The Raiders nominated DB Michael Huff for the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. The Award honors a player for his community, volunteer and charity work. One player from each NFL team is chosen for a local award and nominated for the national award.
According to the NFL, “the annual award is selected from the list of nominees by an elite panel of judges including NFL former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner Roger Goodell, Sports Illustrated writer Peter King, Connie Payton (wife of the late Walter Payton), and former players Frank Gifford, Jack Kemp, Anthony Munoz and the previous year’s Award winner. The Man of the Year’s designated charity receives a $25,000 donation in his name. Charities selected by the other 31 team finalists each receive a $1,000 donation. The four finalists for the award also receive an additional $5,000.”
The top three finalists will be announced later this month with the winner announced during Super Bowl weekend.
Below is the Raiders official nomination of Michael Huff:
Oakland Raiders defensive back Michael Huff has shown his commitment to excellence both on the field and in the community since being drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Silver and Black in 2006.
Huff was the seventh overall selection by the Raiders in 2006 after a celebrated career at the University of Texas that saw him lead the Longhorns to a national championship and earn the Jim Thorpe Award, presented to the top college defensive back.
He immediately became a starter for the Raiders as a rookie and has gone on to earn second team All-Pro honors in 2010.
On the field, Huff has been a valuable, versatile performer for the Raiders, starting at both safety spots and this year moving to cornerback when needed at that position.
Off the field, Huff has been just as versatile and has been a role-model through his community work. Huff has teamed up with local and national organizations and has been outstanding in lending his time and efforts to community service activities.
Huff volunteered his time with the United Way “TEAM NFL” Day of Action last summer, joining college-educated, civic-minded NFL players from teams across the league to encourage and recruit volunteerism.
Huff represented the Raiders during a recent Hometown Huddle at Oakland’s Garfield Elementary School, where he spoke to the students about living a healthy lifestyle and then took the kids outside to “Play 60,” getting them active by stretching, running around and playing football. The students were also provided backpacks filled with school supplies.
For the past several years, Huff has been an advocate and spokesperson for the Raiders “Play 60” campaign, having recently participated in the NFL Play 60 Super School program at Oakland’s Ascend Elementary School. Huff addressed the students about being healthy and active during the NFL PLAY 60 Super School visit when the Ascend School was awarded also a $10,000 youth health and wellness grant.
Last year, Huff participated in the NFL Play 60 Super School event at Longfellow Elementary School in the Bay Area and spent the morning encouraging students to make healthy choices and to stay active for at least 60 minutes every day.
In addition, Huff engaged with local residents when the Raiders and Chipotle teamed up for a Raider Fan Appreciation Night when he made burritos and signed autographs for hundreds of fans. Huff has used social media to connect with the community, giving away 12 sets of tickets via Twitter to a Raiders game.
Huff was involved in the inauguration of the refurbished Physical Education facilities at Roosevelt Middle School in Oakland, made possible by the Keep Gym in School program and led students through fitness tests and football inspired drills during an on‐field minicamp.
He teamed with Nickelodeon to promote healthy lifestyles for children and visited students at Treeview Elementary School in the Bay Area and taught them the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle.