NORTHBROOK, Ill.--Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) today announced 117 nominees for the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®, including Drake offensive lineman Zach Bosch (Tuscola, Ill.). As one of college football's most prestigious off-the-field honors, the award recognizes a select group of college football players committed to making a difference in their communities.
Last year, Drake's Stoy Hall earned a spot on the 22-member Good Works Team.
Since 1992, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® has shown a spotlight on the countless "good works" and remarkable stories of service by student-athletes at all levels of college football competition. Award recipients represent the sport's finest in terms of character and leadership in the community.
"This year's Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® nominees have some of the most impressive community service resumes in the program's 21-year history," said Kathy Mabe, president of Allstate's West regions and a member of the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team voting panel. "These young men continue to raise the bar for the impact that student-athletes can have on others, and are an inspiration to Allstate, our agents and our employees."
Tackles or touchdowns have no bearing on this award, for it is the many examples of "volunteerism" and "giving back" that have earned these players nominations from their respective colleges and universities. From comforting patients at children's hospitals, to building houses for needy families, to mentoring at-risk youth, each Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® member has his own unique and inspiring story.
"After looking through the list of nominees for the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, we are recognizing some of the best student-athletes in all of college football," said Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association. "These 117 nominees understand the impact each of them have on their schools and communities, and it gives me great pleasure in recognizing their efforts for what they stand for, and what they mean to college football."
Bosch is a returning starter at right guard for the Bulldogs. He finished last season playing a key role for an offensive unit that ranked 17th in the nation (FCS) in passing (272.5 ypg). Bosch was part of an offensive line that protected quarterback Mike Piatkowski, who was named Pioneer Football League Offensive Player of the Year for the PFL co-champion Bulldogs.
His positive influence on his teammates is unquestioned. When the Bulldogs were making decisions in the fall of 2011 about where best to focus their various community service efforts, Bosch felt strongly about involving veterans. He placed his focus on the VA Hospital and did everything from coordinating his teammates' involvement to visiting with the veterans to provide companionship and positive encouragement. Many of these veterans rarely had visitors and many did not have family in the area to visit them, so the Drake players were the only visitors these veterans had.
"We talked to them about anything and everything, and most of the time just listened," Bosch said. "They have stories you couldn't even imagine and are just looking for someone to tell them to. Many times, the veterans would tell us 'See you next week,' or some other variation of the same thing."
In addition to the VA Hospital, Bosch is involved in the following outreach:
- Boys & Girls Clubs--Drake's players have established a consistent program of visits to the local Boys & Girls Club branches, and implemented both a reading program to improve literacy rates and a mentor program for youth.
- Des Moines Public Schools Reading Program-Zach and his teammates have developed and maintained a program in which players visit several Des Moines Public Schools elementary schools every Friday during the season to read to children. The program is designed to develop consistency and familiarity with the visits to encourage students to embrace reading and improve their skills through the time spent together with books.
- Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall tear down-Zach helps to make sure the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall exhibit is properly disassembled and packed to assist with the success of the program, and share it with more people.
- Thanksgiving Meal--For families with husbands and fathers serving overseas. Volunteering time and talents for this important local program.
- Meals From the Heartland-Bulldogs players join other Drake student-athletes to help package food items each year in January to aid hunger relief around the world. Together they spend one day measuring and packing pre-packaged food allotments that will feed those in need.
- Blank Children's Hospital--Visits with children at Des Moines' local children's hospital to provide companionship and encouragement to children suffering from a variety of illnesses.
"Growing up, I was always taught to give back to people," Bosch says. "For me, community service is the most simple and the easiest way to give back to others. My grandfather served in the Air Force, as did his brothers, and I grew up in a very proud family. After having two of my cousins join the Air Force, one of whom served in Afghanistan, I found even more of an urge to volunteer for veterans. I remind myself every day that if it were not for the veterans and those serving our country now, I would not be able to play the great game of football. For this reason, I try to volunteer with the veterans and armed forces anytime I can."
Bosch's head coach Chris Creighton marvels at his student-athlete's generosity and compassion.
"Zach has been committed to our Community Service plan for all three of his years here at Drake," Creighton said. "Our relationship with the local VA Hospital is largely due to the efforts of Zach Bosch. He is passionate about our country and about honoring those who have served it. There are weeks where Zach visits two times in a week. He has developed personal relationships with many of the patients and other players have too as a result of Zach's vision and organization. He genuinely cares about helping other people."
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 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. The final roster of 22 award recipients will be unveiled in September.
Allstate and the AFCA will launch the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® website on ESPN.com featuring profiles and images of the final team members, as well as the opportunity for fans to vote for the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® Captain.
The 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® voting panel includes: former Good Works Team® members Alex Van Pelt (Pittsburgh, 1992 team), Zaid Abdul-Aleem (Duke, 1994 team), Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia, 1997, 1998 teams), Grant Irons (Notre Dame, 1999 team), Brian Brenberg (St. Thomas, 2001 team), Mike Proman (Amherst, 2002 team); media members Lou Holtz (ESPN), Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN), Tom O'Toole (USA Today), Andy Staples (SI.com), Blair Kerkhoff (Kansas City Star); current AFCA President and Harvard University Head Coach Tim Murphy; 1987 AFCA President LaVell Edwards, former head coach at Brigham Young University; and Kathy Mabe, President, West Regions at Allstate.
In order to meet the criteria set forth by Allstate and the AFCA, each player must be actively involved and committed to working with a charitable organization, service group or community service while maintaining a strong academic standing.
The following players have been nominated for consideration to be named to the 2012 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®.
Arizona State University - Brandon Magee
Auburn University - Philip Lutzenkirchen
Bowling Green State University - Ronnie Goble
Brigham Young University - Michael Alisa
Central Michigan University - Cody Wilson
Clemson University - Rashard Hall
Duke University - Sean Renfree
Florida State University - Dustin Hopkins
Indiana University - Adam Replogle
Iowa State University - Jake Knott
Kansas State University - Collin Klein
Louisiana State University - Barkevious Mingo
Middle Tennessee State University - Logan Kilgore
Northern Illinois University - Jason Schepler
Northwestern University - Jeff Budzien
Ohio State University - Ben Buchanan
Rice University - Klein Kubiak
Rutgers University - Khaseem Green
Syracuse University - Deon Goggins
Temple University - Brandon McManus
Texas Christian University - Blaize Foltz
Tulane University - Ryan Griffin
University of Alabama - Barrett Jones
University of Arizona - Jake Fischer
University of California Los Angeles - Jeff Locke
University of Central Florida - Rob Calabrese
University of Cincinnati - Drew Frey
University of Florida - Caleb Sturgis
University of Georgia - Aaron Murray
University of Kentucky - Morgan Newton
University of Louisiana-Lafayette - Blaine Gautier
University of Maryland - A.J. Francis
University of Memphis - Akeem Davis
University of Miami (Fla.) - Mike James
University of Michigan - Patrick Omameh
University of Mississippi - Devin Thomas
University of Missouri - T.J. Moe
University of Nebraska - Rex Burkhead
University of North Carolina - Jonathan Cooper
University of Notre Dame - Mike Golic, Jr.
University of Oklahoma - Landry Jones
University of Pittsburgh - Andrew Taglianetti
University of South Carolina - Marcus Lattimore
University of South Florida - Danous Estenor
University of Southern California - Kyle Negrete
University of Tennessee - Tyler Bray
University of Utah - Sean Sellwood
University of Virginia - Michael Rocco
University of Wisconsin - Shelton Johnson
Utah State University - Jake Doughty
Wake Forest University - Terence Davis
Western Kentucky University - Tye Golden
Combined Divisions (FCS, II, III & NAIA)
Albion College - Spencer Krauss
Bethel University - Erik Smith
Campbell University - Braden Smith
Carnegie Mellon University - Sam Thompson
Carson-Newman College - Kevin Day
Centre College - Oakley Watkins
Chowan University - Austin Tallant
Colgate University - Chris Looney
College of Mount Saint Joseph - Greg Tabar
Dakota State University - John Niesen
Drake University - Zach Bosch
Duquesne University - Zach Richert
Elmhurst College - Scottie Williams
Elon University - Blake Thompson
Emory & Henry College - Daniel Preston
Florida A&M University - Brandon Hepburn
Fordham University - Brendan Melanophy
Franklin & Marshall College - Chad Tothero
Frostburg State University - Tilmon Parker
Georgia Southern University - Brent Russell
Illinois State University - Colton Underwood
Indiana State University - FN Lutz
Kean University - Thomas Denehy
Kenyon College - William Brackett
Lindenwood University - Malach Radigan
Loras College - Michael Donnelly
Louisiana College - Cortland Bell
Montana State University - DeNarius McGhee
North Dakota State University - Billy Turner
Northwest Missouri State - Trevor Adams
Northwestern College (Iowa) - Nate Fischer
Northwood University - Ryan Whittum
Oberlin College - Moses Richardson
Saint John's University (Minn.) - Stephen Johnson
Salisbury University - Dan Griffin
Salve Regina University - Kenechukwu Okwuosa
Samford University - George Allers
Shenandoah University - Nicholas Erdman
South Dakota State University - Bo Helm
Southern Utah University - Cody Larsen
St. Cloud State University - Phillip Klaphake
Tarleton State University - Jake Fenske
Tennessee State University - Devin Wilson
Texas Lutheran University - Allen Cain
Thomas More College - Antonio Booker
Tusculum College - Bo Cordell
University of Dubuque - Wyatt Hanus
University of Montana - Jordan Tripp
University of New Hampshire - Chris Zarkoskie
University of Northern Iowa - Kyle Bernard
University of Rochester - Antonio Ortega
University of St. Thomas (Minn.) - Michael Valesano
University of Wisconsin-River Falls - John Schimenz
Ursinus College - Tony Rosa
Wagner College - Steve Ciocci
Washington University (Mo.) - Seth Wight
Wayne State College (Neb.) - Richard Daniel
Wayne State University (Mich.) - Nick Thomas
West Texas A&M University - Aaron Mullane
Western New England University - Corey Brown
Wheaton College - Garrett Meador
William Paterson University - Dawys German
Wingate University - Robbie Nallenweg
Winona State University - Bryan Bradshaw
Wittenberg University - Reed Florence
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer, serving approximately 16 million households through its Allstate, Encompass, Esurance and Answer Financial brand names. Widely known by its slogan "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®," Allstate offers insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives, as well as via www.allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate®. As part of Allstate's commitment to strengthen local communities, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate employees, agency owners and the corporation provided $28 million in 2011 to thousands of nonprofit organizations and important causes across the United States.
About the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®
The Allstate AFCA Good Works Teams® were established in 1992 by the College Football Association, recognizing the extra efforts made by college football players and student support staff off the field. 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 partnered to present the award starting with the 2008 season.
The SEC leads all conferences with 54 selections to the Good Works Team since it began in 1992. The SEC is followed by the Big 12 Conference with 40 selections and the Atlantic Coast Conference with 29 selections. With Aron White's selection in 2011, Georgia moves into first place with 13 honorees to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. The Bulldogs are followed by Nebraska and St. Thomas (Minn.) with 12 honorees each. Super Bowl XLII, XLVI and XLI champion quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning were members of the 2002 and 1997 Good Works Teams®, respectively.
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."