22 student-athletes named to one of college football’s most prestigious honors for community service
NORTHBROOK, Ill., September 12, 2023 – Allstate and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) are recognizing 22 student-athletes and one head coach for exemplary community impact by naming them to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team ®.
One player, Blake Corum, a running back at the University of Michigan, is on a mission to encourage others to dream big and serve their communities. Corum started a Giving Back 2 Give Thanks turkey drive in 2021 using money from his name, image, likeness opportunities. The drive provides Thanksgiving dinners to families in underserved communities in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Another is Ladd McConkey, a wide receiver at the University of Georgia, who has a passion for helping children. He bonded with kids who have cancer or rare blood disorders at Camp Rainbow. McConkey also helped with the surprise donation of $100,000 to the Athens Downtown Academy, which educates the next generation of leaders.
Corum, McConkey and 20 other players have one mission: doing good in their communities. For more than 30 years, Allstate and the AFCA spotlight student-athletes whose remarkable stories often go unnoticed. The final team was selected out of 136 student-athletes who were nominated from across the county.
“It’s inspiring to see how these young men on the 2023 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team choose to use their gifts and talents to be a blessing to their community,” said Tim Tebow, two-time national champion, Heisman Trophy winner and 2009 Good Works Team member. “Serving and loving people can help reveal the greater purpose that we can all have, not just in sports, but in life.”
This year’s Allstate AFCA Good Works Team players have changed lives by mentoring youth, feeding the hungry and donating their earnings. Some even established their own nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations – all while achieving high academic honors.
“This is one of the highest community service awards college football players can receive,” Sam Acho, ESPN analyst, author and 2010 Good Works Team member said. “It serves as an important reminder to these athletes: they’re more than just football players.”
Will Shipley, a junior running back at Clemson University is an example of that. The star player established the 1 CLEM5ON endowment to help provide resources to Clemson University students, including fellow scholar-athletes. Part of the endowment supports Clemson’s P.A.W. Journey program. P.A.W. stands for “passionate about winning.” The leadership initiative helps develop Clemson Football scholar-athletes through personal growth, life skills and professional development.
“I’m in awe of what these players have accomplished in terms of service and academics,” said Troy Hawkes, executive vice president and general manager of sales at Allstate. “They exemplify what it means to go above and beyond in being a role model and pillars in the community.”
Junior punter Juan Velarde has been a community role model since he started at NC Central. He served as a speaker at the NC Governor’s Advisory Council for Hispanic and Latino Affairs as well the Annual Hispanic Educational summit, sharing his experience and entrepreneurial career plans. Within his community, Velarde has volunteered at Durham‐Raleigh El Centro Hispano to tutor and inspire students with his story.
“It’s amazing to see what these athletes have done at such a young age,” AFCA Executive Director Todd Berry said. “They balance athletics, schoolwork and community service. This is an outstanding group of men who will continue the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team legacy.”
Vote for the captain
At ESPN.com/Allstate, fans can learn more about the players’ accomplishments and vote for the 2023 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team ® captain once a day now through Nov. 22. Throughout the season, fans can join the conversation using #GoodWorksTeam on their social media channels to help others learn more about these players and their stories.
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About the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®
The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team was established in 1992 by the College Football Association, recognizing the extra efforts made by college football players and student support staff off the field. The AFCA became the governing body of the award in 1997 and continues to honor college football players who go the extra mile for those in need. Allstate worked to present the award starting with the 2008 season. The Southeastern Conference (SEC) leads all conferences with 84 selections to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team since it began in 1992. The SEC is followed by the Atlantic Coast Conference with 55 selections and the Big 12 Conference and Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, both with 41 selections. Georgia is in first place with 23 honorees to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. The Bulldogs are followed by Kentucky and Bethel (Minn.) with 17 honorees. Super Bowl XLII, XLVI and XLI champion quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning were members of the 2002 and 1997 Allstate AFCA Good Works Teams, respectively.
About the AFCA
The AFCA was founded in 1922 and currently has more than 11,000 members around the world ranging from the high school level to the professional ranks. According to its constitution, the AFCA was formed, in part, to “maintain the highest possible standards in football and in the coaching profession” and to “provide a forum for the discussion and study of all matters pertaining to football.”
For more information about the AFCA, visit www.AFCA.com. For news, check out insider.afca.com and subscribe to our weekly email. To get more in-depth articles and videos, please become an AFCA member. Get information about membership and specific member benefits on the AFCA Membership Overview page. To join, please fill out the AFCA Membership Application.
Jessica Porter, Allstate Media Relations
Vince Thompson, AFCA
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