Hope College football player Brandon Ellsworth is being recognized for his impact off the field and in his community.

The senior defensive end from Webberville, Michigan (Fowlerville HS) is one of 165 nominees across all NCAA and NAIA divisions for the 2016 Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team®.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the award, which was established in 1992 to recognize a select group of college football players who have made a commitment to service and enriching the lives of others.

“Brandon is an outstanding young man with a huge heart on and off the field,” Hope coach Peter Stuursma said. 

Ellsworth is a two-year starter for the Flying Dutchmen. He averaged 2 ½ tackles per game as a junior.

Ellsworth is a biology major. He was part of a collaborative student-faculty research group that received the college’s annual “Social Sciences Young Investigators Award” this spring for investigating the normal functioning of peptide amyloid beta, which has been found in elevated levels as a plaque in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

Ellsworth has been involved with Dance Marathon at Hope College that raises money each year for Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.

From the nominees submitted by sports information directors across the nation on behalf of their schools, a special voting panel consisting of former Good Works Team® members and prominent college football media members will select the 2016 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.®

The 2016 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® voting panel includes: former Good Works Team®members Zaid Abdul-Aleem (Duke, 1994 team), Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia, 1997, 1998 teams), Brian Brenberg (St. Thomas, 2001 team), Mike Proman (Amherst, 2002 team), media members Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN) and Blair Kerkhoff (Kansas City Star); current AFCA President and Ashland University head coach Lee Owens; 2001 AFCA President and current athletic director at Virginia Union University Joe Taylor; and Thomas Clarkson, president of the west territory for Allstate Insurance Company.

“Allstate is proud to join the AFCA in celebrating 25 years of honoring college football players who represent the sport’s finest in volunteerism and leadership,” Clarkson said. “The positive impact these young athletes have on their communities is an inspiration to us all and another reason to celebrate the good happening in our communities.”

AFCA Executive Director Todd Berry said, “The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team has been one of the most prestigious off-the-field awards in college football for the past 25 years. It is with great pride that we partner with Allstate to highlight some of the best student-athletes in the country who not only excel on the field, but off of it as well.”