Jan. 6, 2011
New Orleans – Vanderbilt linebacker John Stokes has been named as a finalist for the Bobby Bowden Award presented annually by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).
A native of Memphis, Tenn., Stokes is joined by TCU quarterback Andy Dalton and Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder as finalists for the prestigious award.
Named after the legendary former coach, the Bobby Bowden Award recognizes a Division I football player who epitomizes a student-athlete and conducts himself as a faith model in the community, classroom and playing field. The candidates must also have a grade-point average of 3.0 or better.
The Bowden Award winner will be announced this Saturday in Phoenix at the annual FCA Breakfast staged in conjunction with the Bowl Championship Series national championship game.
Stokes, a three-time District IV Academic All-America during his Commodore career, has been an active student leader on the Vanderbilt campus. He is a member of the executive board of the university’s Manna Project International chapter, helping create mission trips for Vanderbilt students across the globe. This year, Stokes is site development coordinator for the chapter, responsible for planning and organizing more than a dozen trips by student groups to Central America.
He has journeyed twice to Belize during Spring Break mission trips, serving as site leader for a 14-student group that build Jacob’s Farm, the nation’s first alcohol rehab center in Belize.
In Nashville, Stokes serves as a volunteer mentor at Covenant Presbyterian Church, working with a group of sixth grade students at the church. He has remained active with the group through his four years at Vanderbilt.
On the field, Stokes started every game as a senior at outside linebacker, concluding the season as the Commodores’ third leading tackler. In addition to his linebacker role, Stokes also served as the team’s primary long snapper through his junior campaign.
Stokes also was considered for other prestigious student-athlete awards this season. He was one of 10 finalists for the Awards and Recognition (ARA) Sportsmanship Award and was a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy.
Former recipients of the Bowden Award include Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, 2009; Kentucky tight end Jacob Tamme, 2007; and Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley, 2005.
More than 30 student-athletes from NCAA FBS schools were nominated this year for Bowden Award consideration. A distinguished panel of active college coaches with FCA ties trimmed down a seven-player semifinal list to Stokes, Dalton and Ponder.