By Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information
NORTHBROOK, Ill. – With all the work Jamaal Thompson accomplished in recent months, he saw it recognized by the Ohio Valley Conference with his selection as the league's Steve Hamilton Sportsmanship Award winner.
On Wednesday, Thompson was among 109 student-athletes listed among the nominees brought forth by their sports information contacts for the 2021 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, the 30th annual list of student-athletes with stories of exemplary community service, along with academic dedication and impact on and off the field.
The final 22-member team and honorary coach are selected by a voting panel of former Allstate AFCA Good Works Team members and football journalists, including Zaid Abdul-Aleem (Duke, 1994), Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia, 1997 and 1998), Brian Brenberg (St. Thomas, 2001), Mike Proman (Amherst, 2002), Wes Counts (Middle Tennessee, 1999), Tim Tebow (Florida, 2009), Terrance Williams (general manager and executive vice president of Allstate agency sales), Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN), Blair Kerkhoff (Kansas City Star), Paul Myerberg (USA Today), Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern head coach and 2021 AFCA President) and Joe Taylor (Virginia Union athletic director and 2001 AFCA President).
The final team will be announced in September, with fans voting for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team Captain on ESPN.com. The final roster will include 23 total recipients – 11 from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 11 from the combined divisions of the Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and NAIA – as well as one honorary head coach. To be considered, each player must be actively involved with a charitable organization or service group while maintaining a strong academic standing.
Austin Peay's Jack McDonald and Eastern Illinois' Ben Solomon are also in the running for the award out of the OVC.
A recent selection to the Football Championship Subdivision Athletic Director's Association Academic All-Star Team and a winner of one of 13 President's Awards for 2021, Thompson had an incredible year, earning his first degree from the University after playing for both the football team and men's basketball team in 2020-21. He continues to focus on his postgraduate work in the College of Education.
In early June, he was selected as the OVC's Steve Hamilton Sportsmanship Award winner – the third winner all-time from Tennessee Tech – for his efforts in uniting the campus during a difficult period and help launch the Center of Diversity Education and its outreach efforts. More on the award can be found here.
Thompson earned his bachelor's degree in communications this past May, posting a cumulative 3.96 grade point average and a 4.0 in his final semester amid competing with two varsity teams. He was also a Distinguished University Scholar-Athlete by the Middle Tennessee chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.
Over the course of his Tech career, he earned the football team's Academic Award, the OVC's Academic Medal of Honor – awarded to the highest GPA for a football player across the conference – as well as multiple appearances on the Tech Athletic Director's and OVC Commissioner's Honor Rolls. He was a nominee for the Derryberry Award – the University's highest honor to be bestowed upon a Tech student.
The defensive back out of Hendersonville finished his past season with 29 total tackles in seven games, including half a sack and 2.5 tackles-for-loss for 12 yards. He also forced two fumbles and recovered two more.
Photo | Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information