Nine NFL players choose to partner with Uplifting Athletes during My Cause My Cleats 2017


MCMC 17 GRAPHICUplifting Athletes is partnering with the NFL in the My Cause My Cleats campaign this season.

Players from across the NFL will wear custom cleats that reflect their commitment to charitable causes during Week 13 games.

For the Uplifting Athletes team, most of them became connected to the rare disease cause in college when they were a part of something bigger than themselves. Seven of the nine members of the Uplifting Athletes team have a connection to their football student-athlete led university chapter that supports the rare disease community.

And for those seven, wearing the Uplifting Athletes brand for My Cause My Cleats is simply an extension of their support for their university chapter and the rare disease community.

“I would like to thank all the members of our My Cause My Cleats team and the former chapter members who have continued to be honorable representatives of their university and Uplifting Athletes as alumni,” said Uplifting Athletes Director of Chapter Management Brett Brackett, a former Penn State Chapter President who recently retired from the NFL. “Your platform has become more prevalent yet your heart for the rare disease community continues to shine bright.”

Each pair of uniquely designed cleats will be highlighted by the Uplifting Athletes colors and brand, but will also play tribute to their respective university chapter by featuring the school colors as well.

The current roster for the 2017 Uplifting Athletes My Cause My Cleats team includes: Navorro Bowman (Oakland Raiders), Garry Gilliam (San Francisco 49ers), Riley Dixon (Denver Broncos), Adam Humphries (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Ted Karras (New England Patriots), Freddie Bishop (New York Jets), Matt Haack (Miami Dolphins) and Shamarko Thomas (Buffalo Bills).

In conjunction with My Cause My Cleats, each member of the Uplifting Athletes team is running a fundraising campaign to support the cause and help tackle rare diseases.

The proceeds from this My Cause My Cleats campaign support the mission of Uplifting Athletes and its charitable programs: Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Experiences and Uplifting Leaders.

“As a former professional athlete I am aware of the example we set for the next generation. We are proud to have these nine players set the precedent for our chapters and all athletes across the country,” Brackett said. “For these athletes to continue to lend a voice to a community that is starved for relevant attention and financial incentive to make and market new treatments cannot be undervalued.”

Uplifting Athletes is a national nonprofit that inspires the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport and empowers medical researchers to find cures.

Founded in 2007, Uplifting Athletes has college football student-athlete led chapters nationwide in FBS and FCS programs including half the schools in the Big Ten and ACC conferences.

Weekly Update: Huge upset for Syracuse of previously No. 2 ranked Clemson and NC State continues to rise


week 7 chapter updateSo Friday the 13th did prove to be something of a nightmare for a couple of Top 10 college football teams and served as a foreshadow of the weekend that was Week 7 of the 2017 season.

Syracuse coach Dino Babers picked up his signature victory as the Orange head coach in his second season in upstate New York after unranked Syracuse edged defending college football National Champion Clemson inside the Carrier Dome.

The previously No. 1 ranked Tigers suffered only their second loss against an unranked opponent in their last 51 attempts.

Led by quarterback Eric Dungey, who earned the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week, Syracuse scored 27 points against a Clemson defense that held five of its previous six opponents to two or fewer touchdowns.

This was only the third loss for Clemson in its last 34 games dating back to the start of the 2015 season. The Tigers still control their own destiny, though. Remember, last year the Tigers lost to Pittsburgh during the regular season and still went on to claim the ACC and National titles.

Following the historic victory for the Orange, it was Clemson coach Dabo Swinney who stole the show. The Tigers’ skipper was extremely gracious in defeat.

Swinney was clearly happy for Babers after the game, seen mouthing “I’m so happy for you guys” to the Orange coach during the postgame handshake. And later he went into the Syracuse lockerroom to personally congratulate some of the players and even posed for pictures with them.

Meet University of Illinois Chapter President and Fighting Illini starting offensive lineman Nick Allegretti in our weekly Beyond The Trophy series.

It depends on the rankings, but at least three and in one case four of the Top 10 teams in the country lost in Week 7 including Clemson, Washington, Washington State and Auburn.

One of the teams on trending the other direction is the NC State Wolfpack, who improved to 6-1 after using a strong finish to close out Pittsburgh.

NC State is ranked inside the Top 20 (T16 in the AP and No. 17 in the coaches poll) for the first time since Week 2 of the 2003 season. That year the Wolpack were No. 14 overall before losing a road game at Wake Forest.

The Wolfpack are on a bye this week after notching win No. 6 in a row after losing to South Carolina in their opener. But a pair of elite programs, Notre Dame and Clemson, are on deck for NC State to close out October.

Coming off a tough home loss to undefeated defending Big Ten Champion Penn State, the Northwestern Wildcats clawed back to .500 on the strength of a strong second half to subdue Maryland.

RB Justin Jackson had a season-high 171 yards and a couple scores to go along with nearly 300 yards passing from QB Clayton Thorson to power the Wildcats.

Colgate used a season-high 166 yards and a touchdown from RB James Holland to overpower Fordham at home. The Raiders defense came up big too, limiting the Rams to only 64 rushing yards on 31 carries.

For the second week in a row Princeton cleared the 50-point barrier and improved to 4-1 overall. The Tigers outgained Brown 538-170 overall and led 36-0 at halftime.

Saint Francis QB Ben Fenimore tossed three touchdown passes for a Red Flash team that led 17-0 at intermission and improved to 2-0 in the NEC.

Stony Brook scored all 22 points in the second half, keyed by a pair of short touchdown runs by Donald Liotine, to rally past New Hampshire.

Cam Akers’ 42-yard touchdown run with 8:32 to play propelled Florida State past Duke for the Seminoles second win of the season. Akers finished with 115 yards on 15 carries.

WEEK 7 SCOREBOARD

2017 Beyond The Trophy: Meet Illinois OL and Chapter President Nick Allegretti


September 2 2017 Illinois vs Ball State Football. Home OpenerEach week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.

 Name: Nick Allegretti

College: University of Illinois

Height, weight, class, position: 6-4, 320-pound junior offensive lineman

High School: Lincoln-Way East, Frankfort, Ill.

About Allegretti: Ever since he stepped on the field as a redshirt freshman in 2015, Allegretti has displayed the diversity to play both guard and center for the Illini. … Played in 11 games as a redshirt freshman at guard and center and also played defensive tackle in two games. … President of the Illinois Chapter of Uplifting Athletes and a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. … Started all 12 games in 2016 and is on the AFCA and Rimmington watch lists this season. … Has started at guard and center this season and has been voted a team captain for five of the six games so far.

What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?

Allegretti: Beating Nebraska on a last-minute touchdown drive at home.

What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes, and what, if anything, has this experience done for you?

Allegretti: When I was younger my brother had a battle with leukemia so I have seen how hard it can be to battle tough diseases. My brother had leukemia and there were a lot of resources there to help him recover and get back to my healthy and happy brother. When I found out that there were diseases that did not have as much research and did not have as much help, I knew I had to do whatever I could to change it.

As a player, what is your favorite part of the game day experience at your home stadium?

Allegretti: Singing the Alma Mater after a big win.

Who is your favorite NFL player and why?

Allegretti: Joe Thomas. He is the best offensive lineman to play since I truly started following football.

If you could have lunch with any one person (dead or alive), who would you choose and why?

Allegretti: Teddy Roosevelt or Franklin D. Roosevelt. FDR was in office during the depression and WWII and he had an incredibly tough job that came with incredible decisions. I would love to hear his point of view on all the issues he experienced during his presidency. Teddy Roosevelt seems like one of the most interesting presidents that we have had and I feel like sitting with him and hearing stories about the Rough Riders would be amazing.

What is your favorite road stadium to play in and why?

Allegretti: Nebraska is a great game day atmosphere.

In your words, what are some of the things you are looking for in life after football or big goals for the future?

Allegretti: I am finishing up my undergraduate degree in accounting this semester and then continuing with my masters in accounting. After football is over I plan on taking the CPA and pursuing a career in public accounting.

 RAPID FIRE

What is your perfect pizza?

Allegretti: Sausage and pepperoni

Last 3 songs you added to your playlist?

Allegretti: When it Rains It Pours by Luke Combs, In Color by Jamie Johnson, It’s a Great Day to Be Alive by Travis Tritt

Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus?

Allegretti: Miley Cyrus

 If you could spend the day with any celebrity, who would it be?

Allegretti: Lebron James

What was the last movie you went to the theater and saw?

Allegretti: Dunkirk

In the Mountains or on a Beach?

Allegretti: Beach

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Update: Second straight road win for Nebraska Cornhuskers and 2017 Touchdown Pledge Drive wraps up


WEEK 5 GRAPHICThank you, on behalf of the rare disease community we serve, to the 15 schools that participated in the 2017 Uplifting Athletes Touchdown Pledge Drive during the final three weeks in September.

The support from the college football student-athlete chapter leaders and donor to raise awareness and funds for rare diseases is appreciated. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Nebraska made it two road victories in a row by visiting fellow Uplifting Athletes Chapter Illinois for a Friday night Big Ten affair at Memorial Stadium. The Huskers defense put on a show, limiting the Fighting Illini to only a pair of field goals.

Linebacker Chris Weber, the Nebraska Chapter President, had a monster game with nine tackles that included six solo stops. He also had two tackles for a loss and one sack. Offensively, the Huskers piled up 411 total yards led by 246 yards and three touchdowns from QB Tanner Lee.

Penn State used a combination of defense and special teams to grab a 28-0 first-quarter lead on Indiana and cruised to a 31-point victory. The Nittany Lions forced four turnovers including a scoop-and-score by the special teams on a Hooisers punt return.

Linebacker Jason Cabinda paced a PSU defense that limited Indiana to its lowest point total of the season by recording 14 tackles, 1.5 TFL and one sack. QB Trace McSorley threw for 315 yards and a couple scores. WR DeSean Hamilton became the No. 1 receiver in school history with nine catches for 122 yards and three touchdowns.

Meet Clemson University Chapter President and Tigers kicker Christian Groomes in our weekly Beyond The Trophy series.

Colgate freshman quarterback Grant Breneman accounted for all three Raiders touchdowns in a road victory at Cornell. Breneman threw a pair of TD passes and rushed for another score. The Colgate defense came up with four interceptions that went a long way to the Raiders notching victory No. 2 of the season.

Joe Carbone threw for 182 yards with one touchdown and RB Stacey Bedell added 104 yards and a score on the ground to power Stony Brook to a huge Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) road victory over William & Mary. The Seawolves are 3-0 in the CAA and 4-1 overall with their only loss coming to FBS nationally ranked USF in Tampa in their opener.

Saint Francis used two touchdown passes from QB Bear Fenimore and 105 yards from RB Jymere Jordan-Toney to edge Liberty on the road in Virginia to improve to 3-1 overall.

Defending National Champion Clemson posted its second major road victory in as many weeks by traveling to Blacksburg, Virginia and subduing previously undefeated and nationally ranked Virginia Tech.

Dorian Daniel salted away another strong outing for the Tigers by returning an interception 22 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to give Clemson a 31-10 lead. QB Kelly Bryant totaled 280 yards of offense with one touchdown and led the Tigers in rushing with 94 yards.

Maryland RB Ty Johnson ripped off a 34-yard touchdown run with 70 seconds remaining to cap a solid 262-yard outing for the Terrapins on the ground. Johnson’s touchdown vaulted Maryland to a one-touchdown victory over Minnesota. The road victory featured Maryland using its third quarterback of the season.

Georgia Tech rolled up more than 400 rushing yards and cruised past winless North Carolina to improve to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the ACC. QB TaQuon Marshall and RB KirVonte Benson combined for 267 yards and two touchdowns on 45 carries.

NC State held off a furious second-half comeback by fellow Uplifting Athletes Chapter Syracuse to hang on for a big ACC home victory. The Wolfpack led 26-7 at intermission. Syracuse WR Ervin Philips set a Syracuse and ACC single-game record with 17 receptions to earn the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week award.

Washington is poised to make another strong run at a second straight Pac-12 title with a 5-0 start. The Huskies used 293 yards and three touchdowns from QB Jake Browning and WR Dante Pettis hauled in 12 pass for 105 yards with all three Browning TD passes going his way in a blowout win over Oregon State on the road.

Florida State picked up its first win of the season behind a late TD pass from QB James Blackman to WR Auden Tate covering 40 yards inside the final minute to edge Wake Forest on the road.

QB Brandon Wimbush threw for three touchdowns and added another on the ground as Notre Dame raced out to a 45-14 halftime lead over Miami (Ohio) from the MAC at home. The Fighting Irish improved to 4-1 overall.

Chapter Scoreboard Week 5

 

 

Illinois Chapter Touchdown Pledge Drive Friday night against Big Ten opponent Nebraska


ILLINOIS TDPD 17 GRAPHICThe Illinois Chapter of Uplifting Athletes, led by President Nick Allegretti, is counting on the Fighting Illini offense to put a few touchdowns on the board Firday, September 29 for its 2017 Touchdown Pledge Drive to support the rare disease community.

Uplifting Athletes chapters are run by football student-athletes. So, for fans, this is a great way to support the players on your favorite team off the field in their efforts to use the power of sport for social good.

The leadership team of the Illinois Chapter and all the members of the 2017 Fighting Illini squad is asking fans to support their efforts when Illinois welcomes Nebraska to Memorial Stadium by making a pledge through the Illinois Chapter online Touchdown Pledge Drive site.

Fans can simply make a pledge for each touchdown the Fighting Illini score that day and they can follow along to see the impact they are helping the players make.

The proceeds from our 2017 Touchdown Pledge Drive support the mission of Uplifting Athletes and its charitable programs: Rare Disease Awareness, Rare Disease Research, Uplifting Experiences and Uplifting Leaders.

The challenges faced by the rare disease community are bigger than any one individual, team or organization can tackle alone. The grassroots effort of the Illinois Chapter, along with a nationwide network of teams, is uniquely positioned to educate and engage the local community and shine a spotlight on rare diseases.

The Illinois Chapter serves the rare disease community in honor of Andrew Carter, a former Illini offensive lineman who battled the rare disease acoustic neuroma starting in 2011. Carter is a rare disease survivor but never played football again. He is, though, still a strong supporter of the Illinois Chapter.

Support the Illinois Chapter and its efforts to make a difference in the rare disease community by signing up for its Touchdown Pledge Drive today!

 

Weekly Update: Signature ACC road victory for NC State and Touchdown Pledge Drive continues


NC STATE NEWSLETTER IMAGEThank you to Clemson, Maryland, Colgate, Stony Brook and Georgia Tech student-athlete chapter leaders and fans of those programs for supporting the middle week of Touchdown Pledge Drive 2017.

There is still one more set of Uplifting Athletes Chapters on deck to help tackle rare diseases during the three-week campaign.

Illinois, Florida State, Penn and Fordham will hold their Touchdown Pledge Drive games this week.

NC State picked up a signature ACC win by going on the road and pulling off an upset of Florida State in Tallahassee.

The Wolfpack took care of the football with zero turnovers and had only six penalties. NC State piled up nearly 400 yards of offense on the Seminoles defense, led by 230 yards and two touchdowns from QB Ryan Finley.

Meet NC State University Chapter President and Wolfpack tight end Cole Cook in our weekly Beyond The Trophy series.

Defending Ivy League co-champion UPenn moved to 2-0 by taking out winless Lehigh on the road in a wild affair that featured 112 total points and more than 1,150 total yards.

Quakers RB Karekin Brooks had a monster game, rushing for 268 yards on 29 yards with three touchdowns. The UPenn defense also forced three key turnovers.

Penn State remained the No. 4 ranked team in the country by escaping a night game at Kinnick Stadium with a road victory over Iowa by scoring on the very last play.

Trace McSorley hit Juwan Johnson with a 7-yard touchdown pass as time expired to move the Nittany Lions to 4-0. RB Saquon Barkley posted a school record 358 all-purpose yards on 43 touches to earn the Uplifting Athletes Rare Performance of the Week.

The other Ivy League defending co-champion, Princeton, is also off to a 2-0 starter after rolling past Lafayette. Tigers QB Chad Kanoff threw for 256 yards and three touchdowns. His 31 completions were spread out to 10 different receivers. The Princeton defense limited Lafayette to only 36 yards rushing.

Stony Brook won its third game in a row after dropping the season opener to nationally ranked USF on the road. The Seawolves picked up a huge conference victory by using a solid defensive effort to hold off Towson.

WR Ray Bolden had a big game with eight catches for 125 yards and a TD to compliment a 242-yard, two-touchdown outing from QB Joe Carbone.

Georgia Tech used its Touchdown Pledge Drive game to roll up more than 400 rushing yards and five touchdowns to overwhelm Pittsburgh. RB KirVonte Benson and QB TaQuon Marshall combined for 308 yards on the ground and accounted for four of the Yellow Jackets five touchdowns.

The Yellow Jackets defense limited the Panthers to less than 250 total yards and fewer than 40 yards on the ground.

Defending National Champion Clemson used 27 fourth-quarter points to pull away from Boston College for the Tigers’ Touchdown Pledge Drive game and improved to 4-0.

Notre Dame moved inside the Top 25 last week and validated that move by using three turnovers and 28 first-half points to erase Michigan State in East Lansing.

The Top-10 ranked Washington Huskies fell behind Colorado on the road 7-0 after one quarter before reeling off 24 of the next 27 points to seize control of their first Pac-12 game of the season.

Coming off a tough upset loss at home, Nebraska trailed Rutgers on the road early in the second half after a pick-six by the Scarlet Knights to grab a 17-14 lead. Rutgers never scored again, as the Huskers scored the final 13 points to get a much-needed victory. The Nebraska defense again played solid, limiting Rutgers to less than 200 total yards and surrendered only one touchdown.

UPDATED CHAPTER SCOREBOARD

Weekly Update: Six teams get out of the gate strong with 2-0 starts


WEEK 2 UPDATE GRAPHICCongratulations to Penn State, Maryland, Clemson, Illinois, Washington and Saint Francis for starting the 2017 season 2-0.

Defending Big Ten Champion Penn State used a fast start and solid defense to hold off in-state rival Pittsburgh at Beaver Stadium.

The Nittany Lions defense, led by 12 tackles from safety Marcus Allen, came up with three turnovers, had five sacks and nine tackles for a loss in holding the Panthers to one touchdown.

Maryland’s offense has scored 50 or more points in both its victories over previously ranked Texas (51 points) and in the their home opener against Towson (63).

The Terps piled up nearly 400 yards on the ground led by Ty Johnson’s 124 yards and a pair of touchdowns on only five carries.

Meet University of Maryland Chapter President and kicker Adam Greene in our weekly Beyond The Trophy series.

Defending National Champion Clemson used a spectacular defensive effort to subdue Auburn at Death Valley. The Tigers’ defense limited Auburn to six points and 117 total yards on 66 plays. The Clemson defense also registered 11 sacks and 14 tackles for a loss.

Illinois running back Mike Epstein rushed for 111 yards and the Fighting Illini defense held Western Kentucky to fewer than 250 yards to grab a 13-point victory and improve to 2-0.

Led by 259 yards and a couple touchdowns from QB Jake Browning, the Washington Huskies put up more than 500 yards of total offense in a cruise-control victory over Montana.

Saint Francis QB Bear Fenimore threw for nearly 300 yards and RB Jymere Jordan-Toney added 105 yards on the ground with a score to power the Red Flash to 2-0 with a convincing home victory.

Stony Brook used a pair of touchdowns 2 minutes apart in the fourth quarter to pull away from Rhode Island to notch its first victory of the season.

Led by an impressive outing from Uplifting Athletes Player of the Week Ryan Finley, NC State defeated Marshall in their home opener at Carter-Finley Stadium.

After a gut-wrenching loss to Tennessee in its opener, Georgia Tech rebounded to claim its first victory of the year over Jacksonville State on the strength of a 20-point third quarter and a strong Yellow Jackets defense.

Fordham defensive back Lawrence Menyah returned an interception 29 yards for a touchdown with 1:29 to play to propel the Rams to a come-from-behind victory. Fordham scored the final 17 points after falling behind 31-21 midway through the third quarter.