Brett Pyne | Posted: 21 Jul 2021 | Updated: 27 Jul 2021

AFCA recognizes Empey as Good Works Team candidate

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BYU's James Empey official nominee for AFCA Good Works Team

NORTHBROOK, Ill. – In the 30th year of this storied recognition, Allstate and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) today announced official nominees for the 2021 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®, recognizing BYU center James Empey as one of 67 FBS candidates for the prestigious team. 

Overall, 109 student-athletes from across all NCAA divisions were nominated with stories of exemplary community service, alongside their academic dedication and impact on and off the field.

“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.”  

A team captain and leader on the offensive line for the Cougars, Empey has started in all 34 games he has played over the past three seasons and enters 2021 as a preseason All-American. He has also been an active leader helping serve others off the field, including working with head coach Kalani Sitake's More to Life Foundation in California and New York over the years. A regular volunteer in the community, Empey organized BYU Football's involvement with the My Tiny Hero program locally in Utah, raising awareness for congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). In the classroom, Empey is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection who recently graduated with a 3.84 GPA as a finance major with a minor in nonprofit management.

Former BYU quarterback Riley Nelson was selected as one of the 11 members of the 2010 Allstate AFCA Good WorksTeam.

"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 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 strong academic standing.

The 2021 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Nominees:



Anders Carlson

Auburn University

Byron Hanspard Jr.

Baylor University

Donte Harrington

Boise State University

James Empey


Darien Rencher

Clemson University

CJ Brewer

Coastal Carolina University

Jake Bobo

Duke University

Tariq Speights

Eastern Michigan University

Camren McDonald

Florida State University

Juanyeh Thomas

Georgia Tech

Brock Purdy

Iowa State University

Ali Gaye


Alex Mollette

Marshall University

Reed Blankenship

Middle Tennessee State University

Austin Williams

Mississippi State University

Isaiah Moore

NC State University

Joe Spivak

Northwestern University

Harry Miller

Ohio State University

Jordan Young

Old Dominion University

Mac Brown

Ole Miss

Andrzej Hughes-Murray

Oregon State University

Sean Clifford

Penn State University

Ikenna Enechukwu

Rice University

Tysyn Parker

San Jose State University

Shaine Hailey


Re-al Mitchell

Temple University

Keldrick Carper

Texas A&M University

Tyler Vitt

Texas State University

Tony Bradford Jr.

Texas Tech University

Wilson Beaverstock


Shea Pitts


Bubba Arslanian

University of Akron

Jordan Silver

University of Arkansas

Michael Saffell

University of California

Brian Keating

University of Connecticut

Zachary Carter

University of Florida

Nakobe Dean

University of Georgia

Michael Marchese

University of Illinois

Kaevon Merriweather

University of Iowa

Kenneth Horsey

University of Kentucky

Levi Lewis

University of Louisiana

Derek Dorsey

University of Louisville

Preseton Brady

University of Memphis

Clay James

University of Miami

Andrew Vastardis

University of Michigan

DeAngelo Carter

University of Minnesota

Tyler Badie

University of Missouri

Adrian Martinez

University of Nebraska

Jermaine Ledbetter

University of Nevada

Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa

University of Notre Dame

Jeremiah Hall

University of Oklahoma

Cal Adomitis

University of Pittsburgh

Keith Gallmon

University of South Alabama

Jaylin Dickerson

University of South Carolina

Mo Hasan

University of Southern California

Lavel Dumont

University of Toledo

Chris Paul

University of Tulsa

Dalton Kincaid

University of Utah

Wayne Taulapapa

University of Virginia

Race Porter

University of Washington

Brandon Bowling

Utah State University

Elijah McAllister

Vanderbilt University

Brock Hoffman

Virginia Tech

Ty Hardimon

Wake Forest University

Dallas Hobbs

Washington State University

Jarret Doege

West Virginia University

Mike Caliendo

Western Michigan University