Thomas Nominated for ‘Good Works’ Team

A pre-med major, the senior from Sumner, Wash., earns first of what is expected to be numerous accolades for off-the-field achievement

Senior offensive tackle Chris Thomas has been named as one of 106 nominees nationwide for the Allstate/American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team®.

The honor embodies the true spirit of teamwork and ‘giving back' through selfless contributions and commendable acts of kindness. During the 2009 season, a voting panel will select two 11-player teams -- one composed of players from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and a combined team representing players from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III, and the NAIA.

Thomas is a 2005 graduate of Sumner (Wash.) High School and is a biology/pre-med major with a 3.78 grade point average, Thomas hopes to become a doctor, either as an orthopedic surgeon, anesthesiologist, or primary care physician.

Highly-honored already for his academic success, last spring he was presented with the Eastern Athletics Student-Athlete Advisory Council "Triple-Threat Citizen" award at the first-annual Eastern Athletics EeeWoos award show. Besides being honored for his athletics and academic success, the award recognized him for his community service that included multiple blood drives he organized and volunteer work at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane.

"Chris is an amazing student-athlete with how he goes above and beyond," said Eagle head coach Beau Baldwin. "He is a high achiever in the classroom and is a leader on the field and in the weight room, but he also organizes blood drives and other community service projects. He not only is a part of it, but he'll run it -- he'll get the groups together, make telephone calls and organize it. He keeps busy and is the epitome of what you would consider a true student-athlete. He's a great representative of our program and I've been extremely pleased with everything he's done."

An honorable mention All-Big Sky tackle last year and a preseason all-league pick this season, the 6-foot-5, 300-pound Thomas enters his senior season with 18 career starts for the Eagles. He helped block for an Eagle offense that finished 2008 with the seventh-best passing offense in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (299.9 yards per game) and was also 24th in total offense (398.5).

"He's our most veteran offensive lineman coming back," Baldwin added. "He's definitely a leader of that group and the other players know that. He's going to be huge -- he was a great player last year and I'm expecting even greater things out of him this year."


#71 Chris Thomas
OL, 6-5, 300, Sr., Sumner, Wash.

Career: He has started a total of 18 games at Eastern, which will be the most for an EWU offensive linemen when the Eagles start the 2009 season. 2009: Listed as a starter at right offensive tackle on EWU's preseason depth chart. In the spring, he was presented with the Eastern Athletics Student-Athlete Advisory Council "Triple-Threat Citizen" award at the first-annual Eastern Athletics EeeWoos award show. He was honored for his athletics and academic success, as well as for his community service that included multiple blood drives he organized and volunteer work at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane. 2008: Was selected to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII as selected by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Named to the Big Sky Conference All-Academic team. Earned honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference honors. Started all 11 games at right offensive tackle and was the team's offensive player of the week for his blocking against Montana (8/11/08). He helped block for an Eagle offense that finished with the seventh-best passing offense in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (299.9 yards per game) and was also 24th in total offense (398.5), 98th in rushing offense (98.5) and 35th in scoring offense (29.4). 2007: Named to the Big Sky Conference All-Academic team. Started seven games at left offensive tackle, including six-straight games from Sept. 15 to Oct. 20. He made the first start of his career against UC Davis (9/15/07). He helped Eastern rank sixth in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (first in the Big Sky) with an average of 462.3 yards per game, including 626 in a 44-15 victory over McNeese State (11/24/07) in the FCS Playoffs. 2006: Named to the Big Sky Conference All-Academic team. Lettered as a reserve offensive lineman. 2005: Redshirted. HS: Graduated from Sumner HS in 2005. Named by the Seattle Times as a "Red Chip" selection as one of the top 34 recruits in the state of Washington. The Tacoma News Tribune selected him to its All-Area first team as an offensive lineman. Earned first team All-Puget Sound League North Division honors as an offensive lineman, and second team accolades as a defensive lineman. Nominated for All-State honors and was a National Football Foundation nominee for Scholar-Athlete Lineman of the Year. As a senior, he was team MVP and captain, and was the school's Defensive Player of the Year. He also lettered as a junior, and was the junior varsity MVP his sophomore season. His former EWU teammate Rocky Hanni ('03) also attended Sumner. Personal: Born 3/20/87 in Tacoma, Wash. Biology/pre-medicine major. Thomas hopes to become a doctor, either as an orthopedic surgeon, anesthesiologist, or primary care physician. If the opportunities arise, he may try to pursue a professional football career before he attends medical school. He was born at Tacoma General Hospital in Tacoma, Wash. -- the same hospital former Eastern Academic All-American Dr. Steve Mattson currently works in as an anesthesiologist. Thomas, whose hometown of Sumner is just a short drive away from Tacoma, has enlisted the help of Mattson to serve as a protégé to help him through the medical school process. 



Allstate and American Football Coaches Association to Honor Student-Athletes Who Make Off-the-Field Contributions

NORTHBROOK, Ill. -- A hard-working and committed group of college football players will take the field this fall knowing that the impact they have on their teams and communities has nothing to do with touchdowns, tackles or receptions. For a second consecutive year, Allstate Insurance Company has partnered with the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) to announce the list of 106 student-athletes nominated for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®, which honors college football players who make outstanding contributions in the areas of volunteerism and civic involvement.

With their unselfish acts, such as volunteering at orphanages in Kenya, building a reliable water source for villagers in Kabul, tutoring disadvantaged youth, and visiting elderly patients in nursing homes, Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® nominees distinguish themselves among the more than 50,000 student-athletes participating in the sport at all four-year collegiate institutions through off-the-field accomplishments.

"Allstate and the AFCA have created a partnership of common interests and both organizations are proud to honor the off-the-field achievements of college football players and at all levels," said Guy Hill, vice president of sales and service for Allstate. "Allstate shares a genuine commitment to the community with these 106 student-athletes, and we encourage them to continue their benevolent efforts."

The total of 106 nominations submitted by sports information directors across the country on behalf of their teams surpasses all previous single-season nominee totals in the 18-year history of the award. The 2009 class of nominees represents 41 states, including Washington, D.C., and 45 college athletic conferences.

From these nominees, a special voting panel consisting of former Good Works Team® members and prominent college football media members will be responsible for selecting two 11-player Good Works Teams® - one composed of players from the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, and a combined team representing players from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, Divisions II, III, and the NAIA.

College Football Hall of Fame member and ESPN broadcast personality Lou Holtz will return as program spokesperson and serve as a member of this year's voting panel.

"Allstate's sponsorship of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® was a welcome addition to one of the oldest, non-competition awards in college football," said Grant Teaff, AFCA executive director. "As a very recognizable sponsor in the sport, Allstate is not only safe-guarding the tradition of college football, but also recognizing its players for their outstanding efforts both on and off the field and helping to shine a very positive light on the sport for all its fans."

The 2009 Allstate/AFCA Good Works Teams® voting panel includes: Allstate vice president, Guy Hill; former Good Works Teams® members Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia, 1997, 1998 teams), Mike Proman (Amherst, 2002 team), Mewelde Moore (Tulane, 2003 team), Brian Brenberg (St. Thomas, 2001 team), Zaid Abdul-Aleem (Duke, 1994 team); media members Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN), Dennis Dodd (, Tony Barnhart (Atlanta Journal-Constitution), Kelly Whiteside (USA Today), Ivan Maisel (, Lou Holtz (ESPN); current AFCA president and San Jose State University head coach Dick Tomey; and 1996 AFCA president Fisher DeBerry, former head coach at the United States Air Force Academy.

The following players have been nominated for consideration to be included among the 2009 Allstate AFCA Good Works Teams(R):

Football Bowl Subdivision (Div I-A)

      Arizona Sate University - Mike Nixon

      Auburn University - Walter McFadden

      Ball State - Brandon Crawford

      Baylor University - Joe Pawelek

      Boise State University - Richie Brockel

      Brigham Young University - Jan Jorgensen

      Central Michigan University - Dan LeFevour

      Clemson University - Xavier Dye

      Colorado State University - Adrian Martinez

      Duke University - Kevin Jones

      Indiana University - Jammie Kirlew

      Kansas State University - Jeron Mastrud

      Louisiana State University - Lyle Hitt

      Middle Tennessee State University - Phillip Tanner

      Northern Illinois University - David Bryant

      Northwestern University - Andrew Brewer

      Ohio University - Lee Renfro

      Ohio State University - Kurt Coleman

      Oregon State University - Taylor Kavanaugh

      Pennsylvania State University - Stefen Wisniewski

      Rutgers University - Billy Anderson

      San Jose State University - Travis Jones

      Temple University - Dominique Harris

      University of Akron - Alex Allen

      University of Alabama - Javier Arenas

      University of Arkansas - D.J. Williams

      University of Central Florida - Rocky Ross

      University of Florida - Tim Tebow

      University of Georgia - Jeff Owens

      University of Houston - Case Keenum

      University of Iowa - Julian Vandervelde

      University of Kansas - Darrell Stuckey

      University of Kentucky - Alfonso Smith

      University of Memphis - Dominik Riley

      University of Michigan - Zoltan Mesko

      University of Missouri - Kurtis Gregory

      University of Nebraska-Lincoln - Roy Helu, Jr.

      University of North Carolina - Kyle Jolly

      University of Notre Dame - Jimmy Clausen

      University of Oklahoma - Sam Bradford

      University of Pittsburgh - Adam Gunn

      University of South Carolina - Mauricus Brown

      University of Texas - Austin - Jordan Shipley

      University of California-Los Angeles - Derrick Coleman

      University of Texas-El Paso - Cameron Raschke

      U.S. Air Force Academy - Nick Charles

      U.S. Naval Academy - Ross Pospisil

      Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University - Tyrod Taylor

      Wake Forest University - Benjamin Wooster

      West Virginia University - Reed Williams

      University of Wisconsin - Chris Maragos

      Western Michigan University - Tim Hiller

  Combined Divisions (FCS (I-AA) II, III & NAIA)

      Ashland University - Nick Bellanco

      Beloit College - Joe Goldufsky

      Bethel University (Minn.) - Reid Velo

      Brevard College - Brandon Rawls

      Carroll University (Minn.) - Mike Berg

      Central College (Iowa) - Zach Van Arkel

      Colby College - Roger Bel

      Colorado School of Mines - David Pesek

      University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) - Paul Hughes

      Dana College - Nate Weathers

      Delaware State University - Nick Richmond

      Earlham College - Chris Owens

      East Texas Baptist University - Michael Cucinotta

      Eastern Washington University - Chris Thomas

      Florida A&M University - Philip Sylvester

      Georgetown University (D.C.) - Jon Cassidy

      Hampton University - Michael Swett

      Harding University - Brad Parker

      Hillsdale College - Eric Schweller

      College of the Holy Cross - Dominic Randolph

      Jacksonville State University - Joshua Cain

      John Carroll University - Joe Micca

      Johns Hopkins University - Tim Miller

      Langston University - Marquis Holden

      University of Montana - Terran Hillesland

      North Dakota State University - Richard Bowman

      Northeastern University - Zachary Abrams

      University of Northern Iowa - Joshua Mahoney

      Northern State University - Brian Jark

      Northwest Missouri State University - Sean Paddock

      Ottawa University - Andrew Otto

      University of Richmond - Kevin Grayson

      Sacred Heart University - Mark Uyeno

      Samford University - Ty Levie

      Southeastern Louisiana University - Darnell Jones

      Southwest Baptist University - Steve Gachette

      Southwest Minnesota State University - Paul Muecke

      St. Cloud State University - Doug Asquith

      Saint Francis University (Pa.) - Russel Fisher

      University of St. Thomas (Minn.)- Jeffrey Hilliard

      Tarleton State University - Jacob Rowe

      Texas A&M University-Commerce - Taylor Fore

      Texas A&M University-Kingsville - Markeith Wesley

      Tusculum College - Jarrell NeSmith

      Valparaiso University - Adam Rundh

      Villanova University - Benjamin Ijalana

      Washington University-St. Louis - Tim Taylor

      University of West Alabama - Dameon Baylor

      West Texas A&M - James Chandler

      Western New England College - David Doiron

      Wilmington College - Billy Blackburn

      University of Wisconsin-Platteville - George Katze

      Wittenberg University - Lance Phillps

      Youngstown State University - Aaron Pitts


About Allstate

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®" slogan, Allstate is reinventing protection and retirement to help individuals in approximately 17 million households protect what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow. Customers can access Allstate products and services such as auto insurance and homeowners insurance through approximately 14,700 exclusive Allstate agencies and financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada, or in select states at and 1-800 Allstate®. Encompass® and Deerbrook((R) )Insurance brand property and casualty products are sold exclusively through independent agents. The Allstate Financial Group provides life insurance, supplemental accident and health insurance, annuity, banking and retirement products designed for individual, institutional and worksite customers that are distributed through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, financial institutions and broker-dealers. Customers can also access information about Allstate Financial Group products and services at


About the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®

In order to meet the criteria set forth by Allstate and AFCA, each player must be actively involved and committed to working with a charitable organization, service group or community service while maintaining good academic standing.

The Allstate AFCA Good Works Teams® were 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 partnered to present the award starting with the 2008 season.

Since 1992, the Southeastern Conference leads all conferences with 50 selections to the Good Works Teams®, followed by the Big 12 with 35 selections and the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with 23 selections. In 2008, St. Thomas, Minn. running back Mikkel Haugen became the 11th Tommie to be selected to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, tying them with Georgia and Nebraska for the most selections of all time. Super Bowl XLII and XLI champion quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning were members of the 2002 and 1997 Good Works Teams®, respectively.


About AFCA

The American Football Coaches Association was founded in 1922 and currently has more than 10,000 members around the world ranging from the high school level to the professional ranks. According to its constitution, AFCA was formed, in part, to "maintain the highest possible standards in football and in the coaching profession" and to "provide a forum for the discussion and study of all matters pertaining to football."

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