school. The recipient is the Gators' "senior football player who displays outstanding leadership, character and courage," and is selected by the Florida Gators football coaching staff.

Namesake Edit

The award takes its name from Forest King "Fergie" Ferguson, Jr., one of the University of Florida's greatest all-around athletes.[1] Born June 21, 1919, in South Jacksonville, he entered the university in the fall of 1938, after having been a star end for Stuart High School in Stuart, Florida. Ferguson was a three-year starter at offensive end and defensive end, "playing both ways," from 1939 to 1941. His school pass-receiving records remained unbroken until the 1960s, when quarterbacks Steve Spurrier and John Reaves began to throw passes to star receivers Charles Casey, Richard Trapp, and All-American Carlos Alvarez in pro passing schemes.

Ferguson was an All-American in football in 1941.[2] The following year, he was the State of Florida collegiate boxing champion and won the National AAU javelin throw with a distance of 203 feet, 6 and 1/2 inches.[1] He graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in education in 1942.

Several months after the United States entered World War II, Ferguson joined the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant in 1942.[1] On June 6, 1944, he led an infantry platoon of the 29th Infantry Division in the Allies' D-Day landings on Omaha Beach in Nazi-occupied Normandy, France.[3] Ferguson and his men were pinned down on the beach by heavy rifle, machine gun and artillery fire from the German defenders, and their advance was blocked by extensive barbed wire and other enemy obstacles.[3] Ferguson rose under fire, cleared a passage through the enemy obstacles with a Bangalore torpedo, and was gravely wounded in leading his men in a direct frontal assault against the enemy.[3] Ferguson was awarded the U.S. Army's Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second highest medal for gallantry in combat, for his service on June 6, 1944.[3] He never recovered from his wounds, and died in May 1954 in a Miami hospital.[1] He is buried in All Saints Cemetery in Jensen Beach.[4]

WinnersEdit

1954Malcolm Hammack (FB)
1955Steve DeLaTorre (C/LB)
1956 – Larry Wesley (T)
1957Jim Rountree (HB)
1958 – Jimmy Dunn (QB)
1959 – Asa Cox (G)
1960Pat Patchen (E)
1960Vic Miranda (T)
1961Jim Beaver (T)
1962 – Sam Holland (E)
1963 – Jimmy Morgan (LB)
1963Hagood Clarke (HB)
1964Larry Dupree (FB)
1965Charles Casey (E)
1966Steve Spurrier (QB)
1967Richard Trapp (E)
1968Guy Dennis (G)
1968Larry Smith (RB)
1969Steve Tannen (DB)
1970Jack Youngblood (DE)
1971John Reaves (QB)

1972Fred Abbott (LB)
1973 – David Hitchcock (NG)
1974Lee McGriff (SE)
1975Jimmy DuBose (FB)
1976 – Jimmy Fisher (QB)
1977Wes Chandler (SE)
1978 – Mike Dupree (DE)
1979 – Chuck Hatch (DB)
1980David Little (LB)
1981 – Brian Clark (PK)
1982James Jones (FB)
1983Dwayne Dixon (WR)
1984 – Gary Rolle (WR)
1985Neal Anderson (RB)
1986Ricky Nattiel (WR)
1987Kerwin Bell (QB)
1988Louis Oliver (DB)
1989 – John Durden (OT)
1990 – Kirk Kirkpatrick (TE)
1991Cal Dixon (C)
1992 – Lex Smith (DE)

1993William Gaines (DT)
1994 – Michael Gilmore (DB)
1995 – Ben Hanks (LB)
1996 – James Bates (LB)
1997 – Dwayne Thomas (LB)
1998 – Willie Cohens (DE)
1999 – Cheston Blackshear (OG)
2000Jesse Palmer (QB)
2001 – Rob Roberts (FB)
2002Byron Hardmon (LB)
2003 – Daryl Dixon (FS)
2004Ciatrick Fason (RB)
2005 – Jarvis Herring (S)
2006Jemalle Cornelius (WR)
2007Andre Caldwell (WR)
2008Louis Murphy (WR)
2009 – Ryan Stamper (LB)
2010Justin Trattou (DE)
2011John Brantley (QB)
2011 – Lerentte McCray (LB)

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 2006 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, Awards, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 143–146 (2006). Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  2. 2009 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, History, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 146 (2009). Retrieved May 20, 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 MilitaryTimes.com, Hall of Valor, Forest K. Ferguson. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  4. Forest K. Ferguson, Jr. at Find A Grave

External linksEdit

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