Lewellen Named to Allstate AFCA Good Works Team
Sept. 20, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky defensive end Jacob Lewellen has been named to the 2011 Allstate Good Works Team selected by the Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association. He is one of only 11 Football Bowl Subdivision players named to the team in honor of their community service, selected from a record pool of 132 nominees.
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.
Equally as remarkable as the service contributions of Allstate AFCA Good Works Teams of the past, this year’s roster boasts an impressive list of credentials promoting service and volunteerism. From donating bone marrow to a cancer patient to mentoring children home and abroad to playing the piano for hospital patients, the selfless acts of these student-athletes prove that tackles and touchdowns do not have to come at the expense of greatness off the field.
Lewellen, a native of Louisville, Ky., has been very involved in community service projects during his Kentucky career, leading the team in volunteer hours with over 90 hours (and counting) in giving back to the community.
He is the most active in “Athletes in Action,” an international Christian sports ministry organization where he serves as a Leadership Team Member. With AIA he leads two weekly Bible studies on campus - one for freshman football team members and one for all upperclassmen on campus. He also mentors four freshman football players on a weekly basis and has spent his last two spring breaks in mission work, traveling to Nicaragua in the spring of 2010 and speaking to a youth detention center in Dayton Beach, Fla., in 2011.
Most recently, Lewellen spearheaded a group of UK athletes and staff members to pack bags on the back patio at the Nutter Training Center to take to Joplin, Mo., after the town was devastated by a tornado in July. Lewellen also got his football teammates to donate money to the cause, and together, he, his dad and teammate Max Godby drove to Joplin to help.
The three men went to a church in Joplin where they delivered 100 bags filled with toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, hand sanitizer, folders, pens, pencils, paper and bibles.
Lewellen's work to organize the donations and drive personally, to the town is just one example of his off-field resume. Lewellen has also been a guest speaker at local elementary schools, met with local veterans and befriended a three-year-old cancer patient at Lexington's Hope Lodge.
“Thanks to Allstate and the AFCA for sponsoring this award,” Lewellen said. “I’m really honored and humbled, when I looked at the list of nominees and all the things they have done. Everybody on that (nominee) list is deserving of this award.”
Lewellen said he has two motivations for service – his faith and the inspiration he received from a teammate, former Wildcat offensive lineman Marcus Davis.
“Marcus got me involved (with service) when I got here,” Lewellen said. “He showed me that I need to surrender myself and serve the community. Christ is also (a motivation). If I didn’t see the gospel, I wouldn’t have the motivation to serve.
“Helping people is something that we, as athletes, should do. Athletics is a platform and we should use it to serve.”
Coach Joker Phillips is proud of the honor bestowed upon Lewellen.
“Jacob is a great example of our student-athlete model of Operation Win,” Phillips said. “He’s a winner in the classroom, gives a winning effort on the field and is obviously a winner in the community.”
Lewellen is the 11th Wildcat to be chosen during the 20 years of the Good Works Team. Kentucky ranks third all-time among Division I schools, behind Georgia and Nebraska, for players chosen for the team.
Kentucky’s all-time list of winners includes:
1992 Doug Pelfrey, kicker
1994 Leon Smith, wide receiver
1996 Kurt Supe, defensive end
1998 Jimmy Carter, punter
1999 Seth Hanson, kicker
2000 Matt Layow, defensive end
2002 Antonio Hall, offensive tackle
2004 Antoine Huffman, cornerback
2006 Jacob Tamme, tight end
2008 Tim Masthay, punter
2011 Jacob Lewellen, defensive end
Fans will be able to vote for an Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® Captain by visiting ESPN.com and searching “Good Works”. By viewing the player profiles on the website, fans can learn more about this year’s team members and their selfless acts of kindness. The Team Captain and his fellow award recipients will be invited to New Orleans to take part in a special volunteer project leading up to the 2012 Allstate® Sugar Bowl®.