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Oklahoma DE Lands on Wuerffel Watch list

Ethan Downs was nominated for one of the most prestigious awards in college football, which takes into account much more than the game itself.

The preseason award nominations keep rolling in for Oklahoma, and the latest one is a big one.

Junior defensive end Ethan Downs, renowned for his citizenship off the field, is on the watch list for the Danny Wuerffel Trophy, which honors community service as well as football accomplishments.

Oklahoma has three former players who have received the Wuerffel Trophy. Center Gabe Ikard won it in 2013, center Ty Darlington won it in 2015, and former quarterback Trevor Knight won it as a player at Texas A&M in 2016.

Last season, Downs was one of 26 finalists for the John Wooden Citizenship Cup as he participated in a service trip to Miami to help a local elementary school with a beautification project and mentored students.

Among his many other activities, Downs has also served as a counselor for camps and other events for terminally ill patients at OU Children’s Hospital, took part in Art With a Heart to benefit the Oklahoma Children’s Cancer Association, and has spoken two elementary school children statewide representing the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Recently, Downs donated funds raised from autograph sessions (as an NIL venture) to Connections Food and Resource Center in his hometown of Weatherford, OK.

Last spring, Downs — who got married this offseason — created and directed a campus-wide food drive for the OU Food Pantry, and during the summer, he took part in a mission trip to South Africa and still found time to coach a youth football camp in Edmond.