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.
Russ has been very active in community service activities during his time at Mercer, including his weekly support of the Backpack Ministry, a nationwide program that provides easy-to-prepare food to meet the nutritional needs of children. He has also been involved in service projects at the Ronald McDonald House and mentoring programs in local elementary schools
The Buford, Ga. native is coming off an impressive freshman campaign that saw him garner Pioneer Football League Offensive Freshman-of-the-Year honors, after helping the Bears set a NCAA Div. I record for wins by a first-year program with 10. The two-time PFL Offensive Player of the Week ran an offense that ranked among the nation’s leaders in scoring (38.3 points per game), total offense (449.6 yards per game) and rushing offense (277.9 ypg).
“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.”
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.