"Just because something bad happens, it doesn't mean we can't win the game," Spurrier says. "Be patient. And maintaining a positive outlook is something Danny has done for all of us."
There is an unusual sense of balance in Wuerffel's life. He raises a skeptical brow at the crazed intensity that surrounds college football in Gainesville and much of the rest of the country. "Sometimes it's almost silly," he says. Wuerffel's own priorities are clear, according to Spurrier: "God, his family, school and then maybe football. He's a very nice young man. Almost too nice."
And, as one of his teachers learned recently, Wuerffel is courteous and conscientious to a fault. Michael Mondello was sitting in his office on Sept. 25 when Wuerffel telephoned. Wuerffel is in Mondello's basketball coaching class, which was scheduled to meet that day. Wuerffel began by saying that his mother had just come to town, and they needed to do some errands together. "Would it be O.K. if I'm five or 10 minutes late?" he asked.
The teacher was astonished. "I thought he was calling to ask if he could miss class," says Mondello. "I've never had a student call to tell me he'd be late."
"Danny's a perfectionist," says Spurrier.
As things turned out, however, the young man is not completely unflawed. The '96 season had hardly begun when that old devil was back to haunt him. Wuerffel was chewing his fingernails again.