JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars have selected defensive lineman Calais Campbell as their nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, the team announced Thursday.
It’s the second time Campbell has been nominated for the prestigious distinction, which is awarded each year to a player whose outstanding play is matched by charitable efforts in the community.
“With every second of free time, it seems like he’s always out in the city looking for a way to give back and make a difference,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said. “I’m honored to have had the privilege to coach a player and a man like Calais Campbell.”
The 2018 recipient of the NFL’s Bart Starr Award, Campbell has been a consistent force on and off the field since signing with Jacksonville in 2017. He was selected for the Pro Bowl in 2017 and 2018, holds the franchise record for sacks in a season with 14.5 and has been dubbed the mayor of Sacksonville.
Campbell, 33, has routinely made headlines for his philanthropy, including donations to local charities and taking children on holiday shopping sprees through his “Christmas with Calais” campaign. He also makes frequent visits to local schools for his CRC Book Club to encourage reading among city youth.
“Calais Campbell has a heart as big as his body,” said Paul Martinez, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida. “He is a true servant and role model to our kids and the community. The kids absolutely love him because he takes the time to listen.”
He was previously nominated for the award as a member of the Arizona Cardinals in 2014.
Starting this week, Campbell and the other 31 nominees will wear decals on their helmets recognizing their accomplishments. Each will receive a donation to a charity of their choice and the winner will get a $250,000 donation to their chosen charity.
The 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year will be announced on Feb. 1.