Air Force senior quarterback Isaiah Sanders has been named to the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) 2019 Allstate Good Works Team. The team selection is an annual award given to college football players for the impact they make off the field. A total of 137 student-athletes with inspiring stories of community service were nominated by their respective sports information directors.
Sanders has been active in the football team as a motivational leaders while starting games each of the last two seasons. He serves as the team’s community service representative, and has helped coordinate and participate in a service event where team members fix up a playground for a local childcare organization. He has also served as the cadet-in-charge of our Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) group, which has reached up to approximately 50-60 cadets in attendance and meets weekly, by helping plan events and run weekly meetings.
Sanders is also the vice president of Undivided, a non-profit that focuses on strengthening communities and on helping community members create positive change in their spheres of influence. He has gone out in the community, whether at local high schools’ FCA events, retreats, or the Academy’s SPIRE groups, and performed personal spoken word pieces and/or presented biblically-related messages for an estimated 1,000-plus people within the past two years. He was also the keynote/featured speaker at a retreat for high schoolers looking to go deeper in their faith.
Established in 1992, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® continues to be one of the most coveted community service awards in college football. From the 137 nominees, the final roster of 23 award recipients will be announced in September, bringing together 11 players from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision; 11 players from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA); and one honorary head coach. To be considered for a spot on the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®, each player must be actively involved with a charitable organization or service group while maintaining a strong academic standing.
“It’s truly inspiring to see these young men dedicating their time and energy outside of their already busy schedules to leave a lasting impact in their communities,” said John O’Donnell, Allstate’s Western Territory president and member of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team selection committee “As a longtime college football sponsor, Allstate takes great pride in our partnership with the AFCA, and we are honored to celebrate the successes of these players and highlight their stories as an inspiration to all who love the sport.”
This year’s list of nominees includes a heroic player advocating to break the stigma around mental illness through open athlete forums, a young man mentoring underprivileged kids to help change the trajectory of their lives, multiple players donating bone marrow and plasma to extend the lives of complete strangers and a tight end who visits the children’s hospital every week to spread hope to young patients.
"To be named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team is no small feat and goes above and beyond sportsmanship and leadership in the classroom or on the field," said Tim Tebow, two-time national champion, Heisman Trophy winner and 2009 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® member. “These student-athletes believe in the power of giving back and enriching the lives of others, while also helping to shape the lives of future young athletes. Each year, I am struck by the caliber of these nominees and humbled to be a part of telling their stories."
The final 22-member team and honorary coach is selected by a voting panel consisting of former Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® members and prominent media members who look for both their dedication to giving back and the embodiment of true leadership on and off the football field.
After the final team members are announced on September 12, 2019, fans can vote for this year’s Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® captain through the official page on ESPN.com. Fans are also encouraged to join in the conversation by searching and using #GoodWorksTeam on their social media channels throughout the season.
In addition to Tebow and O’Donnell, the 2019 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® selection panel members include: Zaid Abdul-Aleem (Duke, 1994 team); Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia, 1997, 1998 teams); Brian Brenberg (St. Thomas, 2001 team); Mike Proman (Amherst, 2002 team); Wes Counts (Middle Tennessee State, 1999 team); media members Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN), Blair Kerkhoff (Kansas City Star), and Paul Myerberg (USA TODAY); 2019 AFCA President and Ohio University Head Coach, Frank Solich; and 2001 AFCA President and current athletic director at Virginia Union University, Joe Taylor.
“For 12 straight years, the AFCA has been proud to partner with Allstate to honor football student-athletes who volunteer their time and energy to give back to their local communities and other countries around the world,” AFCA Executive Director Todd Berry said. “These 137 nominees are examples to not only their fellow student-athletes, but to everyone in this great nation that selfless acts of giving back will enrich the lives of people they know, and don’t know, who benefit from their generosity.”