Syracuse senior linebacker Kielan Whitner (Lawrenceville, Ga.) has been named one of the 22 members of the 2018 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® for his superior commitment to volunteerism and enriching the lives of others.
The announcement of this year’s team was made today by the Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), with help from an esteemed voting panel who selected this year’s team from a pool of 169 nominees.
“Football programs across the country do an excellent job of giving back to their local communities and helping those in need,” AFCA Executive Director Todd Berry said. “The 2018 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team honors those select few student-athletes and one head coach who go above and beyond in the service of others.”
Whitner is the public relations director of the Syracuse University chapter of Uplifting Athletes, which is a nonprofit organization made up of a national network of chapters dedicated to inspiring the rare-disease community through the power of sport. In his role as one of the group’s leaders, Whitner helped organize the 2018 “Lift for Life” which was held in July and raised more than $7,000 to benefit the rare-disease community. During Whitner’s four years with the Syracuse chapter, the group has generated more than $50,000 to support those affected by rare diseases.
In addition to his work with Uplifting Athletes, Whitner has completed multiple mission trips to Haiti. He is also a member of Central New York chapter of The For a Day Foundation, which provides therapeutic experiences for sick children, and serves as Syracuse’s player captain for Team IMPACT, a national nonprofit that connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with local college athletic teams.
During his most recent mission trip with Eternal Hope for Haiti in December 2017, Whitner helped lead a group of volunteers in the construction of two orphanages and the distribution of free medical care to severely impoverished areas of the country.
On the field, Whitner has played in 36 career games at safety and linebacker. He has 88 career tackles and six passes defended. Through two games this season, Whitner’s logged 12 tackles, including one for a loss, two passes defended, and one interception.
Whitner is set to graduate this spring with a degree in accounting from Syracuse University’s prestigious Martin J. Whitman School of Management. He’s been named to the SU Athletic Director’s Honor Roll (min. 3.0 GPA) every semester he’s been on campus and he’s a three-time ACC Honor Roll selection (min. 3.0 GPA for the academic year). As a freshman in 2015, he was voted to the ACC All-Academic Football Team.
One of 11 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) student-athletes to make the squad, Whitner joins an elite group of four former Syracuse players who have previously received the prestigious award. The most recent Syracuse honoree was Sam Rodgers in 2014.
Whitner and the other members of the 2018 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® will be invited to New Orleans to participate in a special community service project ahead of the 2019 Allstate® Sugar Bowl®, where the entire team will also be recognized on the field during halftime.
Now that the team has been selected, fans are encouraged to visit ESPN.com/Allstate to vote for the 2018 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® Captain from now until Nov. 23. The Team Captain will be honored at The Home Depot College Football Awards this December on ESPN.
Syracuse Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® Selections
2000 – Kyle Johnson, FB
2001 – Graham Manley, TE
2004 – Matt Tarullo, OL
2014 – Sam Rodgers, LS
2018 – Kielan Whitner, LB
About the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®
The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® was established in 1992 by the College Football Association, recognizing the extra efforts made by college football players and student support staff off the field. AFCA became the governing body of the award in 1997 and continues to honor college football players who go the extra mile for those in need. Allstate worked to present the award starting with the 2008 season.
The SEC leads all conferences with 72 selections to the Good Works Team® since it began in 1992. The SEC is followed by the Atlantic Coast Conference with 40 selections and the Big 12 Conference with 33 selections. Georgia is in first place with 19 honorees to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®. The Bulldogs are followed by Nebraska with 15 honorees. Super Bowl XLII, XLVI and XLI champion quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning were members of the 2002 and 1997 Good Works Teams®, respectively.