3 Alabama Alumni Named Walter Payton Man of the Year Finalists
All 32 NFL franchises have announced their nominees for Walter Payton Man of the Year and among the nominees are three former Alabama Crimson Tide players: Bradley Bozeman of the Baltimore Ravens, Jonathan Allen of the Washington Football Team, and Dalvin Tomlinson of the New York Giants.
The Walter Payton Man of the Year award is considered one of the highest honors in the NFL and is awarded for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.
Bradley Bozeman is the nominee for the Baltimore Ravens for his community work in preventing bullying across the country and hunger in the Baltimore area. On the field, Bozeman has emerged as a leader of the Ravens potent offense, becoming a league-wide respected starting guard.
Bozeman and his wife, Nikki, founded the Bradley & Nikki Bozeman Foundation in 2018 with a focus on at-risk youth. Before the COVID-19 pandemic cut the cross-country RV trip short, the Bozemans embarked on an anti-bullying campaign.
Dalvin Tomlinson is the nominee for the New York Giants, amassing an impressive resume of community service across a wide range of foundations and efforts for change. On the field, Tomlinson was voted a captain of the Giants' defense and has hit his stride as a professional, amassing 195 tackles and six sacks in 60 starts at nose tackle in his young career.
Tomlinson donates his time to many organizations and projects, but his focus mostly resides with the American Diabetes Association's "Team Tackle Initiative," and the American Cancer Society as a "Crucial Catch Ambassador" in memory of his parents Melinda and Willie.
Tomlinson also supports Kate's Club in Atlanta and Good Grief in New Jersey to provide support for youth who have experienced the loss of parents or siblings.
"I felt like those are two programs I know I needed to be behind because I personally went through the pain and the grieving process, and I know how tough it can be," Tomlinson told giants.com. "You close down, you don't want to talk to anyone, and those programs connect you with people who are going through the same thing you're going through. That just helps you bridge and make new friendships to help you get through the grieving process in a positive way."
Read more on Tomlinson's story and the many organizations he supports.
Jonathan Allen is the nominee for the Washington Football Team for not only being one of the NFL most feared interior defensive linemen, but a pillar in the Washington D.C. community since his arrival to the Washington franchise.
Allen also has a resume a mile long, but his most recent work with Washington Football Charitable Foundation as well as the Sasha Bruce Youthwork organizations are the most notable.
With the former, has participated in food and toy drives and held football camps for the youth of the DC area.
As for the Sasha Bruce Youthwork, which he began working with in 2019, Allen's efforts go toward helping homeless youth in the area, providing outlets for mental and physical health support, education and career pathway and more.
"The relationships and impact the youth have made on myself and my wife pales in comparison to the impact we have made on their lives," Allen told washingtonfootball.com. "As someone who has been through the foster system myself, I am very passionate about making an impact on their lives and being a resource for them moving forward. I hope to continue to be a positive example that these kids can follow and see that it's not impossible to come out of any situation and be successful."
Read more on Jonathan Allen and his efforts in the DC area at washingtonfootball.com.
From the NFL's press release, all 32 nominees will receive a $40,000 donation in their name to their charity of choice. The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of their choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide (which sponsors the award.)
Fans are encouraged to participate in Nationwide's 6th annual Charity Challenge, a social media campaign designed to support and promote team nominees. Fans can vote on Twitter by using #WPMOYChallenge followed by their favorite nominee's last name. The player whose unique hashtag is used the most between Dec. 10 and Jan. 17 will receive a $25,000 contribution to their charity of choice, while the second and third place finishers will receive $10,000 and $5,000 donations, all courtesy of Nationwide. Hashtag information and official rules can be found at nfl.com/manoftheyear. New this year, fans can win NFL Shop gift cards and additional money for their favorite nominee's charity. Each Monday during the #WPMOYChallenge, Nationwide will ask fans to respond on Twitter with their favorite nominee and one randomly selected fan each week will win a $100 NFL Shop gift card and $2,500 for their favorite nominee's charity.
The winner of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award will be announced at the now annual NFL Honors ceremony and recognized at the Super Bowl.
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