Picture of the Wendy's Heisman winners at ceremony.

Daniel Orcutt, FWBHS, Named 2016 Wendy’s High School Heisman

Daniel Orcutt, a senior at Fort Walton Beach High School, learned he was the male recipient of the 2016 Wendy’s High School Heisman in front of a packed audience at the PlayStation Theater located in New York’s Times Square on Saturday night.  The Wendy’s High School Heisman recognizes high school scholar-athletes who share Wendy's values of giving back to their communities, treating people with respect, continuing education and excelling on the athletic field.

“We are very proud of Daniel for his work in the classroom and his accomplishments as an athlete,” said Fort Walton Beach High School Principal, John Spolski. 

Daniel’s long list of accomplishments in the classroom, community, and on the athletic field made him a stand out from the thousands of other applicants. (See the full list below.) 

"It's amazing to have won,” said Orcutt.  “It's indescribable to say I've been chosen as the top male scholar athlete out of however many (thousand) people applied. It's incredible."

The top 10 National Finalists enjoyed a trip this weekend to New York for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Weekend.  They were all recognized at the National Awards Banquet in New York City and received a gold medal and a Wendy’s High School Heisman National Finalist Heisman patch.  The judges then selected 1 male and 1 female as the Wendy’s High School Heisman National Winners. 

As one of the two Wendy’s High School Heisman National Winners, Daniel received national honor and recognition during ESPN’s national telecast of the college Heisman Memorial Trophy presentation, a Wendy’s High School Heisman Trophy, a Wendy’s High School Heisman National Winner patch, a $500 Wendy’s gift card, and a $10,000 college scholarship.  The other eight finalists who did not go on to become a National Winner received a $100 Wendy’s gift card and a $5,000 college scholarship. 

Daniel plans to attend the University of Kentucky where he will be a part of the swimming program.

The female winner of the 2016 Wendy's High School Heisman was Frelicia Tucker from Aiken High School in Aiken, South Carolina.  Frelicia is participates in Track and Field, Tennis, and Cheerleading.  Learn more about Frelicia here.

Daniel’s story as posted on the Wendy’s Heisman website:

LIVING IN SERVICE TO OTHERS IS A FAMILY TRADITION.

Daniel Orcutt has attended eight different schools across five states. It comes with the territory when you’re part of a military family. Having grown up around military personnel and veterans his whole life, Daniel understands service and sacrifice more than most. And no matter where he happens to be at the moment, he stays focused on the things that really matter: giving back to the community and doing his part to support others.

Daniel’s willingness to put others first was perhaps never more apparent than when he selflessly chose to support his swim team at Nationals instead of focusing on his own goal of qualifying for the Olympic Trials. By swimming in extra events, he helped his team earn a higher finish. That extra effort caused him to fall short of realizing his own Olympic dreams. Although disappointed, he emerged from the experience with renewed resolve for helping others and an even stronger belief that doing the right thing far outweighs the importance of individual athletic accomplishments.

To that end, Daniel has volunteered over 400 hours of support to his community and military veterans. He is an Eagle Scout, a volunteer swim coach, and an active member of the Military Deployed Family Support organization. However, Daniel is most proud of what he does every day for his own family, helping out with his younger siblings while his father has been deployed in the Middle East for two of the past four years. Inspired by those who serve others, Daniel is happy to give his all for the greater good.

Athletic Achievements

SWIMMING

  • Captain
  • Varsity Letter Winner
  • All-Conference
  • All-District
  • All-State
  • 200m Individual Medley State Champion (2015)
  • Speedo All-American Swim Team (2015 – 2016)
  • 7 School Records Holder
  • 4 County Records: 200m Individual Medley, 100m Backstroke, 100m Freestyle, 200m Medley Relay
  • 4 State Records: European Forces League, 200m Individual Medley, Pentathlon
  • NCSA Junior National Swim Championship Finalist (200m Individual Medley, 400m Individual Medley)
  • Southeastern Swimming All-Star Team (200m Individual Medley, 400m Individual Medley Champion)
  • Two-Time Northwest Florida Swimmer of the Year

CROSS COUNTRY

  • Captain
  • Varsity Letter Winner
  • All-Conference
  • All-District

TRACK & FIELD

  • Captain
  • Varsity Letter Winner
  • All-Conference
  • All-District

Academic Honors & Awards

  • Two-Time Scholastic All-American
  • National Honor Society
  • Science National Honor Society
  • AP Scholar with Honors
  • Okaloosa County Academic Honors, Anne T. Mitchell Award
  • FWBHS Vikings Scholar
  • Scholar-Athlete Award (Swimming, Track & Field)
  • RAFL Commander’s Trophy

School & Community Involvement

  • Student Council
  • Beta Club
  • Vikings Booster Club
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  • Mount Carmel Swim Team Coach
  • Liza Jackson Preparatory School Swim Team Coach
  • Heroes on the Water
  • Military Deployed Family Support
  • Eagle Scout

Eligibility Criteria for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award

High School Seniors dedicated to learning, leading, and performing are eligible to apply if the meet the following criteria:

  • Maintaining a GPA of 3.0 (B average) or better
  • Proven leaders and role models within their school and community
  • Must perform in at least one of the 43 school sponsored sports recognized by the International Olympic Committee in the Summer and Winter Olympic Games or the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Application Process

The first 1,000 students to successfully submit an application receive a $10 Wendy’s gift card.  One senior male and one senior female from every school are selected as the School Winner.  These winners receive a School Winner Certificate and a Wendy’s School Heisman patch.  From the School Winners, 20 finalists (10 males and 10 females) from every state advance to State Finalists.  Each State Finalist receives a bronze medal, a Wendy’s School Heisman patch, and a $25 Wendy’s gift card.

From the State Finalists, one senior male and female are selected as State Winners.  Each State Winner receives a Silver medal, a Wendy’s School Heisman patch, a $50 Wendy’s gift card, and a $1,000 college scholarship for the 90 winners who do not advance to the National Finalist round.

The judges select 10 National Finalists (5 males and 5 females) from each of the five geographic Heisman regions.  National Finalists receive an invitation to the Wendy’s High School Heisman Weekend, including the National Awards Banquet in New York City, a gold medal, and a Wendy’s High School Heisman National Finalist Heisman patch.  The eight finalists who do not go on to become a National Winner will receive a $100 Wendy’s gift card and a $5,000 college scholarship.  The judges select 1 male and 1 female as the Wendy’s High School Heisman National Winners. 

Learn more about Daniel here and be sure to visit the Wendy’s High School Heisman Facebook page to see more about the Wendy’s High School Heisman Weekend. 

Pictured above are Frelicia Tucker, University of Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson 2016 Heisman Trophy winner, and Daniel Orcutt.