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Many student athletes who excel on the field also score points in their personal lives by successfully balancing athletics, schoolwork and giving back to their communities. The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), along with sponsorship partner Allstate, recognizes college/university football players of exemplary character with their annual Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® award, one of the most prestigious off-the-field honors in college sports.
These young men are nominated by their schools’ sports directors, and are selected based on factors which include service to the community and academic achievement. The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® voting panel selects 11 award winners from the Football Bowl Subdivision I-A and 11 from the Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III and the NAIA. All members of the Good Works Team® will receive special recognition at the Allstate® Sugar Bowl® game in January, and have the opportunity to participate in community service activities in the New Orleans area. This year, four African-American student athletes from the Football Bowl Subdivision have earned a spot on the Good Works Team®:
Stephen Morris is a senior quarterback for the University of Miami Hurricanes. His community service includes serving as a project manager for the University of Miami’s Bone Marrow Donor Drive, feeding the homeless with the Miami Rescue Mission, coaching youth sports, visiting with families at the Ronald McDonald House, and volunteering for the Run For Your Lives 5K event. Morris' selection marks the second year in a row that a University of Miami player has made the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®.
Nick Forbes is a junior linebacker for the University of California, Berkeley Golden Bears. He is the vice president of the Golden Bear Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and has represented UC at both the Pac-12 Student-Athlete Advisory Conference and the NCAA APPLE Conference. Forbes has been a motivational speaker at schools and youth groups, and has volunteered with organizations such as Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, City of Berkeley and Read Across America.
Asa Watson is a senior tight end for the North Carolina State University Wolfpack. On campus, he serves as a representative for the Society of Afrikan American Culture, an organization promoting cultural awareness and community service. Off campus, he has volunteered on multiple trips with Athletes In Action's "Urban Project L.A." where he helped on projects in inner-city communities. Watson has gone on mission trips as well, and recently spent the entire summer with his pastor father on a mission trip to Jamaica.
Fred Lee is a senior wide receiver for the University at Buffalo Bulls, and has the distinction of being the first UB football player in history to win the Good Works Team® award. His community service activities include volunteering in schools, day care centers, veteran’s hospitals, the Ronald McDonald House, the Red Cross, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and Tim Horton’s Camp Day.
Black PR Wire salutes these fine student athletes for being such extraordinary role models to the younger generation, both on and off the football field.