NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Senior linebacker Elijah McAllister is one of 109 nationwide nominees for the 2021 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, recognizing football student-athletes across the country for distinguished accomplishments off the field.
To be considered for a spot on the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, each student-athlete must be actively involved with a charitable organization or service group while maintaining a strong academic standing.
“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.”
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.
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.
On Vanderbilt’s campus, McAllister is the co-founder and co-president of the Black Student-Athlete Group (BSAG). The group’s mission is to create a safe and comfortable space for Black student-athletes, provide a formal support system to offer the necessary actions and conversations to improve the social experience of Black student-athletes at Vanderbilt, work to address racial issues in sports and offer guidance toward professional and personal development.
During the fall of 2020, the BSAG paired with Vandy Votes, Vanderbilt Athletics and the Dean of Students Office to host a voter registration drive Sept. 22 at Vanderbilt Stadium. McAllister and other volunteers helped participants register to vote that day.
Beginning in 2019, McAllister helped form and continues to work with Turner’s Heroes, which was created in honor of former football teammate Turner Cockrell. The organization’s mission is to provide patients at children’s hospitals a means of escape and enjoyment, as well as opportunities for engagement, through superhero-themed events and to raise funds for pediatric cancer research. Locally, McAllister and fellow volunteers visit Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.
In 2019, McAllister raised more than $1,000 for Dancing Dores. In the spring of 2021 he took over as captain of Dancing Dores, which is the Vanderbilt athletics area of the Vanderbilt University Dance Marathon, an annual event raising funds and support for Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital.
McAllister has also been involved with the Vanderbilt Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Nashville tornado relief outreach, Project Safe and Second Spoon.
The Rumson, New Jersey, native missed the 2020 season due to injury, but played in all 12 games during the 2019 season, booking 26 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and three quarterback hurries.