Bryce Torneden Named Witten Award Semifinalist

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas senior safety Bryce Torneden was one of 20 players from throughout all of college football tabbed a semifinalist for the 2019 Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award, which honors players who have demonstrated a record of leadership by exhibiting exceptional courage, integrity and sportsmanship both on and off the field.

Torneden has participated in numerous community service initiatives with a focus on impacting the community he calls home, Lawrence. He has spent countless hours visiting local elementary schools and doing his best to impact the next generation of children.

The work Torneden is proudest of is his role with Team Impact, a national nonprofit that connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes. Torneden is KU football’s leadership team captain for its relationship with Team Impact. He leads 10 players who determine how the program spends its time with teammate, Tayber Witt, and how they can positively impact his life. Torneden has spent countless hours with Witt on campus, but has also led groups visiting him at his school and taking him bowling, among other activities.

In addition, because of Torneden’s impressive leadership skills, he was recently selected as one of the Big 12 Conference’s two football players tabbed for the NCAA’s Football Student-Athlete Connection Group.

For his efforts, Torneden was also selected for the 2019 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team and as a candidate for the 2019 Senior CLASS Award.

The Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award, presented by Albertsons and Tom Thumb, is the first college football honor to focus primarily on a player’s leadership, both on and off the field. Leadership is a term synonymous with Jason Witten, who, in addition to becoming one of the best tight ends in the history of the sport and the Cowboys’ all-time leading receiver, has served as one of football’s most prominent role models during his 16-year pro career. In addition to winning the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award in 2012, Witten also received the Bart Starr Award, Pro Football Weekly’s Humanitarian of the Year Award, Home Depot NFL Neighborhood MVP and the Bob Lilly Award, among many others. All of those honors have recognized his work in the community, achievements on the field and dedication to his teammates and family.

“It’s my honor to announce this impressive group of student-athletes as semifinalists for the third annual Collegiate Man of the Year,” said Witten. “All of these young men are shining examples of what makes college football great. They have demonstrated exceptional character and leadership, often while overcoming large challenges. They are great representatives for the game of football, and I commend all nominees for getting to this point.”

Three finalists will be named for the award on Monday, December 16. The winner will be announced at the award ceremony on February 18, 2020, at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

The winner of the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year will also receive a $10,000 contribution in his name to his school’s athletic scholarship fund. The contribution will be made by Jason Witten’s SCORE Foundation, the official charity of Jason and his wife Michelle. The SCORE Foundation, founded in 2007, has positively impacted tens of thousands of children and families in Texas and Tennessee over the last 12 years. The foundation operates its nationally-recognized SCOREkeepers program, which places trained male mentors on staff to work with children at family violence shelters, at nine shelters in the two states.

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