BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Southeastern Conference has announced its 16th annual Football Community Service Team, recognizing the superior community service efforts of the league’s student-athletes. The Community Service Team consists of one student-athlete from each SEC institution, nominated by his school’s personnel, who has devoted himself to community service.
“These student-athletes have worked hard outside of the classroom and practice fields to make a positive influence in their communities,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. “The student-athletes who comprise the SEC Community Service Team are symbolic of what is good about intercollegiate athletics. I am proud to have these student-athletes represent the SEC.”
The Southeastern Conference also sponsors Community Service Teams for men’s and women’s basketball and the league’s men’s and women’s Olympic Sports.
The 2010 SEC Football Community Service Team consists of:
Alabama - Greg McElroy, Sr., QB, Southlake, Texas
McElroy has served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (2007-09) and has participated in Project Angel Tree, Read Across America, Hospice of West Alabama, Impact Alabama “Focus First” Child Vision Screening, Habitat for Humanity and the West Alabama Food Bank. He has also served on the UA Athletics and Academics Committee as a student member. He has also volunteered numerous hours to speak to local school children about the importance of a quality education.
Arkansas – DJ Williams, Sr., TE, Little Rock, Ark.
D.J. Williams was named the winner of the 2010 Disney Spirit Award given annually by Disney Sports to college football’s most inspiration figure. Williams overcame a chaotic upbringing to become a star student-athlete and advocate for domestic abuse awareness. From participation in the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program, to the local Boys & Girls Clubs and Children’s hospital, Williams has demonstrated he has a big heart and a passion for giving back to his community. He has used his stature as a prominent college football player to raise awareness and inspire others to abandon troubled relationships and seek help. Additionally, Williams has been involved in the following events this year: Lift Up America “Feeding the Hungry”, the Book Hogs Read to Win program, he spoke to 1,200 elementary children at Bud Walton Arena as part of the Red Ribbon Rally (drug awareness week), Thanksgiving Dinner at Homestyle Assisted Living Center, involved in the Sweat Hogs program and he was also active in Razorback Relief: Operation Haiti at the Randal Tyson Indoor Track Center in which the Northwest Arkansas community packaged a record of more than 1.4 million meals for the starving population of Haiti still suffering from the earthquake.
Auburn – Zach Clayton, Sr., DL, Opelika, Ala.
Clayton was a special guest at the 111th EOD Army National Guard Deployment Ceremony in Opelika, where he greeted and mingled with the guardsmen and their families before the official ceremony. He was a special guest at the Sports Academy's Homers for Haiti event, speaking to kids and signing autographs. Clayton has also been active with Camp Good Grief, which is a daylong camp sponsored by Hospice of East Alabama, for children who have suffered losses/deaths in their family. Clayton has also been active in area schools, speaking to kids on the importance of staying in school and making good grades at Samford Middle School and Richland Elementary School. He has also spent time with the Downtown Trick or Treat, Storybook Farms, SAAC's Toys for Tot and SAACs Food Drive.
Florida – Ahmad Black, Sr., SS, Lakeland, Fla.
Black is a four-year Member of UF's Goodwill Gators and has visited area hospitals, schools and youth academies as well as hosting tours for children on campus. He has also been involved with Big Brothers and has participated in Student Town Hall Meeting with Urban Meyer prior to the start of 2010 football season. He is a three-time participant Gator Charity Challenge, a strongman competition to raise pledges and awareness for local charities and has worked with African American Accountability of Alachua task force. He is also active in his hometown community of Lakeland, Fla.
Georgia – Kris Durham, Sr., SE, Calhoun, Ga.
Durham graduated with a 3.52 grade point average in Middle School Education and currently owns a 4.0 GPA as a graduate student. A native of Calhoun, Ga., Durham has been an active participant in numerous community service projects during his career including the St. Mary’s Hospital visitation program, Habitat for Humanity, and Camp Sunshine—a summer camp program for children with cancer.
Kentucky – Marcus Davis, Sr., C, Union, Ky.
Davis has been extremely active in not only the Lexington community but also around the world. During spring break 2010, Davis went on a mission trip to Nicaragua along with four other UK student-athletes, on behalf of Athletes in Action, an international Christian sports ministry organization. Back home in Lexington, Davis volunteers one day a week at Lighthouse Ministries – a place that gives shelter to homeless and those going through rehabilitation. The offensive lineman also has participated in a service event at Johnson Elementary School and been a part of Read Across America. This fall, David joined several teammates a the Christian Appalachian Project, helping load trucks full of furniture and other necessary items for Eastern Kentucky flood victims. Davis also helped incoming UK freshmen unload their cars and move into their new dorms on move-in day on UK’s campus. Davis looks to his faith as inspiration and is a spiritual leader on the Kentucky football team, having served as a speaker for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in the Lexington community.
LSU – Drake Nevis, Sr., DT, Marrero, La.
Nevis is an active participant in LSU’s Geaux Givers program, which is the school’s community outreach program. This fall Drake visited St. Luke's Episcopal School where he talked to kindergarten through 5th grade about what it's like to be in college and playing football for LSU. He has also visited the children's hospital going around seeing patients and cheering them up. He also visited Alice Heart Elementary School in New Orleans where he gave a motivational speech to the students there. Also, on his time off from school and football, he goes back home and visits multiple schools every time he has a chance. He loves kids and enjoys giving back to his home community. Drake also leads a Bible Study each Sunday.
Ole Miss – Jerrell Powe, Sr., DT, Waynesboro, Miss.
A defensive tackle from Waynesboro, Miss., Powe has volunteered with the annual National Student-Athlete Day Community Service Project and participated in the Challenger Basketball League, which offers youths and adults with physical and developmental disabilities the opportunity to compete and enjoy team sports. He has also visited various children's hospitals and is an active member of the "Reading with the Rebels" program where he reads to local school children and mentors students on the importance of education. In addition, Powe was nominated for the 2010 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.
Mississippi State – Derek Sherrod, Sr., OL, Columbus, Miss.
A three-year starter at left tackle, Sherrod is a member of the National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete Class and a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy. He earned his bachelor's degree in Business with a focus on financial risk management, insurance and financial planning in August with a 3.54 grade point average. He currently holds a 4.0 GPA in graduate school. He is an active member in the M-Club, a student-athlete community service organization he joined upon his arrival to campus. He has volunteered for several events at local elementary and middle schools including Sudduth Elementary Breakfast Week (serving breakfast each morning to help raise money), Sudduth's Kids Fair (volunteering at different booths and events during a Friday-Sunday event), Bully's Book Blitz (reading to local students to encourage literacy). He's also helped organize the M-Club Thanksgiving Food Drive and participated in Clean Starkville - an initiative to pick up litter around campus and the town.
South Carolina – Garrett Chisholm, Sr., OT, Charleston, S.C.
Chisolm is a natural born leader both on and off the field. He has a given his time and compassion to the Columbia community whenever an opportunity arises. Without hesitation, he has volunteered for community service events on a regular basis. He has volunteered to read at elementary schools as well as feed the homeless and prepare food for the needy at Harvest Hope Food Bank. Chisholm has a big heart and yearns to assist others with any given opportunity.
Tennessee – Daniel Lincoln, Sr., PK, Ocala, Fla.
Lincoln has been involved with Habitat for Humanity, Campus-Clean-UP Campaign and has taken visits to the local Children’s Hospital and has been a speaker at various churches in area. He talks to students at Vine Middle School program once a week to talk about character, drug prevention, reading books and being a role model. He has been involved with iRock, which focuses to remind and inspire leaders (primarily teachers) of the power of their influence in the lives of young people, and has been active with YMCA kids program. Lincoln is a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Athletes in Action.
Vanderbilt – John Stokes, Sr., LB, Memphis, Tenn.
Stokes is on the executive board of one of Vanderbilt’s largest student organizations, Manna Project International, which created service opportunities for students both in Nashville and all over the world. As a sophomore, he went to Belize on a Spring Break service trip. The following year, helped a trip to Belize and helped raise $10,000 to build the first alcohol rehab center in Belize called Jacob’s Farm. Currently he is in charge of planning and creating the trips that Vanderbilt students will go on over Thanksgiving and Spring Break. Also, during the summer prior to his senior year, Stokes spent four weeks in Africa volunteering at AIDS clinics with his younger brother, also a student at Vanderbilt.