Morgan State football coach Lee Hull likens Andrew King favorably to former Terp and current San Francisco 49er Torrey Smith, and it's not just because they're both wide receivers.
Like Smith, King is committed to making contributions off the field. Smith was nominated the Ravens' representative for the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year award last December for his self-named foundation beginning a reading initiative, giving 447 students in Baltimore-area schools access to more than 700 books and electronic readers, as well as a place to read them.
King, a redshirt senior who led the Bears in catches (42), receiving yards (508) and receiving touchdowns (six), helped the team capture a share of its first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title in 35 years last season and a berth in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs. He has visited area elementary schools to talk to students about the lives of student-athletes.
King, a Columbia native who graduated from Atholton High School, also joined an effort organized by Hull to clean streets in neighborhoods close to Morgan State's campus and has volunteered at the program's youth football camp the past two summers.
For his activities, King was nominated in July to the Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team, which recognizes college football players for balancing academics and athletics while making a commitment to serve their communities.
King, who is majoring in accounting, said he enjoys getting involved.
"I always like helping out the community and the people around me so that they can be in a better situation than they are now," he said. "I just like to do that, and I like to be around people who like to do that as well. It's just God blessing us with the ability to help others."
Other nominees from the Baltimore area included Navy senior outside linebacker Myer Krah, Towson redshirt senior defensive tackle Jon Desir and McDaniel senior wide receiver Mike Oliveto.
Krah visited homeless shelters as part of the Midshipmen Black Studies Group and helped raise money for a pair of $1,000 scholarships for football players at their alma mater, Durham Hillside High School in Durham, N.C. Desir visited patients at Johns Hopkins Children's Center and participated in a Miracle League flag football game, the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event and the O.J. Brigance Fiesta 5K. Oliveto mentors and helps foster reading at a pair of local schools and took part in Walk MS.
Getting nominated to the Good Works Team came as a surprise to King, who said his parents, Melanie Freeman and Wesley King, sent him the link to the AFCA website after it was announced.
"I was a little shocked because I didn't even know that something like this even existed," he said. "I felt it was real special, but I feel like since I do that on and off the field, it's kind of normal to me. I'm sort of used to it because that's what I do on a daily basis. But it was a special honor to be among about 200 other nominees."
Hull, who called King the type of man a father would let his daughter date, said King reminds him of Smith, who Hull coached when he was the Terps wide receivers coach from 2008 to 2013.
"They're both the same type of kid," Hull said. "Very humble, quiet, unassuming guys, but they come to work every day and put in a good day's work and sometimes they exceed your expectations. They're similar in that you don't have to worry about their character or any issues on or off the field."
King is hoping to help the Bears repeat as MEAC champions, but said it is just as important to set a good example.
"If you have a positive vibe on and off the field, more people are going to want to come around you," he said. "I feel as if positive attracts positive. I feel if I have a positive vibe and a caring spirit, people around me are going to have the same vibe and spirit."