NORTHBROOK, Ill. – Sept. 20, 2011 – Carson-Newman senior defensive end and Knoxville West High School product Byron Bell has been named to the 2011 AFCA Good Works Team, the AFCA and Allstate announced on Tuesday.
Allstate Insurance Company (NYSE:ALL) and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) announced the 22 student-athletes named to the 2011 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®, one of the most prestigious off-the field honors in college football. For 20 years the award has recognized a select group of college football players committed to making a difference in their communities.
Bell has excelled on the field for the Eagles in his four seasons as a Carson-Newman Eagles, but it has been his work on campus and in the community that have defined him to fellow members of the Eagle football team and on the C-N campus. He has a 3.1 GPA and is working toward a double major in Business Administration and Biblical Leadership.
The senior has been an active member of the C-N and local communities throughout his career. He has served as president of the Carson-Newman Fellowship of Christian Athletes for two years.
The senior has worked with underprivileged children locally and throughout the U.S. he volunteered for the Luke 14 Banquet, which is a local carnival for special needs children. He also worked a summer counselor at Kids Across America, in Golden, Miss. which is a summer camp for kids from urban areas. Bell went on an American football teaching mission trip to Israel and has taken a mission trip to South Africa.
In addition to serving, Bell's creative side has led him to start on campus service organizations including C-N Compassion, which reaches out to those in the community who need help with physical labor. He has also helped with the Carson-Newman campus beautification program, participated in a team project repairing schools in Cocke County in 2009, gave away Thanksgiving meals to families in need, has spoken about bully prevention at local schools. He also is a tutor on the C-N campus.
On the field, Bell has the Eagles off to a 2-1 start. He recorded two sacks in C-N's 56-7 win over Fayetteville State on Sept. 8 and is a preseason All-South Atlantic Conference selection at defensive end. Last season, the 6-1, 230-pound Bell started 10 games for the Eagles in 2010. He recorded 42 tackles, including 10 for a loss, and 6.5 sacks for a unit that ranked second in the conference in scoring defense and rushing defense.
Carson-Newman head coach Ken Sparks on Byron Bell:
"Byron is significant. He's one of those guys that will make a difference in this world. He's a great leader for this football team, and is a great leader in life" He is out there winning people for the Lord, understands what is important, and pours his heart into it."
Carson-Newman defensive coordinator Mike Clowney on Byron Bell:
"Byron is a great person. An all-around good guy you can count on. On the field and in the community to do whatever needs to be done. Byron's attitude is what allows him to be so effective as a football player. When he came in he was a linebacker, we moved him to defensive end. He's not big enough, he's not fast enough, but he does all the little things that give him the chance to be successful as a football player."
A program record 132 players were nominated for the award this summer. From the nominations, a special voting panel, including former Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® members and current college football broadcasters, selected 22 players from across the country to the team. Of the two 11-member teams, one comprises players competing in the NCAA® Football Bowl Subdivision and the other is a combined team representing the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III, and the NAIA.
2011 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®
Football Bowl Subdivision (I-A)
Name Cl. Pos. School Hometown
Robert Griffin Jr. QB Baylor Copperas Cove, Texas
Chris Potter Jr. WR Boise State Westlake Village, Calif.
Brian Lockridge Sr. RB Colorado Trabuco Canyon, Calif.
Aron White Sr. TE Georgia Columbia, Mo.
Jacob Lewellen Jr. DL Kentucky Louisville, Ky.
Jared Crick Sr. DL Nebraska Cozed, Neb.
Alexander Netter Sr. OL Northwestern Rohnert Park, Calif.
Dayne Crist Sr. QB Notre Dame Canoga Park, Calif.
Matt Barkley Jr. QB Southern California Newport Beach, Calif.
Wayne Tribue Sr. OL Temple York, Pa.
Emmanuel Acho Sr. LB Texas Dallas, Texas
Football Championship Subdivision (I-AA), Divisions II, III, and NAIA
Name Cl. Pos. School Hometown
Byron Bell Sr. DL Carson-Newman Knoxville, Tenn.
Cory Nikkel Sr. TE Central (Iowa) Pella, Iowa
Jacob Heppner Sr. DB Central Methodist Mansfield, Mo.
Stoy Hall Sr. LB Drake Omaha, Neb.
David Melms Jr. DB Macalester Wauwatosa, Wis.
Kellen Cox Sr. WR Missouri Southern State Mount Vernon, Mo.
Colby Rohde Sr. TE Morningside Wathena, Kan.
Justin Belotti Sr. DB North Dakota Kenosha, Wis.
Yaser Elqutub Sr. LB Northwestern State Katy, Texas
Matt Greenhalgh Jr. OL Rhode Island Chepachet, R.I.
Ricky McClain Jr. DL SUNY Maritime Wantagh, N.Y.
Equally as remarkable as the service contributions of Allstate AFCA Good Works Teams of the past, this year's roster boasts an impressive list of credentials promoting service and volunteerism. From donating bone marrow to a cancer patient to mentoring children home and abroad to playing the piano for hospital patients, the selfless acts of these 22 student-athletes prove that tackles and touchdowns do not have to come at the expense of greatness off the field.
"The tremendous community service activities these young student-athletes participate in is exceptional," said Grant Teaff, Executive Director of the American Football Coaches Association. "These 22 student-athletes have sacrificed their personal time in an attempt to make their communities a better place. We couldn't be more proud to have these players make up the 20th Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®. We are also proud to be partnered with Allstate in recognizing these outstanding student-athletes."
Fans will be able to vote for an Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® Captain by visiting ESPN.com and searching "Good Works". By viewing the player profiles on the website, fans can learn more about this year's team members and their selfless acts of kindness. The Team Captain and his fellow award recipients will be invited to New Orleans to take part in a special volunteer project leading up to the 2012 Allstate® Sugar Bowl®.
The 2011 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® voting panel includes several former Good Works Team members including former University of Pittsburgh quarterback Alex Van Pelt, former University of Georgia offensive lineman Matt Stinchcomb and former University of Notre Dame defensive lineman Grant Irons. ESPN personalities Lou Holtz, who also serves as the national ambassador for the program, and Rece Davis are also a part of the voting panel, joined by current AFCA president and Montana State University Head Coach Rob Ash, 1987 AFCA President and former Brigham Young University Head Coach LaVell Edwards and Allstate executive vice president Mark LaNeve.
To celebrate the 20th year of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®, Allstate has partnered with college sports website LostLettermen.com to host a series of Q&A interviews with Good Works Team® alumni during the 2011 season. To learn more about these past award recipients and where they are now, visit LostLettermen.com and click on the "Allstate" tab.
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer known for its "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®" slogan. Now celebrating its 80th anniversary as an insurer, Allstate is reinventing protection and retirement to help nearly 16 million households insure what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow. Consumers access Allstate insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada, as well as via www.allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate®.
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.
Since 1992, the Southeastern Conference leads all conferences with 54 selections to the Good Works Teams®, followed by the Big 12 with 40 selections and the Atlantic Coast Conference with 29 selections. With Aron White's selection this year, 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 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."