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Pitt LB Mike Caprara named to 2016 AFCA Good Works Team

Linebacker+Mike+Caprara+celebrates+a+safety+against+Virginia.++Jeff+Ahearn+%7C+Senior+Staff+Photographer
Linebacker Mike Caprara celebrates a safety against Virginia.  Jeff Ahearn | Senior Staff Photographer

Linebacker Mike Caprara celebrates a safety against Virginia. Jeff Ahearn | Senior Staff Photographer

Linebacker Mike Caprara celebrates a safety against Virginia. Jeff Ahearn | Senior Staff Photographer

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

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Pitt senior linebacker Mike Caprara is off to a fast start to his 2016 season, playing a big role in each of Pitt’s first two wins with 1.5 sacks against Villanova and two fumble recoveries against Penn State.

On Thursday, though, he was recognized for all the work he’s put in off the field.

A 6-foot-1, 225-pound linebacker from Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, Caprara was one of 24 student athletes nationwide recognized as members of the 2016 Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team for their time bettering communities and lives of others.

This is the second consecutive year the Panthers have had a player named to the Good Works Team, as redshirt junior running back James Conner made the team last year for his many charitable contributions.

“I know I speak for the entire University when I say we are extremely proud of Mike Caprara and how he represents both Pitt and the city of Pittsburgh,” Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said in a press release. “He is a fierce competitor on the field and equally passionate in how he pursues giving back and helping others off the field.”

Every spring since his first year at Pitt in 2013, Caprara has made trips to orphanages in Haiti through the Coalition for Christian Outreach. He has also spent time with Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh patients, reading at elementary schools and gathering food for the CCO’s “Blessings in a Backpack” initiative.

“Time demands for college student athletes are extensive, and that’s why Mike Caprara is so special,” Pitt Athletic Director Scott Barnes said in the release. “While balancing academics and football, Mike has made it a major priority to look beyond himself and help others. He sets a truly inspirational example and we are all very proud of him.”

The 2016 Good Works Team was selected from a group of nominees submitted by sports information directors from around the country. A panel of college football media members and former Good Works Team members voted on the 2016 team.

Fans can vote for the 2016 Good Works Team Captain, who will be honored at the Home Depot College Football Awards on ESPN, at ESPN.com/Allstate. Voting closes Nov. 23.

This year’s Good Works Team will be invited to New Orleans to participate in a community project before the 2017 Allstate Sugar Bowl, where the team will be honored at halftime.

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Pitt LB Mike Caprara named to 2016 AFCA Good Works Team