The Washington Redskins announced Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2015, that they have selected linebacker Ryan Kerrigan as the teamâs 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year.
Part of the responsibilities of a football player, besides competing on the field each week, is making an impact off the field. Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan fits that mold. So much so, that he's been nominated as the Redskins' candidate for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
The nomination was announced Wednesday, and now Redskins fans can help him. In conjunction with the award, the NFL is hosting the first-ever Charity Challenge, which lets fans use social media to pick one nominee for a $20,000 donation to the charity of his choice.
Show your support on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag using #KerriganWPMOYChallenge.
Here's some reasons why you should.
#1 – He's devoted to supporting children with illnesses and physical challenges
During his time in Washington, Kerrigan has launched "**Ryan Kerrigan’s Blitz for the Better Foundation**," which aims to provide opportunities, resources, support and encouragement to seriously ill, physically challenged and special need children and their families. Blitz for the Better serves more than 18,000 children annually.
*#2 – He's raised awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society *
Kerrigan ahosted the 10th Annual Leukemia Golf Classic at Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Va., helping raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Each Leukemia Golf Classic features patient hero, whose story serves as an inspiration and as the direct meaning behind the tournament: to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.
#3-31 – He's a regular at Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation events
Throughout the year, Kerrigan has been a frequent attendee to all sorts of events hosted the WRCF. Many of them include programs associated with the "Fuel Up To Play 60," teaching kids the importance of staying active and eating healthy foods.
#32-49 – He enjoys attending charitable and community events hosted by his teammates
Always one to support his teammates, Kerrigan has attended numerous events, including "Movies With Morris" and Pierre Garçon's "White Party," to name a few.
#50-64 – He even gives back to his hometown high school
Kerrigan enjoyed his playing days at Muncie Central High School in Indiana and often returns to his school. Since 2011, when he was a first-round pick of the Redskins, he has donated dozens of pairs of cleats and gloves each year to the football program.
#65-90 – He's never one to shy away from fans and autographs
He's Ryan Kerrigan. People love him. He loves them back.
#91 – He walks the walk on the field
Kerrigan joined the Redskins as the No. 16 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft and has started all 75 regular season games and one postseason game played by the franchise since his selection.
He earned PFWA All-Rookie Team honors in 2011 and earned a Pro Bowl selection following the 2012 campaign, and his 44.5 career sacks are third-most in team history since the NFL made sacks an official statistic in 1982. Since being drafted, the native of Muncie, Ind., also returned to Purdue University during previous offseasons to complete his degree in May 2013.