NORTHBROOK, Ill. — Eric Soza was one of 11 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) student-athletes named to the 2013 Allstate American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team on Tuesday.
Soza, a three-year team captain, has started under center 23 times in UTSA's first two-plus seasons. The Beeville native has led the Roadrunners to 13 wins during that time, as they have made the transition from Football Championship Subdivision independent into the Western Athletic Conference and now into Conference USA. Also a 2013 Senior CLASS Award nominee, he was one of five finalists for the 2013 Coach John Wooden Citizenship Cup and one of 10 for the 2012 Awards and Recognition Association Sportsmanship Award.
The 6-foot, 210-pounder is a member of both the Manning Award (nation’s top QB) and inaugural Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award (top offensive player in Division I with ties to the state of Texas) preseason watch lists. The first Roadrunners football player ever to be named to a national award preseason watch list is the program’s all-time leading passer (413-for-710/5,055 yards/39 TDs) and rusher by attempts (187 for 744 yards). He has connected on 75-of-121 passes (62 percent) for 822 yards and five scores to go along with 95 rushing yards on 25 carries to start this season.
Soza is coming off a junior campaign that saw him complete 166-of-282 (58.9 percent) throws for 2,085 yards and 20 touchdowns, including a program-record four at No. 22 Louisiana Tech (Nov. 3). His 314 passing yards against the Bulldogs and 82-yard TD toss to Kenny Bias at New Mexico State (Sept. 29) also were school marks. Soza threw just three interceptions and, at one time, went an FBS-leading 256 passes between picks. He also ran for 364 yards and six TDs on 67 carries (5.4 avg.) and tied a program record with three rushing scores at Idaho (Nov. 17).
He has been just as impressive away from the playing field. Soza is an active member of UTSA's community service program in addition to serving as the president of the school's student-athlete advisory committee. He also maintained a near-perfect grade-point average (3.96) en route to graduating with a degree in physical education this past May. He currently is attending graduate school with plans of getting into coaching when his playing career is complete.
Recognizing the “good works” of a select group of players from across the country, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team is one of the most prestigious off-the-field honors in college sports. The award pays tribute to the positive impact young student-athletes have had on their communities and the lives of others.
For more than two decades, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team has recognized college football players at all levels of the sport for inspiring acts of service and off-the-field achievements. This summer, the program received a record 150 nominations from colleges and universities across the country. From the nominations, an esteemed voting panel comprised of former Allstate AFCA Good Works Team members and college football media selected 11-player FBS team.
Fans can vote for the 2013 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team Captain by clicking here. There, fans can learn more about this year’s team members and vote for the player who they feel represents the “best of the best” in the areas of giving back and contributing to the greater good of their communities. The team captain and his fellow award recipients will be invited to New Orleans to take part in a community project leading up to the 2014 Allstate Sugar Bowl.
The 2013 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team voting panel includes former Good Works Team members Zaid Abdul-Aleem (Duke, 1994), Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia, 1997-98), Brian Brenberg (St. Thomas, 2001) and Mike Proman (Amherst, 2002); media members Lou Holtz (ESPN), Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN), Tom O’Toole (USA Today) and Blair Kerkhoff (Kansas City Star); current AFCA President and current Texas head coach Mack Brown; 1987 AFCA President and former Brigham Young head coach LaVell Edwards; and Field Vice President of Allstate’s Southern Region Cynthia Whitfield.
2013 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team
· Jeff Budzien, Northwestern
· Nick Forbes, California
· Dave Harding, Duke
· Jacob Karam, Memphis
· Fred Lee, Buffalo
· Jordan Luallen, Cincinnati
· Stephen Morris, Miami (Fla.)
· Eric Soza, UTSA
· Carey Spear, Vanderbilt
· Asa Watson, North Carolina State
· C.J. Zimmerer, Nebraska
The Allstate Corporation is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, serving approximately 16 million households through its Allstate, Encompass, Esurance and Answer Financial brand names and Allstate Financial business segment. Allstate branded insurance products (auto, home, life & retirement) and services are offered through Allstate agencies, independent agencies and Allstate exclusive financial representatives, as well as via allstate.com, allstate.com/financial and (800) Allstate and are widely known through the slogan “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate.” As part of Allstate’s commitment to strengthen local communities, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate employees, agency owners and the corporation provided $29 million in 2012 to thousands of nonprofit organizations and important causes across the United States.
About the AFCA
The AFCA was founded in 1922 and currently has more than 11,000 members around the world ranging from the high school level to the professional ranks. According to its constitution, the 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.”
About the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team
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.