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2023 Good Works Team: Doing the right thing.

They're not just athletes. They help their communities and spread smiles. That's the mindset that got these college football players selected to the 2023 Good Works Team.

Headshot images of four college football players named to the 2023 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

A pair of shoes. A pink baseball helmet. A hot meal. These are just a few small ways these players are making a big impact in their communities.

January 5, 2024

Mekhi Wingo first noticed the shoes.

The Louisiana State University defensive lineman was volunteering at a Boys and Girls Club in Orlando, Florida, where his team had a bowl game, when one kid caught his eye.

"She had these cute little Crocs on, but they were pretty small – her feet were hanging out the back," Wingo said.

He learned the girl's shoe size and went to the mall and bought three pairs of Crocs for her, then had the event organizers send them to the girl's home.

"Her family sent a picture back of her being really excited she got them," he said.

Deeds like that are part of why Wingo — and 22 other players — landed on the 2023 Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team.

The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team was established in 1992 by the College Football Association, recognizing the extra effort from college football players and student support staff off the field.

For Wingo, that effort includes being a part of LSU's "Team Impact" leadership program, where he visits with sick kids.

He also spends time at a local women's shelter for survivors of domestic violence. He and a few teammates have provided homecooked meals for the women and children there.

The recognition from Allstate means a lot to him because he can serve as an inspiration for others.

"If other people see you doing it, that'll make them say, ‘Maybe I should get out and do this in the community,'" he said.

Bringing people together through sports

The Boys and Girls Club in Palm Beach, Florida, was robbed of its sports equipment in 2012. So at age 12, Josh Greene, now a senior at Dartmouth College and Florida native, started Off the Bench Foundation, an organization that collects new and gently used equipment to those in need.

What started with just a few cardboard collection boxes has grown into a nonprofit that has donated nearly $10,000 worth of sporting goods since 2012, including various hurricane relief efforts.

Sports can bring people together," Greene said. "There was one little girl who got a pink baseball helmet and she refused to take it off – this means so much to these kids."

Greene is also a mentor for underserved youth through DREAM (Directing through Recreation, Adventure and Mentoring). He and his mentee talk about football, Pokémon, music and video games.

"Simply put: I was taught growing up to just do the right thing," he said. "This isn't a resume-builder or something I need to make me a well-rounded person. It's just the right thing to do. To see the smiles on these kids' faces is what it's all about," he said.

Being more than an athlete

Benedictine University's Reed Levi shares a similar sentiment.

Earlier this year, the senior came across a paper he wrote as a freshman – a letter to himself. In it, he said he wanted to be known for more than what he can do as an athlete.

"You can perform on the field, and you can be a resource to people in your community," he said.

Reed has made good on that. During his time at the Kansas school, Reed has:

  • Presented an affordable housing project for teachers to the Kansas House of Representatives
  • Served meals at a soup kitchen during the holidays
  • Volunteered his time at local football camps and P.E. classes

He'll often run into parents while at the supermarket and hear about the difference he's made with their kids.

"It's cool moments like that when you realize you're really making a difference," he said.

Finding time for the things you're passionate about

Johns Hopkins' Spencer Uggla's schedule is tight. But he always finds time to help others.

The senior running back has known Daniel, who has Down syndrome, since Uggla was in 7th grade and Daniel was a baby. They met through a program called I Run 4 Michael, which pairs runners with people who have physical or intellectual disabilities. The two have remained close, even after Daniel moved to Hawaii.

"He's 9 now and is this sweet, happy kid," Uggla said. "He's been an inspiration to me throughout my athletic career and in my everyday life."

The senior neuroscience major, who plans to attend medical school, is a certified EMT and volunteers with HERO, a professional EMS organization on campus. He also volunteers with a Johns Hopkins lab to improve the quality-of-life care for patients with primary and metastatic brain and skull base tumors.

"I just do whatever's in front of me in that moment — it's just a balance thing," he said. "You find the time for the things you are passionate about."

Check out Allstate's Instagram page to watch Allstate ambassadors and Good Works Team alumni Tim Tebow and Sam Acho reveal Michigan's Blake Corum as the 2023 GWT captain.

2023 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team

See the full list of players who made the 2023 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, and read more about how they are impacting their communities off the field.

Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® | ESPN
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