July 20, 2010
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -
To honor the distinguished group of college football players who stand out for the positive influence they have in their communities, Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) announced the 112 student-athletes nominated for the 2010 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, the most ever in the 19-year history of the award. Included among the nominees is Marshall University Senior Tight End Lee Smith.
Smith, a 2009 honorable mention All-Conference USA pick and team captain, has developed into an outstanding ambassador for Marshall University who balances the responsibilities of a student-athlete and father very well. He dedicates a great deal of time to community service ranging from visiting children in local hospitals to volunteering in fund raising efforts for the United Way and the American Heart Association among others. Smith is the 2010 Cam Henderson Scholarship recipient and maintains a 3.21 grade point average with a double major in criminal justice and psychology. He and his wife, Alisha, are also the proud parents of two small children - Brody and Amanda.
In the areas of giving back and volunteerism, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® represents the "best of the best" among more than 50,000 student-athletes participating in the sport at all four-year institutions. The total eclipses the 106 nominees achieved last season, demonstrating the continued growth of a platform that is widely recognized as the most prestigious community service award in college football.
While glory and praise may be traditionally reserved for the most athletically skilled college football players on the field, it is the student-athletes committed to serving others who make the most important impact off the field. The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® exists to tell their stories and acknowledge their impact beyond the game.
"In the third year of our partnership with the AFCA, Allstate, our employees and our agents continue to be inspired by the stories of class and character displayed by these young men," said Guy Hill, vice president of sales and service for Allstate, who also serves on the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® voting panel. "We applaud the commitment of these 112 student-athletes to positively impact their communities with innovation, creativity and passion that reflects so well on their sport, and their respective institutions."
This year's class of nominations includes student-athletes with a wide range of accomplishments, including developing programs to support Haitian relief efforts, working with rural and minority students to help them reach their goal of attending medical school, and organizing a campus fundraiser to incentivize students to shave their heads to raise money for pediatric cancer research.
From the nominees submitted by sports information directors on behalf of their schools, a special voting panel consisting of former Good Works Team® members and prominent college football media members is responsible for selecting two 11-player Good Works Teams® - one comprised of players from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and another representing players from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III, and the NAIA - to be announced in September. College Football Hall of Fame member and ESPN broadcaster Lou Holtz is returning for a third year to serve as spokesperson for the program and raise awareness for the stories of the nominees and team members.
"For the third straight year, the AFCA is pleased to partner with Allstate in highlighting football student-athletes who have achieved outstanding success, both on and off the football," said Grant Teaff, AFCA Executive Director. "From the record total of nominees that were submitted from colleges and universities around the country, it is apparent that collegiate football is producing some of the best and brightest that our country has to offer."
ESPN.com will launch a customized Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® web site featuring profiles and images of the final 22 award recipients, as well as unique and interactive content for college football fans. For the first time in the program's history, fans will be able to vote for a Team Captain on ESPN.com.
The 2010 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® voting panel includes: former Good Works Team® members Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia, 1997, 1998 teams), Mike Proman (Amherst, 2002 team), Mewelde Moore (Tulane, 2003 team), Brian Brenberg (St. Thomas, 2001 team), Zaid Abdul-Aleem (Duke, 1994 team); media members Lou Holtz (ESPN), Pat Forde (ESPN.com), Tom O'Toole (USA Today), Gary Shelton (St. Petersburg Times), Blair Kerkhoff (Kansas City Star); current AFCA President and Mount Union College Head Coach Larry Kehres; 1996 AFCA President Fisher DeBerry, former head coach at the United States Air Force Academy; and Allstate Vice President, Guy Hill.