Pitts Named Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® Nominee
UCLA's Shea Pitts was announced on Wednesday by Allstate and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) as a nominee for the 2021 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®. The Allstate Good Works Team® recognizes student-athletes with stories of exemplary community service, alongside their academic dedication and impact on and off the field.
Pitts, a reserve linebacker and special teams standout for the Bruins, saw action in five games during the shortened 2020 season. He was also recognized as a 2021 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar, an honor which is awarded to students of color who have maintained a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of at least 3.5, are at least a sophomore academically, and have been active on their campuses or in their communities. Pitts played in 23 of a possible 24 games throughout the two prior seasons, making his biggest splash in the 2019 campaign. Pitts tallied 13 tackles, including the first sack of his career, in 2019. He also was credited with his first-career forced fumble.
The 2020 and 2019 seasons additionally culminated in Pitts being named to the Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll. The conference previously announced All-Academic Teams, which Pitts received honorable mention to in 2018. The political science major has made the UCLA Athletic Director's Honor Roll on nine occasions since enrolling in Fall 2017, posting a GPA of at least 3.0 while passing 12 or more units over the course of each quarter.
Active in his campus and local communities, Pitts has frequently served as a mentor to children from the Los Angeles Unified School District. In February, he, along with several teammates, encouraged students from 186th Street Elementary School to stay in school and attend college as part of "Super Bowl Spirit Day." He was honored virtually by the Gardena, Calif. school for his annual involvement in the event.
Pitts has given back in other ways, as well, helping to raise money for Court Appointed Special Advocates, the Los Angeles Blind Children's Center and victims of genocide in Myanmar through different on-campus endeavors.
"I am inspired by these future community leaders and their dedication to improving the world around them. Despite their already busy schedules, these young men have stepped up as champions for change after an unprecedented year," said Terrance Williams, general manager and executive vice president of Allstate agency sales and the newest member of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team selection committee. "Allstate takes great pride in our partnership with the AFCA, and we are honored to recognize these players and highlight their stories, which too often tend to go unnoticed."
"Each year, I am amazed by the caliber of these nominees because their philanthropic efforts continuously raise the bar for how we should all be champions of our communities. I am humbled to help tell their stories, and they should be proud to have been nominated for such a prestigious award," said Tim Tebow, two-time national champion, Heisman Trophy winner and 2009 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team member. "These players embody the spirit of a true champion."
The final 22-member team and honorary coach are selected by a voting panel of former Allstate AFCA Good Works Team members and journalists. In addition to Tebow and Williams, the 2021 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team selection panel members are: Zaid Abdul-Aleem (Duke, 1994 team); Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia, 1997, 1998); Brian Brenberg (St. Thomas, 2001); Mike Proman (Amherst, 2002); Wes Counts (Middle Tennessee State, 1999); media members Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN), Blair Kerkhoff (Kansas City Star) and Paul Myerberg (USA Today); 2021 AFCA President and Northwestern University Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald; and 2001 AFCA President and current Athletic Director at Virginia Union University Joe Taylor.
After the final team members are announced in September, fans can cast their vote for this year's Allstate AFCA Good Works Team captain through the official page on ESPN.com. Fans can use #GoodWorksTeam on their social media channels to join the conversation throughout the season.
"The AFCA has proudly partnered with Allstate to honor football student-athletes who volunteer their time and energy to give back," AFCA Executive Director Todd Berry said. "These nominees serve as examples to their fellow student-athletes and members of their community, proving that selfless acts will enrich the lives of people they know and don't know, acting as a true champion would."