We have an exciting lineup of celebrities on board for the 2017 Desire Cup! The competition gets fierce but stays friendly, because it’s all for a great cause — raising funds to help Desire Street Ministries reach urban leaders who reach kids and families living in distressed neighborhoods.
Tony is returning as our emcee this year. Earning a journalism degree from the University of Georgia in 1976, he started his career as a reporter for the Greensboro News & Record. He joined the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as college sports editor in ’87, then joined ESPN in ’93 covering college football. He appeared on “College GameDay” starting in ’97 and currently, the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Famer hosts “The Tony Barnhart Show” on CBS College Network, as well as an afternoon radio show with Wes Durham on Atlanta’s “790 The Zone.”
A 1983-84 All-American, Kevin Butler became the first kicker ever inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He played professionally for the Chicago Bears, becoming the team’s all-time leading scorer. He was part of the winning 1986 Super Bowl Championship team. Kevin also played for the Arizona Cardinals before retiring.
The 1993 recipient of the Lou Groza Award recognizing the best placekicker in college football, Judd Davis played in Gainesville from 1991 to 1994. Initially a walk-on, he completed nearly 87% of his field goal attempts, setting or tying 8 school records and 3 SEC records, and surpassing Emmitt Smith in 1994 to become the Gator’s all-time leading scorer with 225 career points. Davis was inducted into the U of F Athletic Hall of Fame as a “Gator Great” in 2011.
Billy Horschel was a four-time All-American on coach Buddy Alexander’s Florida Gators men’s golf team. He won the individual medalist honors at the 2006 U.S. Amateur, and represented the US in the Palmer Cup in 2007 and 2008. He turned pro in 2009, earned his PGA Tour Card in 2013, winning the BMW Championship, and the FedEx Cup in 2014. He is ranked 50th in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Gary Koch, won the Florida Open at 16 as an amateur. While at the University of Florida, he was a four-time first-team All-SEC and three-time All-American golfer. He turned pro in 1975 and won 6 PGA events and two titles. Koch was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a “Gator Great” in 1978 and the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. After the Pros, he joined ESPN as a sportscaster, and is currently on NBC Sports.
LaPorta was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 14th round of the 2003 MLB Draft, but instead accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida. He led NCAA Division I baseball with 26 home runs, which garnered LaPorta All-American honors as he helped lead the team to the 2005 College World Series final. He was drafted again in 2006 by the Boston Red Sox but chose to complete his senior year at UF where he batted .402 with twenty home runs. In 2007, he was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers with the seventh overall pick of the 2007 MLB Draft. He hit a home run in his first at-bat as a professional player.
John Lastinger played quarterback for the University of Georgia from 1980 through 1983. His senior year he led the Dawgs to victory in the Cotton Bowl. Lastinger did not have to pass very often, averaging just 14.5 times per game because he had the opportunity many, many times to, instead, hand the ball off to teammate Herschel Walker.
Terry LeCount quarterbacked his Jacksonville FL high school football team to the Florida Class 4A State Championship in 1973. Playing for the Florida Gators from 1974 to 1977, he led Coach Doug Dickey’s “Gatorbone” offense, a variation of the wishbone offense. Drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 1978, he played two seasons before being traded to the Minnesota Vikings. An injury put him on the sidelines in 1985-86, but he returned in 1987, finishing his career having played in 72 games, starting in 19, with 89 receptions for 1,354 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Shane Matthews played Quarterback at the University of Florida from 1990-1992. During his illustrious collegiate career, Matthews was a three-time First Team All-SEC selection, the 1991 and 1992 SEC Player of the Year, a member of the 1992 All-American Team, and a winner of the 1991 SEC Championship Game. Following Florida Matthews spent 14 seasons in the NFL. Matthews was elected to the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002.
Wilber Marshall was a star linebacker for the University of Florida Gators from 1980 to 1983, with 343 tackles (58 for a loss) and 23 quarterback sacks. He was a two-time All-American, and named National Defensive Player of the Year by ABC Sports in 1983. He was inducted into the U of F Athletic Hall of Fame as a Gator Great and named to U of F’s Ring of Honor in 2007. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008. Marshall was a significant member of two Super Bowl Championship teams: the 1986 Bears and the 1991 Redskins. In the 1985 NFC Championship Game, he recovered a fumble and ran 52 yards through falling snow to help the Bears to a 24-0 win over the Rams. In his 12 NFL seasons, he recorded 45 sacks, intercepted 23 passes, which he returned for 304 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also forced 24 fumbles, recovering 16 and returning them for 70 yards and 2 touchdowns.
This American football wide receiver is a free agent who made forty-six receptions for 630 yards (a 13.7-yard average) and seven touchdowns when playing for his alma mater, the University of Florida Gators. Nelson was the recipient of quarterback Tim Tebow’s “jump pass” in the 2009 BCS National Championship Game which cemented the Gators’ 24–14 victory over the Oklahoma Sooners. As a pro, he has played for the Buffalo Bills, the Cleveland Browns, the New York Jets and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has racked up 130 receptions for 73 first downs and 10 touchdowns.
Wide receiver Lindsay Scott played for the Georgia Bulldogs from 1978-1981. His game-winning “Run, Lindsay Run!” play saved the game against Florida, and kept Georgia in the running for the 1980 National Championship, which the Dogs went on to take. He was drafted into the NFL by the New Orleans Saints in 1982 and played four seasons. He was inducted into the Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame in 1997.
The “other lefty quarterback” Tom Shannon, led the Gators to three solid seasons from 1062-64. He originally joined the Gators as a defensive back, but made an immediate impact offensively where his skills were more needed. Taking over as starting QB during his sophomore season, he led his team to three bowls wins in four appearances, setting school records for passing accuracy. Having beat Georgia 2 seasons in a row, he’ll be bringing it on the golf course at the Cup!
Musa Smith ran for Georgia and played a starring role in Georgia’s 2003 Sugar Bowl victory over Florida State. During his 3-year career at Georgia, he rushed for 2,202 yards and 19 touchdowns on 454 carries. In his junior year, he became the first Georgia running back to surpass 1,000 years in a season since 1992. Smith was drafted in 2003 by the Baltimore Ravens. He was horse-collar tackled (now illegal) and suffered a sever compound fracture of his right tibia, keeping him out two seasons. He returned to the Baltimore Ravens, gaining 496 yards in 32 rushes and 54 catches for 363 yards.
Steve Spurrier was the University of Florida’s first Heisman Trophy winner in 1966. A two-time All American quarterback for the Gators, he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1986. He played professional football in the NFL from 1967 to 1976 with the 49ers and the Buccaneers. He served as an assistant coach at the college level for several seasons before being hired as head coach of the Tampa Bay Bandits in the USFL. When that team folded after 3 successful seasons, the Coach went back to the college level leading the Duke Blue Devils to seeming unheard of success. After 3 seasons he accepted the head coaching job at Florida in 1990. In 1996, he became the first Heisman Trophy Winner: Danny Wuerffel. Moving to coach the Washington Redskins in 2001, he returned to the college came as head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks in 2005 until his retirement in 2015 as the winningest coach in both Florida and South Carolina history, the second in the history of the SEC.
Jon Stinchcomb played offensive tackle for the University of Georgia Bulldogs from 1998 to 2002. He was a four-year start, racked up All-Academic honors in 2001-02, and was inducted into Georgia’s Circle of Honor in 2012. He was drafted in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints, and played eight seasons, including the Saints’ Super Bowl-winning 2009 season. He retired in 2011 to pursue a career in physical therapy and is well-known for his humanitarian efforts and community service.
Danny Wuerffel is the 1996 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from the University of Florida, and in 2013, he was inducted into the Football College Hall of Fame. Wuerffel won the SEC Championship four times, 1993-1996, and the 1996 National Championship. During his collegiate career, Wuerffel won nearly every major college football award, including the Maxwell, Walter Camp, O’Brien, and Unitas Trophies. Wuerffel was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 1997. During his time in New Orleans, he became involved with Desire Street Ministries. Wuerffel came back to be a part of Desire Street’s staff during the off-season and was named Executive Director of the ministry in 2006.
This University of Georgia standout became the most prolific passer in the history of the Southeastern Conference in 1994, as well as only the third quarterback in NCAA Division I history to throw for more than 11,000 yards in his career. This Heisman Trophy candidate set 67 school records and 18 S.E.C. records. He also earned All-Academic S.E.C. honors in 1992 and 1993. In his five years in the NFL, he played for the Cleveland Browns (1995), Baltimore Ravens (1996–1998), and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1999–2000).