There are many awards that are handed out in college football each year. There are even weekly honors that players sweat and bleed to achieve. Awards like the Biletnikoff Award, the Remington Award and the Heisman Trophy tend to be spoken about the majority of the time. Once in a while, it is nice to recognize some of the other awards that players can be proud to have won, not only for their on the field accomplishments, but also their off the field work as well.
This season, the American Football Coaches Association chose 150 players to nominate for their good work team, two of which currently play in the Big 10 Conference. To be selected, an individual must go above and beyond in the area of community service. The AFCA is looking for athletes who have a continuous history of putting the importance of others and their community before themselves. Winning this award may not be as well recognized as the iconic Heisman Trophy, but it would most likely turn heads if placed on a resume or job application.
The Northwester Wildcats are represented by Jeff Budzien this season. Budzien is a senior kicker from Hartland, Wisconsin, and has been recognized for his outstanding accomplishments on the field. He was the co-kicker of the year in the Big 10 last season, and is on some watch lists for the Lou Graza award this season. Budzien is an Economics major with a minor in Business; he has been an active volunteer for the Special Olympics in his home state of Wisconsin.
C.J. Zimmerer of the Nebraska Cornhuskers was selected by the AFCA. Zimmerer is a senior fullback from Omaha, Nebraska, who has twice been selected to the all academic Big 10Team. He was also the 2013 HERO student athlete award winner. Zimmerer has been on the Brook Berringer citizenship team each of the last three seasons, and he was also the President of the Nebraska Uplifting Athletes Chapter in 2012-13. Zimmerer majored in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Nebraska, earning his Bachelor’s degree last year. Zimmerer’s list of involvement with volunteer organizations is extensive, as he works with YMCA, Cub Scouts, rehab Centers and hospitals, just to name a few.
Both men should be very proud of their accomplishments and earning this recognition. Fans of the Huskers, the Wildcats and the Big 10 in general will look forward to see them on the field this season. It may be more interesting to see what these young men accomplish off of the field in their promising futures.