DAVE WIRTH / JERRY WUNSCH / LEGACY / USF / MERRILL LYNCH / HCSO
VOL 4/ISSUE 2
Welcome To Tampa
Greetings: It is a pleasure to welcome you to the 3rdAnnual Premier Players of College Football Charitable Awards Dinner to be held at the Embassy Suites at the University of South Florida on January 19, 2013. Special thanks to the organizers for allowing us, the fans, to recognize those we feel are the best players in NCAA college football. My congratulations and best wishes to those who have been chosen as the five finalists - you have each made an indelible mark on both college sports and your fans. I also take this opportunity to thank all those in attendance for your support of the Premier Players Sports Foundation, a 501c(3) community based nonprofit company whose mission is to help orphaned, foster and special needs children participate in sports and provide a mentorship network for those who go on to college. It is well known that sports are a great way to promote and inspire the value of academic achievement, discipline and sportsmanshipâ€”all skills that are so important in helping our youth develop their full potential.
For those of you who are visiting for the first time, I hope you will have the opportunity to experience the many cultural and historical attractions Tampa, Florida has to offer. Whether you visit one of our landmark attractions, ride the streetcar from Channelside to Ybor City, enjoy a meal at one of our fine restaurants or visit our many first-class shopping areas, we are sure you will find your stay to be an unforgettable experience. As an area fast becoming known for its many championship sports teams such as the Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning, World Champion Tampa Bay Storm, and the American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays just across the bay, we know you will soon learn what many others have already discovered, Tampa is vibrant, full of energy and one of the greatest cities in Florida. Once again, welcome and thank you. My best wishes to each of you for an enjoyable and successful event.
Bob Buckhorn, Mayor
A Special Thanks To Our Premier Sponsorâ€”Merrill Lynch.
The 2012 Premier Players of College Football Program 5 p.m., Saturday, January 19th, 2013, At The Embassy Suites – Busch Gardens / USF 5:00pm, 5:30 pm, 6:00 p.m. In Honor of Lee Roy Selmon NFL & Collegiate Hall of Fame 1954-2011 First Advisory Board Member ADVISORY BOARD Lee Roy Selmon Jr. Stryker Orthopaedics Josh Freeman Quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pam Iorio Former Mayor, City of Tampa Sean Farrell Merrill Lynch Tampa Complex Director Dave Wirth 10 News Sports Anchor Richard Ballou Columbia Management Div. VP Rod Carter News Channel 8 Morning Anchor
HALF TIME BREAK Enjoy Food, Silent Auction & Saxophonist Leon Morley
David Lail AllianceBernstein Dir. - Inst. Investments. Tyrone Keys All Sports Community Service Joe Tomaino USF Bulls Club, Director BOARD of DIRECTORS Lee Yost, CRPC, CSNA Merrill Lynch, Financial Advisor Georgia Rice Bank of America Wealth Mgmt Banker Radenko Dobras Dobras Consulting Sam Satin Verizon Communications, Sr. Consultant Carnell Moore, CFP, CRPC, CFM Merrill Lynch Wealth Mgmt. Advisor Premier Players CEO & Founder
VIP reception for finalists, sponsors and community leaders General reception Blessings of The Show & Dinner Asif Shaikh, Chaplain serving for Team USA & Director of Run For The Prize at USF Drumline Performance Tampa Bay Tech High School Marching Titans Presentation of The Colors MacDill AFB Honor Guard The National Anthem Tampa Bay Tech High School Marching Titans Welcoming Remarks Doug Woolard, University of South Florida, Athletic Director Freddie Solomon Community Legacy Colonel Donna Lusczynski, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office The Freddie Solmon Community Spirit Award Lanness Robinson, Hillsborough County Athletic Director Presentation of The 2012 Freddie Solomon Spirit Award Announced by Lanness Robinson & Presented by Dee Solomon Interview of Award Recipient by 10 News Sports Anchor Dave Wirth Lee Roy Selmon Community Legacy Sam Tancredi, President, Lee Roy Selmon’s Family Sports Restaurants The Lee Roy Selmon Community Spirit Award Lee Roy Selmon Jr. Presentation of The 2012 Lee Roy Selmon Spirit Award Announced by Lee Roy Selmon Jr. & Presented by Claybra Selmon Interview of Award Recipient by 10 News Sports Anchor Dave Wirth
The Premier Players Sports Foundation Carnell Moore, founder of The Premier Players Sports Foundation The Jerry Wunsch Story Jerry Wunsch, President of Sales at Enablest & NFL Veteran A Word About The Five Finalists Dave Wirth, 10 News Sports Anchor Mike Gillislee, Florida Gators Highlight Video Jarvis Jones, Georgia Bulldogs Highlight Video Collin Klein, Kansas State Wildcats Highlight Video Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M Highlight Video Manti Te’o, Notre Dame Fighting Irish Highlight Video Player’s Anthem Written, Produced & Performed by Brandon “Legacy” Greene Presentation of The 2012 Premier Player of College Football Trophy Making of The Trophy Announced by Carnell Moore & Presented by Sean Farrell Remarks From The 2012 Award Recipient Closing Remarks (& More of Saxophonist Leon Morley) Sean Farrell, 2x Collegiate All American & NFL Veteran Managing Director, Merrill Lynch Tampa Complex Dave Wirth, 10 News Sports Anchor
College football, or any sport, would not bring excitement to millions of people each year if it wasn't for the fans. Yet, when it came to determining the best college football player in the nation, the fans were mostly left out of the selection process - until now. The Premier Player of College Football trophy is an award presented to the athlete the fans voted as the best player in NCAA college football. A poll is released at the beginning of the college football season with 20 of the best players for fans to follow. In mid October, up to five more great performing players may be added to the poll. Fans then have until the last conference championship game to cast their initial votes for deciding The Premier Player of College Football. The five athletes with the most votes is announced in early December, and invited to The Premier Players of College Football charitable awards dinner. Simultaneous, another poll begins with just those five players on the ballot that remains open until about a week before the awards dinner. On January 19, 2013, the recipient of The 2012 Premier Player of College Football trophy will be revealed at the charitable dinner starting at 5 p.m. at the Embassy Suites USF/ Busch Gardens. "Fans are such a big part of the games, so we wanted to come up with an award that they can be a big part of too," said Carnell Moore, founder of Premier Players, Inc. and The Premier Players Sports Foundation. "All the athletes on the list are Premier Players, but we let the fans decide who gets the trophy.” The Premier Players Trophy is crafted by MTM Recognition, a leader in the design and manufacturing of jewelry, medals, and awards for world class events including the Olympics, Super Bowl, World Series and NCAA Championships. Weighing in at 19 lbs., the trophy stands at 18” tall and 13” wide. The late NFL & Collegiate Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon, our first advisory board member, viewed the
Premier Player award as a great voice for college football fans, and saw The Premier Players of College Football charitable awards dinner as a signature event that can showcase Tampa, provide fun for fans, recognize premier athletes, and help many children. Today, his son Lee Roy Selmon Jr. continues that vision of helping kids through The Premier Players Sports Foundation. The Premier Players Sports Foundation is a 501c (3) nonprofit company based in Tampa, FL. The foundation recognizes sports can be a game-changer in a child's life because it teaches team work, physical fitness, leadership, relationship building and self confidence. That's why its mission is to provide orphanages around the world with sports balls, apparel and league sponsorships to help their kids get into the games. The foundation will also financially assist other nonprofits by using its charitable awards dinners as community fundraisers for organizations that focuses on the well-being of children in orphanages, foster care or with disabilities and diseases. Be a team player and help make a difference in the lives of millions of children. You can make a taxdeductible donation to: Premier Players Sports Foundation P.O. Box 341064 Tampa, FL 33694-1064 For more information, call 813-833-3495 or visit www.premierplayers.com.
“Fans are such a big part of the games, so we wanted to come up with an award that they can be a big part of too,”" PREMIER PLAYERS 7
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An Overview of Each Playerâ€™s Accomplishments This Season
The Final Five
Jarvis Jones 6'-3" / 241 Junior Outside Linebacker Georgia Bulldogs
Mike Gillislee 5'-11" / 209 Senior Running Back Florida Gators In a Florida Gator team which seemingly fluctuated from week to week at times during the 2012 season, Mike Gillislee was nothing short of a rock. The hard running tailback was without doubt one of the most improved players in the country by the end of the year, a fact not looked over by the SEC when he was named on the all-conference first team. Gillislee became the first Gator running back to break the 1,000 yard mark in almost a decade, proof that a tireless work ethic and dedication to your craft can see you reach levels some didn't expect. The fact that Gillislee went over that mark against arch rival Florida State, while having his best game of the season, says everything you need to know about the determination and motivation he brings on every carry. As good as he is as a runner Gillislee is a coach's dream in pass protection. Never one to shy away from contact he willingly took on the fearsome SC pass rushers and seemed to relish the challenge each and every Saturday. It is hard to find a word that truly defines what Gillislee was to the 2012 Gators. Though when all is said and done only one word fits the mold invaluable.
When you look up the word explosive in the dictionary you might just find a picture of Jarvis Jones there looking back at you. Now imagine that face is bearing down on you with 4.6 speed and a desire to monster your quarterback. That is what it felt like to be a lineman facing Georgia this year. Statistically, Jones had a season for the ages. His 77 tackles don't jump off of the page, but that is offset by his pure ability to wreck opposition drives coming off of the edge with 22.5 tackles for a loss and 12.5 sacks. That means at least three times a game he was in the opposition backfield taking matters into his own hands and destroying both quarterbacks and running backs with reckless abandon. In a sport where collision and chaos is paramount, Jones excels in both. He had seven forced fumbles in 2012, most caused by his jaw dropping ability to deliver a crushing blow at the end of a play. Simply put Jones is that difference maker that comes around a program once every 15 to 20 years. A big game player who often saved his best for when it mattered most, Jones put up all those numbers while missing two games with injury. Though the NFL now beckons he has left a lasting impression on the SEC.
Johnny Manziel 6'-1" / 205 Freshman Quarterback Texas A&M Aggies
Collin Klein 6'-5" / 226 Senior Quarterback Kansas State Wildcats Some players arrive onto the college football scene in a blaze of glory, destined for success from the outset. Then there are others who come as unheralded recruit, play a little wide receiver on the way, and eventually catapult to stardom in the sport due to a relentless work ethic and a never give up attitude. Collin Klein is the poster boy for that second group. Klein defines Kansas State just about as much as any player in the country defines their college. He has a personality which fits perfectly in the Little Apple and Wildcat fans have taken him to heart because of the way he plays the game. He is a bulldozing runner, yet he has deceptive speed which made him a threat in the open field all season long. In the summer leading up to his senior season Klein worked tirelessly on his passing accuracy, knowing that this would be the key to K-States season. The result was an epic season in Manhattan as Klein and coach Bill Snyder lead the Wildcats to a memorable 11-1 season and a Big XII Championship. Klein will be forever defined by his intelligence as a QB and his innate leadership on the field. When all is said and done he will be remembered as one of the greatest wildcats in history.
When you give birth to a nickname that sounds like it could have come from the '40s you are probably onto something special. Just ask the folks at Alabama how special Johnny Football can be. Johnny Manziel started the season way off of the radar. With his Aggies moving to the daunting SEC there was a feeling that the freshman would be overawed and that an adjustment period would be needed. There was no doubt about the talent, Manziel scored an utterly ridiculous 157 touchdowns in high school, but no one quite knew what he would be able to deliver as a freshman being thrust into the spotlight. It wasn't just how he played, it was that he picked the brightest times for his biggest moments. In leading his Aggies over the heavily favored Crimson Tide on national TV Johnny Football accounted for 345 of his teams 418 yards of offense and had the best defenders in the country grasping at air. The scary thing for everyone else is that this is just the start of the legacy that Manziel will leave. Opposing defenses will need to find some way to contain perhaps the most dynamic playmaker in the country because he may be around for three more years.
Manti Teâ€™o 6'-2" / 255 Senior Middle Linebacker Notre Dame Fighting Irish As senior seasons go you would have to go a long way to better the one just pieced together by Notre Dame defensive standout Manti Te'o. It is one thing to rack up individual awards and accolades by putting up huge numbers, but it is quite another thing to do while at the same time resurrecting the fortunes of the most storied institution in the country. Te'o in many ways represents all that is good about college football. Any coach will tell you that it is a blessing when your best player is also your hardest worker, and T'eo embodies that ideal perfectly. He is a blur of constant motion on the field who is able to fight off blocks to make plays up the middle, but yet with the range to get from sideline to sideline when a play breaks outside. He is the unquestioned leader of the best defense statistically in the country, Notre Dame gave up just 10.3 points per game, while also being a superior athlete able to make the big play (seven interceptions) when his team needed it the most. In a world that can often seem too good to be true Te'o is the real deal. PREMIER PLAYERS 9
Lee Roy Selmon Community Spirit Award Lee Roy Selmon, the first advisory board member for The Premier Players Sports Foundation, was a Collegiate and NFL Hall of Fame inductee who played his entire career for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Along with his older brothers, he helped the Oklahoma Sooners win two national titles before becoming the first player drafted by the expansion Buccaneers as well as the overall #1 pick of the 1976 NFL Draft. Even though the six-time NFL Pro Bowler had a great impact on the Buccaneers, Tampa loved Selmon even more for his impact on the community. The unselfish and very humble Selmon led multiple charities and even founded his own chain of sports restaurants to add his own culinary mark to Tampa. In addition, he helped usher in the University of South Florida football team, which is Tampa’s only Football Bowl Subdivision team. Due to both Selmon’s prowess on and off the field, the Premier Players Sports Foundation found it fitting to name an award after him. The Lee Roy Selmon Spirit Award recognizes athletes who go above the call of a student, amateur or professional athlete by demonstrating a deep care for others and their community. After all, while it is the teams that play the game, it is the community that supports them. That’s why Lee Roy Selmon never let the game of football define who he was, he lived by faith and touched many people in special ways. Starting today, the Lee Roy Selmon Community Spirit Award will honor athletes who show a love for others and a connection to the moral growth of their community.
Presented To Lee Roy Selmon oma D Lineman, University of Oklah
2012 Award Recipient Akeem Davis Senior, Linebacker, University of Memphis Tigers
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2012 Award Recipient Asa Watson RS Junior, Tight End North Carolina State Wolfpack
Presented To Freddie Solomon Tampa Wide Receiver, University of
Freddie Solomon Community Spirit Award Freddie Solomon played his college football at the University of Tampa and went on to play for the Miami Dolphins for three seasons before joining the San Francisco 49ers where he helped win two Super Bowl championships. His career in the National Football League as a wide receiver came to a close after 11 years. Then the Sumter, SC, native known as “Fabulous Freddie”, came back to Hillsborough County to make a more lasting impact. Solomon devoted the next 21 years of his life to the youths of PREMIER PLAYERS 12
Tampa Bay, working with the Sheriff’s department to teach kids life lessons through football. His efforts impacted more than two decades of youths and his lessons are still carried on in the community. The Freddie Solomon Spirit Award continues Solomon’s efforts to help make the world a better place by honoring a collegiate football player from the states of Florida or South Carolina, each year, who has impacted the lives of others through giving and community service.
CHANGING LIVES Brandon Greene Chose A Legacy Of Life Brandon Greene, aka Legacy, was born in the Rust-Belt city of Buffalo, NY. Buffalo, once the nations leader in steel making and grain milling has been experiencing economic decline for decades. As opportunity left the city, so too did Legacy’s family, relocating to the Tampa Bay area in 1992 to escape economic downturn in hopes of finding new beginnings when he was 14. What Legacy found was confusion, difficulty fitting in, a drug-culture, and little hope for stability in his chaotic home life. His desire to return to the city he loved and much turmoil at home led to seclusion, drug abuse and a rebellious teenager searching for purpose in the small rural town of Brooksville, FL. Legacy experienced the love, forgiveness and life-changing power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in May of 1995. He has left behind a life of drugs, hurt, rebellion, and aimless living. Having been reminded that his life would leave a “Legacy” for life or for death, he decided to devote it to following Christ. He wasn’t the smartest, most athletic, or most talented but almost immediately, he began telling everyone he knew about God’s life changing power and how it could also change theirs, too. Spreading this message and leading others to Christ was such a natural concept that he began to use his musical talents as a means to share this hope and over time learned to share his faith personally, through music, lifestyle and everyday conversations. Legacy has been involved in youth ministry since 1996. He has ministered in prisons, housing projects, street ministries, homeless missions, and in various cities including New Orleans, Tampa, Oakland, LA, Buffalo, Philadelphia and more. From late 2004 until January of 2006, he and his wife, Pam, led Higher
Definition Youth Ministries under Word of Life Foursquare Church in Tampa, FL. Each week over 40 urban youths of many ethnicities attended the Hip-Hop styled youth group. Brandon also led the worship on Sunday morning. He relocated back to Buffalo almost two years ago with his wife and two beautiful daughters to refocus on his music and ministry. He is back to Hip-Hop music production and recording to bring you a fresh take on some old music. His passion for music, understanding today’s culture, teaching others what he has learned and of discipleship helps drive him towards his goal - changing lives!
Thanks To Our Sponsors And Volunteers Who Made This Happen Merrill Lynch Wealth Management 10 News Sports Anchor Dave Wirth (Top Right) Jerry Wunsch (Below) Enablest, President of Sales & Former NFL Player Brandon “Legacy” Greene from Buffalo, NY MacDill Air Force Base Color Guard Saxophonist Leon Morley Palm Beach Autographs Tampa Bay Tech High School Marching Titans University of South Florida Bulls Club The Solomon Family The Selmon Family Lee Roy Selmon’s Restaurants & The Premier Players Sports Foundation Boards of Directors & Advisors (see page 5)
Program for the 2012 Premier Players of College Football charitable awards dinner.