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TAMUC – Sports

Alex Shillow was nominated for the 2021 Allstate/AFCA Good Works Team.

NORTHBROOK, Ill. – Texas A&M University-Commerce football standout Alex Shillow announced as a nominee for the 2021 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®, the 30th year of this storied recognition. From divisions across the nation, sports information directors nominated 109 student-athletes with stories of exemplary community service, alongside their academic dedication and impact on and off the field. 

Shillow (Pflugerville) is one of 42 scholar-athletes from the Combined Divisions (FCS, Division II, Division III, and NAIA) vying for 11 spots on the Good Works Team. Since its inception in 1992, the award shines a spotlight on selfless student-athletes and honors their dedication to volunteerism, community service, and their commitment to enriching the lives of others. While players are often recognized for their accomplishments and achievements on game day, these student-athletes have made significant contributions to the greater good of society, inspiring future generations of young athletes and the larger college football community. 

Shillow was also a nominee for this award in 2019. As an active participant in multiple leadership roles for the Lions’ Student-Athlete Advisory Council, Shillow has led community service and fundraising efforts to raise awareness and funds for the Make A Wish Foundation. Shillow’s student-athlete group raised over $15,000 to grant two “Wish Kids” trips to Walt Disney World, as well as a trip to the NBA All-Star Game for the most recent “Wish Kid” at A&M-Commerce. Through fundraising initiatives and coordinated efforts, Shillow has also driven fundraisers and clothing donation collections to provide underprivileged families in the Commerce community with personalized gifts for Christmas. 

Shillow was also a leader of the Make It Important Campaign in the summer of 2020, which involved a video and an action plan to bring awareness to the social injustices going on in the country in response to the George Floyd shooting. He led in getting his team registered to vote with other sports teams in the department and initiated a conference-wide voter registration challenge. He sat on the university’s voter coalition committee to help make voter registration and voting more accessible for A&M-Commerce students. Shillow also led a virtual political open forum with two Texas state legislators – Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) and former Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Canton). It was in front of over 300 student-athletes and guests, moderating an insightful conversation and dialogue between Texas legislators and student-athletes. This initiative won 3rd place for the NCAA Division II Award of Excellence this past year. 

Shillow is also a leader and a part of Athletes In Action – a student-athlete faith-based organization. 

Shillow has also served on the NCAA Division II National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee from 2018-21 and was the national chair of the committee from 2019-21. He led the discussion and change around mental health topics, professional development, name image and likeness, and many student-athlete well-being topics, all while being a student-athlete and involved heavily in the Commerce community. 

Last week, he was honored as a CoSIDA First Team Academic All-America, marking his second Academic All-America honor. He became the third Lion student-athlete to win multiple CoSIDA Academic All-America awards and was the first Lion football player with that honor. 

Following the 2019 season, Shillow was honored as a CoSIDA Second-Team Academic All-America, the Lone Star Conference’s Fred Jacoby Academic Athlete of the Year, and the Lone Star Conference Academic Player of the Year in football. He graduated summa cum laude with his bachelor’s degree in sports management in August 2019 and his Master’s of Business Administration in December 2020 and continues graduate work in preparation for his final season of eligibility. 

On the field, Shillow has been named Second Team All-LSC in 2019 and 2017 with 159 tackles, four interceptions, 17 passes defended, three fumble recoveries, and 5.5 tackles for loss in 36 games over three seasons. 

“I am inspired by these future community leaders and their dedication to improving the world around them. Despite their already busy schedules, these young men have stepped up as champions for change after an unprecedented year,” said Terrance Williams, general manager and executive vice president of Allstate agency sales and the newest member of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team selection committee. “Allstate takes great pride in our partnership with the AFCA, and we are honored to recognize these players and highlight their stories, which too often tend to go unnoticed.”  

This year’s candidates include student-athletes who are scholars, leaders, and community champions. These nominees have volunteered to build homes, mentor underprivileged kids, aid in COVID-19 relief efforts, and advocate against domestic violence and racial injustice. 

“Each year, I am amazed by the caliber of these nominees because their philanthropic efforts continuously raise the bar for how we should all be champions of our communities. I am humbled to help tell their stories, and they should be proud to have been nominated for such a prestigious award,” said Tim Tebow, two-time national champion, Heisman Trophy winner, and 2009 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team member. “These players embody the spirit of a true champion.” 

Selection Process and Panel

The final 22-member team and honorary coach are selected by a voting panel of former Allstate AFCA Good Works Team members and journalists. They look for players who demonstrate exceptional leadership on and off the football field. 

In addition to Tebow and Williams, the 2021 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team selection panel members are Zaid Abdul-Aleem (Duke, 1994 team); Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia, 1997, 1998); Brian Brenberg (St. Thomas, 2001); Mike Proman (Amherst, 2002); Wes Counts (Middle Tennessee State, 1999); media members Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN), Blair Kerkhoff (Kansas City Star) and Paul Myerberg (USA Today); 2021 AFCA President and Northwestern University Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald; and 2001 AFCA President and current Athletic Director at Virginia Union University Joe Taylor. 

Public Voting Phase

After the final team members are announced in September, fans can cast their vote for this year’s Allstate AFCA Good Works Team captain through the official page on ESPN.com. In addition, fans can use #GoodWorksTeam on their social media channels to join the conversation throughout the season. 

“The AFCA has proudly partnered with Allstate to honor football student-athletes who volunteer their time and energy to give back,” AFCA Executive Director Todd Berry said. “These nominees serve as examples to their fellow student-athletes and members of their community, proving that selfless acts will enrich the lives of people they know and don’t know, acting as a true champion would.” 

Nomination Criteria

Established in 1992, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team is one of the most coveted community service awards in college football. From the 109 nominees, the final roster of 23 award recipients will bring together 11 players from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision; 11 players from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III, and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA); and one honorary head coach. To be considered for a spot on the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, each player must be actively involved with a charitable organization or service group while maintaining a solid academic standing. 

The 2021 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team nominees for the Combined Divisions (FCS, D-II, D-III & NAIA) are:

 Name School
Alex Shillow A&M-COMMERCE
Austin Phillips Ashland
Jack McDonald Austin Peay
Jaran Roste Bethel (Minn.)
Hunter Rodrigues UC Davis
Max Gonzales Colorado State -Pueblo
Payton Harrell Dakota State
Chibuike Odo Davidson
Deven Osborne Dixie State
Ben Solomon Eastern Illinois
Alnazir Blackman Fairleigh Dickinson
Thomas Downs Jr. Franklin and Marshall
Eric Wilson Harvard
Alexander Anschutz Hillsdale
Arthur Pinckney Marist
Matthew Corinna Massachusetts Maritime
Malik Marshall Millsaps
Philip Green Minot State
Justin Szuba Monmouth
Troy Andersen Montana State
Cooper Von Seggern Morningside
Jessie Malit North Carolina Central
James Kaczor North Dakota State
Noah Van’t Hof Northwestern (Iowa)
Shane Quin Ohio Wesleyan
Dylan Dittman Peru State
Vincent McDonald Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Zachary Barco Saint Augustine’s
Jay Segal Saint Francis
Benjamin Sokup Sioux Falls
DeValon Whitcomb South Dakota
Cole Peterson South Dakota School of Mines
Brock Floyd Southern Arkansas
Cam Borges Springfield College
Seth Bickett St. Thomas (Minn.)
Drayton Arnold UT Chattanooga
Jamaal Thompson Tennessee Tech
Julius Wilkerson Wayne State (Mich.)
Ian Barr Westminster College
Alex Crehan William Penn
Nate Yencer Wisconsin-Platteville
Angelo Petracci Wooster

About the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®
The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team was established in 1992 by the College Football Association, recognizing the extra efforts made by college football players and student support staff off the field. AFCA became the governing body of the award in 1997 and continues to honor college football players who go the extra mile for those in need. Allstate worked to present the award starting with the 2008 season.

The SEC leads all conferences with 76 selections to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team since it began in 1992. The SEC is followed by the Atlantic Coast Conference with 46 selections and the Big 12 Conference with 38 selections. Georgia is in first place with 20 honorees to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. The Bulldogs are followed by Kentucky with 16 honorees. Super Bowl XLII, XLVI, and XLI champion quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning were members of the 2002 and 1997 Allstate AFCA Good Works Teams, respectively.

About the AFCA
The AFCA was founded in 1922 and currently has more than 11,000 members around the world ranging from the high school level to the professional ranks. According to its constitution, the AFCA was formed, in part, to “maintain the highest possible standards in football and in the coaching profession” and to “provide a forum for the discussion and study of all matters pertaining to football.”