MEMPHIS, Tenn–Memphis senior defensive end Martin Ifedi, who has been named to the watch lists of three major collegiate awards over the last two weeks, has been announced as a nominee for the 2014 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®.
The team recognizes players whose charitable involvement and community service contributions stand out among all other student-athletes participating in the sport. Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) announced a record-breaking 182 nominees from across the country who represent the finest in the areas of volunteerism and leadership among their peers.
Since its establishment in 1992, the award has existed to pay tribute to the “good” in college football that extends beyond the wins and the losses. While balancing academics and athletics, this select group of student-athletes nominated by their respective colleges and universities has committed their limited free time to having a lasting impact on their communities.
“Year after year, the ‘good works’ associated with this impressive group of student-athletes continue to inspire and raise the bar for future nominees,” said Jim Haskins, president of Allstate’s West Territory and a member of the 2014 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® voting panel. “Allstate is proud to be a part of an award that recognizes the importance of giving back to the communities where we live, work and cheer on game day.”
While heroes emerge on the gridiron each Saturday, this year’s nominees’ heroics extend beyond touchdowns and tackles. From establishing an epilepsy awareness campaign that has touched the lives of more than 100,000 families to founding a book club program to provide at-risk youth with safe and structured after-school activities, the impressive service resumes of these remarkable student-athletes has earned them recognition on a national level.
“It’s great to see all the ‘good works’ these student-athletes are doing at their universities and in their communities,” Grant Teaff, AFCA executive director said. “The AFCA is proud to work with Allstate in highlighting the record number of nominees sent in for the 2014 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®.”
Ifedi was the 2013 winner of the University of Memphis’ Zach Curlin Award, given annually to the school’s top male student-athlete. The award is presented annually to an outstanding male student-athlete who possesses Curlin’s drive, enthusiasm and determination for academics and athletics while maintaining a concern for others.
Ifedi, a native of Houston, has claimed the city of Memphis as his own, as evident by his service within the community. He volunteers regularly for team community service projects, reading to children in the Shelby County School System as well as visits to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Dorothy Day House.
Beyond involvement in team projects, Ifedi has been a regular at the Orange Mound Community Center, serving as a clinician for various physical activities for children. He has tutored children at the Hickory Ridge Community Center. He has also served as a registration volunteer and attended a Memphis VA Hospital Mental Health Summit.
Comprised of 11 players from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and 11 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. 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 the 2014 Good Works Team.®
Once the final team members are announced in September, fans are encouraged to visit the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® website on ESPN.com, featuring profiles and images of the players, for the opportunity to vote for the 2014 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® Captain.
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 or service group while maintaining a strong academic standing.
Over the last two weeks, Ifedi has been named to the watch lists of the Chuck Bednarik Award, presented to college football’s Defensive Player of the Year; the Bronko Nagurski Trophy annually presented to the best defensive player in America; and the Rotary Lombardi Award which goes annually to the college football lineman – offense or defense – who in addition to outstanding performance and ability, best exemplifies the discipline of Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers.