Big Rapids, Mich. - Senior All-America center and Big Rapids native Jake Daugherty of the Ferris State University football program has added to his list of prestigious accomplishments as he was recently chosen as a national semifinalist for the 2018 Wooden Citizenship Cup presented to the top athletic role models in the country.
Daugherty was named among 25 national semifinalists for the prestigious honor. Previously, Daugherty was also chosen to the 2017 Allstate AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) Good Works Team this year and honored at halftime of the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
Founded by Athletes for a Better World (ABW), a non-profit organization committed to changing the culture of American sports, the Wooden Cup is unique in that it is open to athletes in all collegiate and professional sports. Nominations are open to every division and conference in every collegiate sport.
The 14th Annual Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup, an award given for the most outstanding role model among athletes, announced its nominees for the 2018 award ceremony in an official announcement made by Fred Northup, President, of Athletes for a Better World.
John Wooden, who won 10 national championships during the years 1964-1975 as basketball coach at UCLA is regarded as the greatest college coach of any sport who ever lived. He is universally regarded as one of the finest human beings to ever grace the world of sports, and his character, conduct and selfless gifts stand at the highest level by any standard. When Coach Wooden learned about Athletes for a Better World, he gave authorization to attach his name to this annual award and he attended and addressed the inaugural event in Los Angeles in 2005. In his honor, the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup is presented to two distinguished athletes, one collegiate and one professional ,for their character and leadership both on and off the field and for their contributions to sport and society.
The Wooden Cup is given to a collegiate and a professional athlete who have made the greatest positive influence in the lives of others.
With Pat Summitt, Drew Brees, Dikembe Mutombo, Mia Hamm, Peyton Manning, John Smoltz, John Lynch, Andrea Yaeger and Cal Ripken, Jr. as previous recipients, the Wooden Cup is becoming one of the most prestigious awards in all of sports. Recipients are considered role models and athletes of excellence both on and off the field.
Daugherty, a Big Rapids native, was a three-year starter and three-time All-American for the Bulldogs who helped lead the Bulldogs to back-to-back national quarterfinal appearances in 2016 and 2017. The three-time All-GLIAC pick has also claimed GLIAC All-Academic Team recognition and has been highly-active in various campus and community activities throughout his time as a member and leader on the FSU football team. He's also been a role model to many of the youth in the Big Rapids area thru his endeavors such as reading to schools, teaching the game and more.
The hometown product from Big Rapids was recently named the runner-up for the 2017 Gene Upshaw Award presented to the nation's most outstanding Division II offensive or defensive lineman in the country presented by the Manheim Touchdown Club. He was also tabbed to the 2017 Associated Press All-America Team.
This past year, Daugherty helped lead the Bulldogs to their fourth consecutive NCAA Division II Playoff appearance. FSU reached the D2 National Quarterfinals for the second consecutive campaign.
As a junior, Daugherty helped the Bulldog offense generate a school-record 563 total points and a program all-time best 7,190 yards of total offense in 2016. As the squad's starting center, he helped pave the way offensively as quarterback Reggie Bell led all signal callers in the country in rushing yardage during the regular-season, marking the fifth-straight year a Bulldog QB had accomplished the feat.
This season, Daugherty helped the Bulldogs finish the recent 2017 campaign with an 11-2 overall record. FSU's 11 wins this season marked the fourth consecutive year in which the Bulldogs had achieved the feat, which represents the first time in school history in which FSU had done so over four-straight years.
As part of this year's senior class, he also helped the Bulldogs achieve a 45-7 overall record over the past four years with four playoff appearances, two conference championships, two national quarterfinal berths, a semifinal game appearance and a super region championship.
About Athletes for a Better World
Founded in 1998, Athletes for a Better World (ABW) exists to change the culture of sport by developing individual character, teamwork, and civic responsibility through commitment to the Code for Living. ABW's vision is to have the Code become a part of every sport at every level, so that it becomes the common language and standard expectation of behavior for everyone. ABW provides free support and resources to coaches and athletes across the country who want to teach and live out these values. "The Code for Living" can be found on playing fields, locker rooms and athletic facilities across the country. Currently, ABW players and coaches are represented in every state and several foreign countries.
The List of National Semifinalists includes:
Karrington Seals, Wayne State University, Track
A.J. Cole, III, North Carolina State, Football
Salvador Cordova, Purdue University Northwest, Cross Country
Chase Cupps, University of Oklahoma, Gymnastics
Jake Daugherty, Ferris State University, Football
Jeremy Deemer, Graceland University, Basketball
Kenny Doss, Manchester University, Basketball
Zaire Franklin, Syracuse University, Football
KeShun Freeman, Georgia Institute of Technology, Football
Karissa Frazier, University of Illinois at Chicago, Softball
Zach Golditch, Colorado State University, Football
Micah Kiser, the University of Virginia, Football
Aris Knight, Southeastern University, Wrestling
Courtney Love, University of Kentucky, Football
Haley Lukas, University of California, Soccer
Katie McKrell, Daemon College, Volleyball
Michelle Murch, St.Thomas University, Softball
Margaret Musser, St. Lawrence University, Swimming
Gunnar Orcutt, Peru State College, Football
Austin Proehl, University of North Carolina, Football
Alyssa Rice, University of Kentucky, Basketball
Blaise Taylor, Arkansas State University, Football
Wesley Ward, Illinois State University, Cross Country and Track
Marlon Wells, Stephen F. Austin University, Football
Alec Willis, St. Joseph's College, Basketball
Ashley Marcus, University of Pennsylvania, Fencing
Hannah Menk, University of Redlands, Soccer
Patrick Mohorcic, The College of Wooster, Football
Stephen Rizzo, Marist College, Cross Country