Oct. 1, 2008
NORMAN, Okla. - Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy has been named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. It marks the third consecutive year that an Oklahoma player has been named to the prestigious squad.
Jacob Gutierrez was on the team in 2006 and Nic Harris received the honor in 2007.
"We're proud of the players who have represented us on the Good Works Team, and certainly Gerald is extremely deserving," said OU Head Coach Bob Stoops. "The fact that he was voted a captain as a sophomore speaks to the respect Gerald has earned in our program. Others have noticed Gerald's selfless actions and integrity, and we are pleased that he also is receiving that recognition on the national level."
McCoy is currently serving as President of OU's Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter. In that position, he has made a number of speaking appearances at area elementary schools, a facility for underprivileged children and area high schools.
He also has worked on a home building project with the ABC show Extreme Makeover in Lawton, Okla., a project that re-built a home for a Ft. Sill soldier, who had been injured in Iraq, and his family after a series of misfortunes left the family facing unexpected challenges and mobility issues for the father and a young son.
McCoy served as the Freshman Liaison for OU's Bridge Builders, an organization that serves as an African-American Student-Athlete Network. In that position, he volunteered for Meals on Wheels. He also helped collect and distribute toys, gifts and food for underprivileged families in the Norman area.
He volunteered for two years with the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. He was a volunteer runner with the children in the completion of their run on race day and has helped at water stations out on the course.
The Oklahoma City native has been an active participant in the White Ribbon Campaign on the Norman campus. The program that denounces violence toward women and girls.
He has been a guest speaker for area Red Cross fund-raising and community service events and worked on a Habitat for Humanity home build with the Sooner football team. He has been a popular visitor to Children's Hospital in Oklahoma City, spending time with the patients and signing autographs.
Through an award that McCoy was nominated for in high school, he has had the opportunity to speak at teen summits in the Los Angeles area. Presented by the National Alliance of African American Athletes, the Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Trophy Award is the nation's first and only award to recognize outstanding achievement in athletics, scholarship, and community service by African-American male high school seniors.
The 22 college football players awarded this prestigious honor were selected by a committee from the 71 nominations submitted by sports information directors on behalf of their teams. The two 11-member teams - one composed of players competing in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (I-A) and a combined team representing the NCAA Championship Subdivision (I-AA), Divisions II, III and the NAIA - honor players that embody the true spirit of "teamwork" and "giving back" through selfless contributions and commendable acts of kindness.
This is the 17th consecutive season the Allstate AFCA Good Works Teams® have been selected, and the first that Allstate has partnered with the AFCA to present the awards.
"Allstate is proud to partner with the AFCA to highlight the extraordinary efforts of these student athletes," said Lisa Cochrane, vice president of marketing for Allstate. "Giving back to our communities is a value Allstate holds dear, and having the opportunity to recognize these young men for the service they've provided off the field is an honor for us."
From donating bone marrow to rescuing children from an overturned bus, the positive impact that these players have made and continue to make on their communities can be measured by more than just touchdowns, tackles, and receptions.
"These 22 student-athletes represent thousands of college football players who make a difference in their communities through volunteer service on campus and in their hometowns," said AFCA Executive Director Grant Teaff. "We're proud to join Allstate in recognizing these young people who are dedicated to improving the world in which we live."
Allstate has assembled a high-profile voting panel made up of previous Good Works Team® members, including former University of Mississippi running back Deuce McAllister and former University of Georgia lineman Matt Stinchcomb, as well as prominent college football media personalities, including ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit and CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd, to elect this year's teams. Also a part of the selection committee are current AFCA president and University of Washington head coach Tyrone Willingham, 1996 AFCA president and former head coach at the United States Air Force Academy Fisher DeBerry, and Allstate senior vice president Steve Sorenson.
In order to meet the criteria set forth by Allstate and AFCA, each player must be actively involved and committed to working with a charitable organization, service group or community service while maintaining good academic standing. Candidates must also display sincere concern and reliability, while also having made a favorable impression on the organizations with which they are involved. Neither athletic ability nor on-the-field achievements are among the selection criteria.