Following his nomination as the Raiders' Walter Payton Man of the Year, Darren Waller continues to be recognized for his work and dedication to the community.
The tight end has been selected to receive Pop Warner's 2022 Inspiration to Youth Award, an honor that dates back to 1993 and is given annually to an individual who has inspired the youth of today to become great achievers of tomorrow. Waller, who overcame years of substance abuse on his way to becoming a top tight end in the league, has continually used his platform to help others including hosting youth football camps, working on mental health initiatives and starting the Darren Waller Foundation to aid youth affected by addiction.
Waller joins a multitude of high-profile NFL figures who have been bestowed the honor before including Emmitt Smith (1996), Tim Brown (2004), Kurt Warner (2005), Julien Edelman (2010) and most recently, Justin Simmons (2021).
Pop Warner Little Scholars – the nation's oldest youth football, cheer and dance organization and the only one with established academic standards – annually gives out the Pop Warner 2022 National Awards, which recognize four prominent leaders in pro sports for commitment to both their communities and their crafts, as part of the All-American Scholars program.
The year's award winners are:
- Inspiration to Youth Award: Darren Waller, Las Vegas Raider Tight End and The Darren Waller Foundation founder and president
- Trailblazer Award: Dawn Aponte, NFL Chief Football Administrative Officer, Football Operations
- Humanitarian Award: Warrick Dunn, Warrick Dunn Charities, Inc. founder and former NFL running back
- NFL Team of The Year Award: LA Rams
Waller will accept the award on May 4 during a virtual event that also honors more than 3,300 youth student athletes nationwide who have been named All-American Scholars by earning a minimum of a 96% GPA.