Tight end Mavin Saunders gives back to Florida community




Tribune Sports Reporter


FLORIDA State tight end Mavin Saunders continues to receive accolades for his contributions to the community off the field and his work in the classroom.

In consecutive weeks, Saunders has been named to the Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Honour Roll and was also nominated to the Allstate Insurance Company/American Football Coaches Association 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

To receive the honour, students have to maintain a 3.0-grade point average or better in the classroom.

For the second straight year, both Florida State and the Atlantic Coast Conference set records for the number of athletes on the academic honour roll.

In total, 4,472 athletes from the ACC were honoured and 252 came from Florida State.

Saunders' nomination to the prestigious Good Works Team comes based off of his contributions to the surrounding community in Tallahassee, Florida.

He served as a volunteer mentor at Riley Elementary School in Tallahassee, Florida for the past 18 months. He began the initiative to earn extra credit for a criminology course but has discretely continued his role well beyond the intended completion date of the mandated programme.

"I took advantage of the opportunity and I continued doing it outside of the class because I realised the impact it had on the few kids that I have been able to reach out to. It's important to help those kids because of the situation they are in. In this area where Riley is, many of those kids don't have mentors to push them, challenge them and help them to reach their potential. I'm just trying to help out, touch a few lives and do the right thing."

Saunders was one of 146 nominees announced for the 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®, considered one of the most prestigious off-the-field honours in college football.

"I'm having a successful run, thank God for that, and I realised that having a platform here, being a football player, I can have an impact on the kids here because they love football. Everyone in the city knows who you are, and by me coming and talking to them about other things other than football, it's really shocked them and helped a lot of them," said the incoming junior tight end.

The award has existed since 1992 aimed at honouring student-athletes with a dedication to volunteerism and enriching the lives of others.

"While players are often recognised for their accomplishments and achievements on game day, these student-athletes have made significant contributions to the greater good of society, inspiring future generations of young athletes and the larger college football community," the group said in a press release.

Once the final team members are announced in September, college football fans are encouraged to visit the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® website on ESPN.com, featuring profiles and images of the players, for the opportunity to vote for the 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team® Captain. Throughout the season, fans can also follow along and join in on the conversation by searching and using #GoodWorksTeam on their social media channels.

The Seminoles finished 10-3 last season, capped by a win over the Michigan Wolverines in the Orange Bowl.

The 6'6", 258-pound Bimini native finished his sophomore season with 10 receptions for 182 yards, both career highs.

Saunders is expected to be listed as second on the depth chart behind fellow junior tight end Ryan Izzo.

"After having all those playmakers leave last year, we knew we were going to have to step up," Izzo said of the group of tight ends. "We're going to get those opportunities, so I think me and Mavin teaching Tre' [McKitty] the process of what we're doing right now so he can get used to that role. I think it's definitely a more experienced group.

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