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University of Kentucky senior linebacker Avery Williamson has been named to the Southeastern Conference Community Service Team, as announced by the league office.

The Milan, Tenn., native has been very involved in community service projects during his three seasons at Kentucky. He traveled to Ethiopia in May of 2013 for a week-long community service trip where he interacted with residents of impoverished communities, visited imprisoned men, helped widows, cared for orphans, and helpedrenovate houses. He also has participated in “Read Across America” by reading books to children at a local mall, served as a celebrity guest for UK’s largest student-run philanthropy, Dance Blue, which raised more than $1.1 million this year, volunteered for Big Blue U, helped UK freshmen move in their dorms, volunteered to pack and deliver food for God’s Pantry BackPack Program, while also staying to interact with the children at the school, volunteered at Kenneth Kennedy’s “Be a Match” Bone Marrow Donor Drive and was volunteer bellringer for the Salvation Army. He also frequently volunteers to speak at local elementary schools and summer camps.

“Being named to the SEC Community Service Team means a lot to me,” Williamson said. “A lot of us on this team are doing more than just playing football and I think that’s important. I care about this community and helping others. I’ve been given a special opportunity to play Division I football at a great university like Kentucky and I love giving back and helping people better their lives. I will continue giving back to my community, no matter where it is, for the rest of my life.”

On the field, Williamson had a breakout junior season in 2012, earning All-SEC honors from Phil Steele’s College Football and CollegeSportsMadness.com. He is the returning starter at middle linebacker after finishing second in the SEC and seventh nationally in tackles last season. Williamson, who has played in 38 career games, has posted nine double-digit tackle games, including a game-high 14 last week vs. Western Kentucky. He is currently a preseason second-team All-SEC honoree by Phil Steele’s College Football and CollegeSportsMadness.com. He also is on the watch lists for the 2013 College Football Performance Awards Defensive Award, the Butkus Award for the nation’s best linebacker, the Lott IMPACT Trophy and is a nominee for the Senior CLASS Award.

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