Valparaiso University’s Matt Watkins (Mason, Ohio/Mason H.S.) is among 11 NCAA FCS, II, II, and NAIA football players selected to the American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team.
Watkins is Valpo’s second selection ever to this team dating back to the award’s inception in 1992. Last year, Watkins’ teammate Ryan Koepke (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead H.S.) became the school’s first member of the team.
Watkins, a starting free safety for the Brown and Gold, has participated in “Read for Fun Day” activities at Central Elementary School, reading books and helping the students with arts and crafts. In addition, the redshirt-junior has helped raise money and walked in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life as well as participating in the Merrillville Diabetes Walk. In addition, Watkins has participated in the annual Theta Chi “Couch”, sitting on a couch for a week to raise money and gather clothes for the Spring Valley Homeless Shelter.
On the field, Watkins is the team’s second leading tackler thus far this season with 14 stops, including seven solos. He has also recovered a fumble and broken up a pass attempt. The redshirt-junior now has 90 total tackles in his two-plus years wearing the Brown and Gold. Watkins has also been named to the Pioneer Football League’s Fall Academic Honor Roll twice during his career at Valpo.
To be selected for the team, nominees have to be actively involved and committed to working hard with a charitable organization, service group, or involved in other community service activities. They need to display sincere concern and reliability, while also having made a favorable impression on the organizations with which they are involved.