Junior linebacker Nick Forbes’ priority is to get healthy and back on the field.
In the meantime, he has earned a pretty nice honor, named to the 22-player 2013 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, co-sponsored by the American Football Coaches Association.
The award pays tribute to the positive impact student-athletes from all level of college football have had on their communities and the lives of others.
“Nick does a tremendous job in the community and is very deserving of this recognition,” Dykes said.
No kidding. Consider:
— Forbes has done volunteer work for Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, City of Berkeley, Playworks, Read Across America, SAGE Mentorship Project and Swim with Mike.
— He has been the vice president of the Golden Bear Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (GBAC) since 2011 and has represented Cal at both the Pac-12 Student-Athlete Advisory Conference and the NCAA APPLE Conference.
— In addition, Forbes has been a speaker at a local elementary school and to youth football teams speaking on the importance of education, respect, treating others right and staying out of trouble. He even found time to host Cal’s Oski Student Awards show in the spring of 2013 and organized both a fashion show fundraiser and a student-athlete formal earlier this year.
“It’s awesome to be recognized for doing a few unselfish things here and there,” Forbes said.
“I enjoy doing all the projects I have worked with so being honored for something you enjoy is cool. I hope that my recognition for this inspires someone else to get involved in their community and give back to someone less fortunate.”
Sidelined for more than a month with a lower back injury, Forbes believes he will be ready to play soon. He wouldn’t predict he’ll start a week from Saturday at Oregon, but said. “I am preparing as if I am that guy.”
“He’ll declare himself ready to go by how well he practices,” Dykes said.
Forbes wouldn’t get into specifics about the nature of his back ailment, but said it’s been bothering him for a long time. “I’ve grown to accept that,” he said. “It’s not anything that’s holding me back right anymore. That’s why I’ve gotten back out there.”
Forbes, who said he has gotten tremendous moral support from his mother and two sisters, believes he will be a better player when he’s back on the field.
“I’m doing really good and I’m excited,” he said. “My love for the game is rejuvenated.”
Forbes said he and other injured veterans on defense, including Avery Sebastian (Achilles), Brennan Scarlett (hand) and Mustafa Jalil (knee) acknowledge each other’s plight with few words.
“It’s more of a silent respect for what they’re going through,” he said. “We don’t really talk about it much because it gets frustrating.”
Fans can vote for the 2013 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team Captain by visiting ESPN.com. There, fans can learn more about this year’s team members and vote for the player who they feel represents the “best of the best” in the areas of giving back and contributing to the greater good of their communities.
The Team Captain and his fellow award recipients will be invited to New Orleans to take part in a community project leading up to the 2014 Allstate Sugar Bowl.