LEXINGTON, Ky. – UK football linebacker Courtney Love (pictured) has been named to the 2017 Allstate Good Works Team selected by the Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association, it was announced Thursday, Sept. 21.
Love is one of 22 college football players overall and one of just 11 Football Bowl Subdivision players named to the prestigious team. This award shines a spotlight on the incredible stories of selflessness and community service displayed by these student-athletes and honorary head coach, and honors their dedication to volunteerism and enriching the lives of others.
Love, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, shows his selflessness by volunteering his time to help others. He leads the team in community service hours and has a passion for mentoring children, especially those living in a one-parent household or children who have parents who are incarcerated. His passion for helping others was derived from his own childhood experiences. At the age of eight, Love ran away from a not-so-healthy relationship with his mother, and as a teenager, was forced to deal with his father being incarcerated for two years. Because of his past, it was a perfect pairing when he found Amachi Central Kentucky. Amachi is a mentoring program that seeks to pair caring, positive adults with children and youth in the Bluegrass who have one or both parents in state or federal prison or are affected by incarceration in some way.
“Since Courtney began mentoring through Amachi, he has exhibited compassion, kindness, leadership, and love,” Amachi specialist Destini Engle said. “Working with him is one of the greatest honors of my life. He has changed and will continue to change so many lives through his story and his mentorship. I cannot think of a more deserving individual for this award."
Love also has served in a Skype mentoring program with area high school students, and has taken part in many events with the UK Children's Hospital, Read Across America, and Special Olympics, along with many other service activities.
In May of 2016, Love was chosen to participate in a service/educational trip to Ethiopia where he helped build houses as well as shoe-shining boxes for men to be able to work and provide for their families. He also delivered food to impoverished families and visited with orphans and widows.
Love, who was named to the 2016 SEC Community Service Team, has also been nominated for several other national awards, including the Lott IMPACT Trophy, the Wuerffel Trophy and the Senior CLASS Award just to name a few.
“I’m so proud of Courtney,” UK head coach Mark Stoops said. “He exemplifies everything you’re looking for in a student-athlete. The fact he’s being recognized on a national level doesn’t surprise me because of the way he serves other people. “
In the classroom, Love was named to the 2016 SEC Academic Honor Roll, graduating in May with a degree in community and leadership development. He is currently working on a second degree in communications. He also serves as one of UK football’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representatives for the second straight season.
Love is the 14th player at UK, including the third under Stoops, to be named to the team in the award’s 26-year history. UK ranks tied for second all-time with Nebraska in award winners behind Georgia (17).
Earlier this season, sports information directors from Division I, Division II, Division III and NAIA schools across the country submitted nominations of players they felt best embodied the spirit of the Good Works Team® award, one of the most coveted off-the-filed honors in college football. An esteemed voting panel consisting of former Good Works Team® members – including two-time national champion, Heisman Trophy winner and 2009 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® member Tim Tebow – and prominent college football media members narrowed down the nominees to the final roster.
Tebow and the rest of the voting panel were faced with a list of 146 nominees with robust community service resumes that was narrowed down to the 22 student-athletes and an honorary coach named to the team. From helping to build homes overseas to providing resources to foster care children, the members of the 2017 Good Works Team® are changing the lives of others both locally and abroad.
In addition to Tebow, the 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® selection panel includes: 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); current AFCA President and University of Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez; 2001 AFCA President and current athletic director at Virginia Union University Joe Taylor; and Thomas Clarkson, president of the west territory for Allstate Insurance Company.
The 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® will be invited to New Orleans to participate in a special community service project ahead of the 2018 Allstate® Sugar Bowl®, where the entire team will also be recognized on the field at halftime.
In addition, Allstate will honor Good Works Team® players by creating special volunteer events in select markets throughout the season in conjunction with its All Hands In program, which encourages the college football community to come together and do good.
The following players and honorary head coach have been named to the 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®:
Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS)
Daniel Carlson – Auburn University
Gabe Brandner – Duke University
Mavin Saunders – Florida State University
Brent Stockstill – Middle Tennessee State University
A.J. Cole, III – North Carolina State University
Brandon Smith – Pennsylvania State University
Harrison Phillips – Stanford University
Shaq Jones – University of Alabama-Birmingham
Aaron Davis – University of Georgia
Courtney Love – University of Kentucky
Tommy Openshaw – Vanderbilt University
Combined Divisions (FCS, II, III & NAIA)
Reece Foy – Amherst College
Josh Dalki – Bethel University (Minn.)
Ryan Stratton – Edinboro University
Jake Daugherty – Ferris State University
Tyler Schubert – Franklin & Marshall College
Jacob Jenness – Northwestern College (Iowa)
Gunnar Orcutt – Peru State College
Will Gillach – Saint John’s University (Minn.)
Jake Wieneke – South Dakota State University
Patrick Mohorcic – The College of Wooster
Dillon Vaughan – West Texas A&M University
Honorary Head Coach
Pat Fitzgerald – Northwestern University
“The 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team is a shining example of the great student-athletes that populate the rosters of college football teams all across the nation,” AFCA Executive Director Todd Berry said. “Since 2008, the AFCA takes great pride in working with Allstate to honor these 22 outstanding student-athletes, and honorary head coach Pat Fitzgerald, who go above and beyond to make their universities and communities a better place.”
Fans are encouraged to visit ESPN.com/Allstate to vote for the 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® Captain now through November 23, 2017. The Team Captain will be honored at this season’s The Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN.
Throughout the season, fans can also follow along and join in on the conversation by searching and using #GoodWorksTeam on their social media channels.
UK Athletics Photo