Excelling both on the field and off, Covington has been nominated for the Wuerffel Trophy
Jamal Covington is a name recognizable to members of Niner Nation not only for his accomplishments on the field, but also for the work he does in his community.
Covington was recently recognized for his efforts off the field when he was nominated for the Wuerffel Trophy, an award presented by the All Sports Association in an effort to recognize the FBS player that showcases high marks in community service, athletics and academics.
In addition, Covington was named to an NFL’s 16 in ‘16 “Who could run for President one day.” Covington has been named to the Athletic Director’s List in five of his eight semesters after recording a GPA of above 3.0. He also spent this past summer interning with the Charlotte Community Scholars. Through his internship he worked with the Charlotte Action Research Project and developed a geospatial app for the Enderly Park neighborhood.
“I really saw how people who were less fortunate were disconnected from the resources they needed,” Covington said. “It’s something I have a strong passion for. I can use geographic information systems to better the community and better other people’s lives.”
Being a football player at Charlotte gives Covington the ability to reach a larger audience.
“That Charlotte brand holds a lot of weight in the community. It makes people want to listen and it makes people really want to pay attention to what you’re trying to say,” Covington said.
During his time as a 49er Covington has joined with three other student-athletes to form the Student-Athlete Ambassador Program. The group formed the club after attending the 2015 Athletic Prevention Programming and Leadership Education conference in Washington D.C.. After the Student-Athlete Ambassador Program found success on the Charlotte campus, the quartet went back the next year to the same conference and presented the details of their program.
“It’s a very humbling opportunity,” Covington said. “It’s something that I feel like will be a part of my legacy. We feel like it’s been very effective in dealing with student-athletes. We create an atmosphere that student-athletes feel like they have someone to talk to other than an authoritative figure such as a coach or a teacher.”
In addition to helping student-athletes succeed, Covington is also interested in helping a larger audience: the surrounding community. In light of recent events in Charlotte, Covington attended an event in which young black men, the Mayor of Charlotte, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and the national organization of law enforcement converged in an event set up by the White House.
“I’m trying to facilitate action and facilitate change within the community,” Covington said.
In addition to his community service and academic successes, Covington can be seen under the lights on Saturday nights making an impact as well. After joining Niner Nation with the inaugural class, The Fayetteville, Georgia native has started in 32 of the 33 games he has seen playing time in. Thanks to his blocking efforts, Charlotte was able to have the fifth leading rusher in Kalif Phillips last season.
“It’s all about being the absolute best in whatever you do. I try to show people you can be a phenomenal student athlete as well as a phenomenal human being. A phenomenal teammate as well as a phenomenal person. I feel like it’s a direct reflection of the people I’m around,” Covington said. “Hats off to my coaches, to my teammates, they’ve really helped me grow and mold me into the young man I am today.”