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Two HBCU football players named to AFCA Good Works Team

Howard’s DaShawn Simon, North Carolina Central’s Stephen Stokes included on 22-player roster

Two football players from historically Black colleges and universities were named to the 2020 Allstate American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team Wednesday morning, becoming the ninth and 10th players from HBCUs to be recognized in the team’s 28-year history.

Howard wide receiver DaShawn Simon and North Carolina Central defensive back Stephen Stokes were two of the 22 college football players selected to the roster, which annually recognizes players who perform what the AFCA calls “good works” in their communities through volunteer work and service. The selections of Simon and Stokes also mark the first time multiple HBCU players were named to the team in the same season.

Other members of the 2020 roster include Clemson quarterback and Heisman Trophy favorite Trevor Lawrence, Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard and Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger.

Players are selected from the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Simon, a freshman from Baltimore, was nominated for his volunteering at a local Boys & Girls Club and his work as a trainer with The Grassroot Project, a Washington-based nonprofit that promotes health education in local K-12 schools.

North Carolina Central’s Stephen Stokes was nominated for his volunteering with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program and, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, helped create at-home workout videos for children in partnership with the Police Athletic League.

Allstate

Stokes, a redshirt senior also from Baltimore, participates in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program and, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, helped create at-home workout videos for children in partnership with the Police Athletic League. Stokes is the fourth North Carolina Central player to be named to the team, the most of any HBCU, including 2018 member and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers lineman Nick Leverett.

The Good Works Team, which has recognized more than 600 players, was first introduced in 1992 by the College Football Association and has been governed by the AFCA since 1997. Past honorees include former quarterbacks Tim Tebow, Deshaun Watson, Eli Manning and Peyton Manning.

Fayetteville State defensive back Demarco Jeter was the first HBCU player to be named to the Good Works Team in 1997. Since then, he’s been followed by Hampton lineman Michael Bland (2000), Fayetteville State receiver Andregus Holmes (2002), Hampton quarterback Timothy Frazier (2003), Florida A&M linebacker Brandon Hepburn (2012), and North Carolina Central’s Jordan Reid (2013), Carl Jones (2016) and Leverett.

Martenzie is an associate editor for The Undefeated. His favorite cinematic moment is when Django said "Y'all want to see somethin?"