Reed Levi, center in red jersey, on the field at the Sugar Bowl during the recognition of the Allstate/AFCA Good Works Team.

Sugar Bowl Recognition Highlights Good Works of Benedictine’s Reed Levi

Benedictine College football player Reed Levi’s appearance during halftime of the Allstate Sugar Bowl as part of the Allstate and American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team® is the culmination of years of giving back to his teammates, his college and his community.

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The national recognition for the 2023 Benedictine graduate, a standout tight end for the Ravens football team, is rare for a player from the NAIA. The honor goes to only 22 players across all of college football (11 from NCAA DI-FBS and 11 from all other college football divisions).

“They pick 11 guys from across four different divisions of football (NCAA DI-FCS, NCAA DII, NAIA, and NCAA DIII) that really embody what good works means and what it means to be part of your community, so it is just really humbling, and I am super honored to be a part of it,” Levi said. “It’s an honor and a testament to the culture that we’re building at Benedictine, and it feels good to give back to a community that has given me so much.”

Activities in New Orleans in the days before the game included participation in the Sugar Bowl Parade and a community event where the Good Works Team® members helped run a football clinic for area youth. Levi got to meet former college and NFL stars Tim Tebow and Sam Acho (pictured) at the clinic. Both are Good Works Team® alumni. Levi particularly enjoyed working with the kids at the clinic since he coaches a flag football team in Atchison, just one part of his involvement in the community where Benedictine College is based.

While interacting with celebrities and being seen on national television during one of the college football championship semifinal games is huge, Levi said that sometimes the simpler things mean a little more.

Tragedy struck in the fourth game of the Ravens’ 2023 football season when Levi suffered a broken leg on the field. He had a broken fibula, a dislocated ankle, and had torn nearly every ligament in his leg. The first-team All-Conference and All-American tight end was done. During his recovery, he went to a friend’s house to watch a football game, and when he arrived, his whole little flag football team was there to greet him.

“All those kids had brought me a football they signed, and they got me a little care package,” said Levi. “It was just pretty cool that there’s the big recognition and everything, but there are also those little things that mean so much more.”

In addition to coaching youth football for the Atchison Recreation Commission, he served as a Bible study leader, led student-athletes in the annual Atchison Clean-Up Day, worked with the Student Athletic Leadership Council to implement the High Five Friday initiative with Atchison elementary school students, served as a student host for the Benedictine College Scholarship Ball, served as a tutor in the Student Success Center, was a Gregorian Leadership Fellow, and served as a student ambassador for the college’s Office of Admission. He also made presentations on campus and to Atchison-area elementary and high schools on the importance of Black History Month and presented on gentrification and urban housing to the Kansas House of Representatives.

“Reed Levi is a tremendous student-athlete here at Benedictine College,” said Benedictine’s head football coach Joel Osborn in an interview when the Good Works Team® was announced. “He gives his time and talent to so many people and organizations. We talk about loving and serving others as a pillar of our program. Reed does that within our football team, college and community of Atchison. He brings positive energy and always has a great day.”

Although he has always been committed to service and philanthropy, Levi credits Benedictine College for giving him the opportunity to excel in all areas of his life.

“Benedictine College really gave me the roots of who I’m going to be,” he said. “I’ve learned so much through the football program, on the field, off the field, in the classroom. There are just so many lessons, real core values like responsibility and accountability. And on top of that, the biggest thing Benedictine taught me was to never be afraid to practice your faith.”

So, what’s next for Levi? He already has a lot going on. He married his longtime college sweetheart on December 29, is completing an MBA, is set to start a new job, and is excited about married life and raising a family.

2024 is already looking like a stellar year for Levi and all those who know, love, and support him.

About the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®

The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® was established in 1992 by the College Football Association, recognizing the extra efforts made by college football players and student support staff off the field. The 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 has sponsored the award since the 2008 season. The final 22-member team and honorary coach are selected by a voting panel of former Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® members, current and former head coaches, and journalists. They look for exceptional leadership on and off the football field.

The 2023 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® selection panel members are: Tim Tebow (Florida, two-time national champion, Heisman Trophy winner and 2009 Good Works Team®); Zaid Abdul-Aleem (Duke, 1994 team); Matt Stinchcomb (Georgia, 1997 and 1998 teams); Brian Brenberg (St. Thomas, 2001 team); Mike Proman (Amherst, 2002 team); Wes Counts (Middle Tennessee State, 1999 team); media members Kirk Herbstreit (ESPN); Blair Kerkhoff (Kansas City Star); and Paul Myerberg (USA Today); 2023 AFCA President and Ouachita Baptist University Head Coach Todd Knight; 2014 AFCA President and former head coach at Ithaca College, Mike Welch; and Troy Hawkes, Executive Vice President and General Manager for Allstate Sales and Distribution.

Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.