Travis Jones, a two-year starting linebacker for the San Jose State University football team, is one of 11 current NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) players named to the 2009 Allstate American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team. The announcement was made by Lou Holtz, national spokesman for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, on September 22.
Courtesy: San Jose State Athletics
Travis Jones, a senior from Atascadero, Calif., and a graduate of Atascadero High, is the first San Jose State player to be named to the Good Works Team in the 18-year history of the national program. He also is the first player from the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in eight years to receive this prestigious recognition.
The Good Works Team annually honors the top 22 student-athletes out of the 50,000 college football participants who personify the true spirit of teamwork and charity to society through commendable acts of kindness and community service.
"This is a big deal. I'm so honored. Sometimes when you get an award, you don't know that you are deserving of it. I guess I was doing things I was supposed to be doing," says Jones, who is the 2009-10 vice-president of the university's Student-Athlete Advisory Council. "To me, it was not going above and beyond. There was an opportunity (to help when asked) and I just went and did it."
At San Jose State, Jones has been a multi-year participant in the international Walk-A-Mile In Her Shoes program to raise awareness in the battle against rape, sexual assault and gender violence; served as a Thanksgiving volunteer for charitable organizations; helped with Toys for Tots and similar holiday gift exchanges; and worked at the annual Pat's Run benefiting the Pat Tillman Foundation.
He was appointed as a student representative to the San Jose State University Alcohol, Drug Awareness Prevention Committee and participated in the 2008 California State University Alcohol & Other Drugs Conference.
"A lot of people would love to help people, but they may not have the resources. For me, it was the right thing to do," says the health sciences major and a three-time Academic All-WAC student-athlete.
"I didn't think all the things I've done would elevate me to an award of this magnitude."
"It (the award) means Travis has given of himself in the community, on the campus and at home. We're very proud of him. For him to be the only non-BCS (Bowl Championship Series) player out of 11 is quite significant. One of the BCS players is (Heisman Trophy winner) Tim Tebow, who probably is the best player in college football. It shows it (The Good Works Team) is quite an extraordinary honor," says San Jose State head coach Dick Tomey, the 2009 president of the 10,000-plus member AFCA.
"Any time a player is able to give of themselves to others in addition to everything they have to do to be a football player, it makes me extraordinarily proud. If somebody can do that, it gets the individual ready for the real world. The real world is not just one's little world or football. What happens to us on a weekly basis during the season is very important, but this is a year-round, career award."
One hundred and six (106) players, the largest number in the history of the program, were nominated for the 2009 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. Eleven FBS players were selected to go along with 11 selected from a combined pool of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS - formerly NCAA Division I-AA), Divisions II and III and NAIA schools.
"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," says 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."
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 athletics ability nor on-the-field achievements are among the selection criteria.
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