Torrey Smith nominated by Ravens for Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
Torrey Smith and his wife Chanel pose for a photo with a young shopper during a recent appearance at Columbia Mall. (Teresa Kroeger, Getty Images)
By Aaron Wilson,The Baltimore Sun
Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith is one of the team’s most active players in the community.
Wide receiver Torrey Smith is the Ravens’ nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.
The award recognizes a player annually for his community service and excellence on the field.
It was established in 1970 and renamed in 1999 after the late Chicago Bears running back.
The winner will be announced during the NFL Honors awards show Jan. 31. The judges include NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Sports Illustrated writer Peter King, Payton’s widow Connie, Frank Gifford, Anthony Muñoz and 2013 Payton Award recipient Charles Tillman.
The Man of the Year will receive a $25,000 donation in his name to a charity of his choice from both the NFL Foundation and Nationwide (for a total of $50,000). Two additional finalists will receive $5,000 donations in their names, and the other 29 nominees will receive $1,000 donations from the NFL Foundation to their selected charities.
Smith was nominated for his efforts to educate underprivileged children through the Tevin Jones Memorial Scholarships Fund, which provides scholarships to deserving high school seniors, and the Torrey Smith Foundation, which helps improve the lives of Baltimore youth by providing educational support, opportunities and resources.
This year, the Torrey Smith Foundation began implementing the “Torrey Smith Reading Oasis” program. The “Reading Oasis” program has enabled 447 students in Baltimore area schools access to over 700 books, electronic readers, and a comfortable place to read.
Instead of wedding gifts, Smith and his wife requested that donations be made to the Baltimore Animal Care and Rescue Center.