NORTHBROOK, Ill.– Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) on Monday named Tennessee senior defensive back Todd Kelly Jr. as one of its 146 nominees for the 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®, one of the most prestigious off-the-field honors in college football.
Since 1992, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® has brought together a select group of college football players from across the country to honor their dedication to volunteerism and enriching the lives of others. While players are often recognized for their accomplishments and achievements on game day, these student-athletes have made significant contributions to the greater good of society, inspiring future generations of young athletes and the larger college football community.
As a Knoxville native, Kelly takes a lot of pride in serving the local community. His community service activities have centered on helping children. From cheering on patients at East Tennessee Children’s Hopsital to mentoring local fourth-graders at Lonsdale Elementary to serving others via the Emerald Youth Foundation and Read Across America, Kelly is committed to inspiring local youth. He is a member of the 100 Black Men of Knoxville, which serves as a catalyst to empower minority youth to reach their full potential. He has also served as a speaker at local churches and elementary schools.
“Allstate is immensely honored to partner with the AFCA for the 10th year to help pay tribute to these players and their off-the-field ‘good works’ that often go unnoticed and unrewarded,” said Thomas Clarkson, president of the west territory for Allstate Insurance Company and a member of the 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® voting panel. “The individuals nominated to the 2017 Good Works Team® are making a positive impact and uniting communities across the country through service, showing what’s possible when you put all hands in and give back.”
The student-athletes nominated for this esteemed award embody the true spirit of teamwork and selflessness, donating their limited free time to helping and serving others. From founding a non-profit that helps orphans secure jobs in the workforce to raising funds and awareness for childhood cancer research, the 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® nominees may wear different jerseys on the field, but they all exemplify a superior commitment to giving back off of it.
The SEC leads all conferences with 67 selections to the Good Works Team since it began in 1992.
“After looking at the bios of the 146 nominees we received for 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, it really shows that there are great football student-athletes all over this country who just don’t care what happens between the sidelines, but they also care about their community and giving back to others,” Todd Berry, AFCA Executive Director said. “The AFCA has been proud to partner with Allstate these past 10 years to honor football players who give more of themselves to help others in need.”
Comprised of 11 players from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and 11 players from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III and the NAIA, the final roster of 22 award recipients will be unveiled in September. From the nominees submitted by sports information directors across the nation on behalf of their schools, a special voting panel consisting of former Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® members and prominent college football media members will select the 2017 Good Works Team®. Two-time national champion, Heisman Trophy winner and 2009 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® member Tim Tebow will headline the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® voting panel.
In addition to Tebow and Clarkson, the 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® selection panel members includes: former Good Works Team® members Zaid Abdul-Aleem (Duke, 1994 team), Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia, 1997, 1998 teams), Brian Brenberg (St. Thomas, 2001 team), Mike Proman (Amherst, 2002 team) and Wes Counts (Middle Tennessee State, 1999 team); media members Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN), Blair Kerkhoff (Kansas City Star) and Paul Myerberg (USA TODAY); current AFCA President and University of Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez; 2001 AFCA President and current athletic director at Virginia Union University Joe Taylor.
Once the final team members are announced in September, college football fans are encouraged to visit the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® website on ESPN.com, featuring profiles and images of the players, for the opportunity to vote for the 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® Captain. Throughout the season, fans can also follow along and join in on the conversation by searching and using #GoodWorksTeam on their social media channels.
In order to meet the criteria set forth by Allstate and the AFCA, each player must be actively involved with a charitable organization or service group while maintaining a strong academic standing.