Nic Weishar and Drue Tranquill both honored with service awards
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, December 5, 2018
Graduate students Nic Weishar and Drue Tranquill were recently honored for their contributions off the field, both having invested a significant amount of time serving the community.
Weishar, a tight end, was named captain of the 2018 AllState AFCA Good Works Team, a program that has honored college football players for commitment to service for the past 27 years. Weishar’s selection was based on his involvement in the Andrew Weishar Foundation, an organization named in honor of his late brother, that works to provide financial assistance to families afflicted by cancer.
Andrew Weishar, a member of the Illinois Wesleyan football team, died of colon cancer at the age of 21. The oldest of three boys, his death inspired Nic and the entire Weishar family to continue his mission of paying the kindness he experienced in his treatment forward.
Their primary event, which has helped enable the Foundation to raise over $800,000, is WeishFest, an annual music festival that many members of the football program have attended in past years. This year’s event was held on Dec. 1 in Chicago and was once again supported by many teammates and coaches alike.
“I was at WeishFest. A lot of us were,” junior cornerback Julian Love said. “I live with Nic Weishar, so it’s great to be supporting my friend. It was great to be going through that with him. That’s what it’s about. It’s a bond we’re making here that’s special.”
Love even joked about the timing of the event — Championship Saturday — when several different games outcomes had the potential to affect the Irish.
“Don’t worry, we were watching the games,” Love said. “They had some games on TVs there. Everybody was kind of huddled around different games, but we were enjoying the experience and supporting Nic.”
Meanwhile, Tranquill was awarded the 2018 Wuerffell Trophy on Monday, a distinction meant to serve as the premier award to community service, academic excellence and leadership. He was selected over fellow finalists, Purdue quarterback David Blough and Kansas State offensive lineman Dalton Risner.
Tranquill has made his mark as a leader on numerous organizations, serving as a mentor on the Core Leadership Team for Lifeworks Ministry and an athlete ambassador for Dream Teams. Tranquill is also a member of AWP Sports, Student-Athlete Advisory Council and the Rosenthal Leadership Academy. He’s also gotten involved in various faith organizations, including Notre Dame Christian Athletes, Team Fellowship and he started 5th Quarter, a post-game event that features Tranquill sharing his story of overcoming obstacles to the local South Bend community.
The award, named after former Florida quarterback and 1996 Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel, was created in response to a recognition of the lack of awards in college football that honor players for their service and commitment to others. Although academics and athletics are considered in the selection, it is the only award in which service is the primary qualification.
In addition to his involvement in community service, Tranquill has excelled in the classroom, graduating last December with a 3.73 grade-point average in mechanical engineering. He is currently enrolled as a graduate student at Notre Dame, and is the first Irish player to be honored with this prestigious award.