Allstate and the American Football Coaches Association on Wednesday released the 22-player roster for their 2020 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, which honors players “who have truly set themselves apart through their commitment to helping others.”
The 22 players, chosen from a field of 149 nominations, include such players as Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma defensive back Chanse Sylvie and Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger. The roster comprises 11 FBS players and 11 from the FCS, Divisions II and III and NAIA. Second-year West Virginia coach Neal Brown was selected as the honorary coach of the team.
Below is the full 23-man roster, Brown included:
2020 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team
- Neal Brown, coach, West Virginia
- Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
- Rakavius Chambers, OL, Duke
- Trenton Gill, P, N.C. State
- Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
- Treyjohn Butler, DB, Stanford
- Elijah Hicks, DB, Cal
- Luke Fortner, OL, Kentucky
- Adam Shibley, LB, Michigan
- Teton Saltes, OL, New Mexico
- Chanse Sylvie, DB, Oklahoma
- Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas
- Mike Delich, LB, Bethel University (Minn.)
- Alexander Findura, DL, Bloomsburg University
- Jacob Norris, OL, Chadron State College
- Tyler Bradfield, LB, Grand Valley State University
- DaShawn Simon, WR, Howard University
- Stephen Stokes, DB, North Carolina Central University
- Chris Backes, QB, Saint John’s University (Minn.)
- Jackson Ross, DL, University of Chicago
- Steven Spirakis, K, University of Rochester
- Andrew Whitaker, DB, Washington University in St. Louis
- Jace Neugebauer, LB, William Penn University
The 2020 team — the 29th such team since its inception in 1992 — was selected in a climate where players are using their platform and voice not only to help the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but also speak out on issues of racial injustice. Hubbard, for example, had a hand in creating Oklahoma State football’s video on racial injustice; Lawrence helped raise money for COVID-19 relief in his hometown of Cartersville, Ga., and helped organize a student-led demonstration against racial injustice; Ehlinger helped raise nearly $200,000 for coronavirus relief.
“It means a lot to me, to see what so many of these young men are doing,” Tim Tebow, 2020 Good Works Team ambassador and a 2009 alum, told Sporting News. “If you looked at the bios of all these kids, of what they’re doing in their communities — unfortunately we could only pick 22 — but there are so many stories and it just makes me so proud of these young men, of what they’re doing.”
One player Tebow highlighted when speaking to SN was Kentucky offensive lineman Luke Fortner, whose regular trips to the Kentucky Children’s Hospital were interrupted by the pandemic. But, as Tebow noted, he didn’t let that stop him from continuing his outreach.
“So you know what he started doing? He started taking questions and making videos every single week to be able to get his teammates involved,” Tebow told SN. “It was just so cool to see how these kids adapted. Sam Ehlinger raised almost $200,000 for COVID relief. Trevor Lawrence, Chuba Hubbard, so many members of this team.”
Regardless of the size of their platform, one commonality among the 22 players chosen is that they used it to help make a difference in others’ lives.
“While some of these guys have bigger platforms than others, all of them have a huge heart. And all of them are making such an impact. And that’s why I think this award is so cool: Because it’s not just about what you do on the field. It’s about who you are and what you’re doing off of it,” Tebow said. “And these guys are making huge impacts, all 22 of them, and Coach Brown.
“That’s why you can hear me just get fired up about them, because I’m just so proud of their effort and what they’re doing. And I think it needs to be celebrated.”