University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagle football player Will Cross (Jr., Turtle Lake, Wis.) is among 169 nominees for the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team.
The junior has volunteered his time in the Crookston community and at various football camps, as well as the Mark Olsonawski Scholarship Golf Tournament in Hallock. Cross is a stand-out in the classroom, maintaining a 3.89 GPA in management. On the field, he has been a staple at middle linebacker for the Golden Eagles. Cross was a 2016 All-NSIC North Honorable Mention selection. He has 169 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, a sack, and an interception in two seasons for the Golden Eagles.
The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® has been one of the most esteemed honors in college football for more than 25 years. The student-athletes who are nominated for this award not only demonstrate a unique dedication to community service and desire to make a positive impact on the lives around them, but they also show tremendous perseverance as well as the ability to overcome personal struggles and come out victorious against all odds. “Each nominee has an inspiring story to tell – often times about how they have prevailed over hardships and adversity only to turn around and pour their hearts into helping others,” said David Prendergast, president of the Eastern Territory at Allstate Insurance Company and a member of the 2018 voting panel. “It is our privilege at Allstate to come together with the AFCA for the 11th consecutive year to shine a light on these exceptional nominees who set the highest standards of community service and serve as role models for generations to come.”
The college football players who have been nominated make it a priority to find time in their busy schedules to volunteer in meaningful ways. Of the nominees, many players dedicate time to reading, mentoring and playing sports with disadvantaged children when they are not in the classroom or on the field. Other players make frequent visits to hospitals to spend one-on-one time with ill patients. One student-athlete even went as far as donating bone marrow in order to save the life of a child in need.
A special voting panel consisting of former Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® members and prominent college football media members will review submissions from sports directors across the nation to select the 2018 Good Works Team®. Tim Tebow, two-time national champion, Heisman Trophy winner and 2009 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® member, will once again headline the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® voting panel. “I’ve seen the value of this team firsthand since I was selected as a member of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team my senior year, and I love seeing the influx of players year after year who truly embody everything this program stands for,” said Tebow. “These kids have so much character, strength, and honor. To excel on the field, in the classroom and be a leader in community service – that is the ultimate accomplishment.”
The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® is 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 and one honorary head coach. To be in consideration by Allstate and the AFCA for a nomination, each player must be actively involved with a charitable organization or service group while maintaining a strong academic standing.
The final roster of 22 award recipients and honorary head coach will be unveiled in September.
In addition to Tebow and Prendergast, the 2018 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® selection panel members includes: former Good Works Team® members Zaid Abdul-Aleem (Duke, 1994 team), Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia, 1997, 1998 teams), Brian Brenberg (St. Thomas, 2001 team), Mike Proman (Amherst, 2002 team) and Wes Counts (Middle Tennessee State, 1999 team); media members Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN), Blair Kerkhoff (Kansas City Star) and Paul Myerberg (USA TODAY); Georgetown College head coach Bill Cronin; 2001 AFCA President and current athletic director at Virginia Union University Joe Taylor.