University of Colorado junior outside linebacker Derek McCartney was one of 24 college football players named to the American Football Coaches Association’s 2016 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, the AFCA and the insurance company announced jointly announced Thursday.

The 25th annual team is perhaps the most coveted off-the-field honors in the sport, as it recognizes and celebrates who dedicate their time to bettering the community and the lives of others.

McCartney made national headlines last March when he became a match for bone marrow through the Bonfils “Be the Match” program ( that matches donors with potential patients nationwide.  McCartney was a match and when through the grueling process of donating, missing the bulk of CU’s spring practices in the process.

CU head coach Mike MacIntyre is a strong supporter of the program, and has continued what he started when he was at San Jose State, having his teams canvass the campus to promote the program and get students to enroll in it.

“It’s a real surprise, certainly nothing I expected,” McCartney said.  “It was just a really cool opportunity I had to participate in such a program that was the reason for me to be named to this prestigious team.  It’s a real honor.  But more important is that being on this team will hopefully generate more publicity for the ‘Be the Match’ program, so people can learn about it and participate themselves and more lives could be saved.”

McCartney is the fifth Buffalo to be honored on the team; Derek West made the inaugural one in 1992, followed by Robbie Robinson (2001), George Hypolite (2007) and Brian Lockridge (2011).

“Derek McCartney to me is the perfect poster child for the Good Works Team,” MacIntyre said.  “Derek represents everything the Good Works Team would want to represent.  He’s an excellent student; he’s going to be a doctor.  He’s a selfless person who puts others on his team first; he’s a great leader.  The act that he did – for our bone marrow initiative – was a totally selfless act in caring enough to give a person another chance in life.  He exemplifies what you want all college athletes to exemplify.  Derek McCartney is an off-the-charts type of person.  He’s a great example to our players and our whole campus here at Colorado.”

“He’s the type of young person that puts others first,” MacIntyre added.  “In today’s world, you don’t always think about that when you think of college football players and college athletes.  He’s definitely that.  He cares about other people more than he cares about himself.”

The team was created in 1992 to recognize the contributions made off the field by players and coaches can often times be overlooked. The players named to the Good Works Team® represent the sports’ finest in terms of character and leadership, in addition to maintaining good academic standing.

“Allstate has taken great pride in working with the AFCA to recognize student-athletes who go above and beyond to make time for community service, whether they’re helping out at a local soup kitchen or going abroad on a mission trip,” said Thomas Clarkson, president of the west territory for Allstate Insurance Company and a member of the 2016 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® voting panel. “These young men deserve to be commended for all that they do, and their character and commitment to service is an inspiration for all of us.”

There were 24 players selected to the team, 12 from the FBS ranks and a dozen more from the other divisions.  Mark Richt of the University of Miami was selected as the team’s honorary coach.  McCartney was the only Pac-12 player on the squad, which had five selected from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“It is an honor to partner with Allstate in celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team,” Todd Berry, AFCA Executive Director said. “Hundreds of talented and hard-working student-athletes have been honored with this outstanding award, but the 25th anniversary team is special because we get to honor one of our own members, Coach Mark Richt from the University of Miami. His dedication to community service goes hand in hand for why this award was established in 1992. We congratulate him and the 24 student-athletes on this year’s team.”

Now that the team is announced, fans are encouraged to visit to vote for the 2016 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® Captain through November 23, 2016. The Team Captain will be honored at the Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN. The 2016 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® will be invited to New Orleans to participate in a community project before the 2017 Allstate® Sugar Bowl®, where the team will be recognized at halftime.

The 2016 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® was selected from a group of nominees who were submitted by sports information directors across the country. A voting panel of former Good Works Team® members and prominent college football media members narrowed the impressive list of 165 players and 10 coaches down to the 25 members of the 2016 team.