Akayleb Evans receives Alabama Power Community Service Award at Reese’s Senior Bowl 2022

Former University of Missouri defensive back Akayleb Evans was selected by Reese’s Senior Bowl on Tuesday as the recipient of its Alabama Power Community Service Award.

Lauren Fleming, director of hospitality events and community outreach programs at Reese’s Senior Bowl, said Evans was selected because of his selfless commitment to helping others.

“He’s just the nicest guy and you can tell he has a really big heart,” Fleming said. “We love partnering with Alabama Power to recognize these players off the court as well as on the court.”

Akayleb Evans received the Alabama Power Community Service Award at Reese’s Senior Bowl 2022 from the Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Akayleb Evans practices before the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl. (Dennis Washington/Alabama Press Center)

Patrick Murphy, vice president of Alabama Power’s mobile division, surprised Evans with the award during a team practice at Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile.

“Akayleb recognized early on that this was an avenue for him,” Murphy said. “We are happy to shine a light on people like him who support the communities in which they live.”

Evans’ community service story began in high school when he and his mother started the Akayleb Evans Foundation to provide food and toys to less fortunate children in his hometown of McKinney, Texas. It grew rapidly when Evans entered college at the University of Tulsa, where he encouraged other student-athletes to volunteer their time to help others.

“If you have a lot of influence and you’re not using it powerfully, you’re not really using it,” Evans said. “I just wanted to be able to use my voice, and the best way to do that was to create a foundation.”

Evans’ foundation quickly grew large enough that he could set up an annual college scholarship fund for a high school student from his hometown. Evans hopes his performance Saturday at Reese’s Senior Bowl will boost his stock heading into the NFL Draft and give his foundation a bigger opportunity to thrive.

“You never know what people are going through, so why not give back?” said Evans. “Everything is everything to some people.”

The 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl will be played on Saturday, February 5 at Hancock Whitney Stadium on the University of South Alabama campus. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on the NFL Network.

Jill E. Washington