Under the pretense of taking part in a sports-themed event for patients, University of Memphis senior quarterback Jacob Karam was lured to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital on Tuesday.
Instead of taking part in an event, Karam and the "good works" he has done at St. Jude and across the Memphis community were recognized.
Karam was named to the 2013 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® Tuesday.
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Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association jointly announced the 22-player team which pays tribute to the positive impact young athletes have made in their communities and the lives of others.
"Everything that St. Jude stands for is amazing to me," Karam said in receiving the award. "Like my family, Danny Thomas, the founder of St. Jude, was Lebanese. We have always been taught to have a special place in our heart for St. Jude."
Karam went on to speak of the inspiration he has received from the courage and attitude of the young patients who are being treated at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
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Collierville Allstate Agency owner Rod Lovelace presented Karam with his trophy, acknowledging the Friendswood, Texas, native's selection to the Good Works Team.
"During his time at the University of Memphis, Jacob has spent countless hours making the Memphis community a better place," Lovelace said. "Jacob embodies what it means to give back to others."
University of Memphis athletics director Tom Bowen attended Tuesday's event and spoke of Karam's commitment to giving back and Tuesday's recognition.
"Jacob exemplifies all of those things that represent being a student-athlete in Memphis," Bowen said. "His academics, his athletics, his ability to play and perform on the field and then his unbelievable humanitarian efforts he has done very quietly on his own here at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
"He has been a tremendous inspiration for so many young children, so many families and this was a chance for everyone to say thank you and really celebrate what Jacob has done."
For more than two decades, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® has recognized college football players at all levels of the sport for inspiring acts of service and off-the-field achievements. This summer, the program received a record 150 nominations from colleges and universities across the country. From the nominations, an esteemed voting panel comprised of former Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® members and college football media selected 11 players from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 11 players from the Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III and the NAIA to comprise the 22-player team.
Jacob is joined on the 11-member FBS team by Fred Lee (Buffalo), Nick Forbes (California), Jordan Luallen (Cincinnati), Dave Harding (Duke), Stephen Morris (Miami, Fla.), C. J. Zimmerer (Nebraska), Asa Watson (North Carolina State), Jeff Budzien (Northwestern), Eric Soza (Texas at San Antonio) and Carey Spear (Vanderbilt).
This year's Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® boasts some of the most impressive service resumes in the award's 22-year history. From building houses overseas, to founding a mentorship program for at-risk youth, to serenading cancer patients at the local children's hospital, this unique group of young men continues to raise the bar for the impact that student-athletes can have on their peers, teammates and communities.
"The AFCA, along with our partner Allstate, has been honoring football student-athletes for their good works, volunteerism and community service for 22 years with the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team," Grant Teaff, AFCA Executive Director said. "The 2013 class of Good Works Team members is another great example of the outstanding athletes, and even better men, that our nation's college football programs produce each year."
Fans can vote for the 2013 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® Captain by visiting ESPN.com and searching "Good Works." There, fans can learn more about this year's team members and vote for the player who they feel represents the "best of the best" in the areas of giving back and contributing to the greater good of their communities. The Team Captain and his fellow award recipients will be invited to New Orleans to take part in a community project leading up to the 2014 Allstate® Sugar Bowl®.
The 2013 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® voting panel 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); media members Lou Holtz (ESPN), Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN), Tom O'Toole (USA Today), Blair Kerkhoff (Kansas City Star); current AFCA President and University of Texas Head Coach Mack Brown; 1987 AFCA President LaVell Edwards, former head coach at Brigham Young University; and Cynthia Whitfield, field vice president of Allstate's Southern Region.
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