The Washington Redskins announced today that they have selected fullback Darrel Young as the team's 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year. The Man of the Year honor is given annually by the league to recognize a player's community service and volunteer efforts as well as his excellence on the field. Young's selection qualifies him as one of 32 candidates to receive the league-wide award in January.
Between his work with the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation (WRCF) and individual efforts, Young has attended 33 community events this calendar year.
In addition to his work with the WRCF, Young is focused on supporting military personnel. During his career, Young has visited troops overseas in Honduras, Japan, Africa and El Salvador. Young was raised in a military family, as his father served in the Army and his brother, Sgt. 1st Class David Young, Jr., has served for more than 16 years, completing several tours in the Middle East in recent years.
Young is also a Big Brother to a 12-year-old boy, Xavier, through Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. At the team's annual Welcome Home Luncheon during the preseason, both Young and Xavier addressed the crowd to share their common experience.
"What makes Darrel Young so special is not only his desire to give back in a variety of ways – to children, to our military – but his leadership and his character," said Jane Rodgers, Executive Director of the WRCF. "Darrel has taken an active role with our rookies and even our veterans, encouraging his teammates to be more active in the community."
Young joined the Redskins as a college free agent linebacker out of Villanova in 2009, and has since transitioning into one of the league's most dynamic fullbacks since switching to the position prior to the 2010 season. For his career, Young has totaled 42 rushes for 170 yards (4.0 avg.) and 5 rushing touchdowns, as well as 36 receptions for 396 yards and six receiving touchdowns. Young's three overall touchdowns in 2014 (one rushing, two receiving) lead all NFL fullbacks this season.
The prestigious award has been given annually since 1970. The award was renamed in 1999 for legendary Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton.
Past Redskins winners of the Walter Payton Man of the Year include: Alfred Morris, 2013; Joshua Morgan, 2012; Lorenzo Alexander, 2010-11; London Fletcher, 2008-2009 (selected as NFL finalist in 2009); Rocky McIntosh, 2007; Renaldo Wynn, 2006; Shawn Springs, 2005; Chris Cooley, 2004; Darnerian McCants, 2003; Eddie Mason, 2002; Chris Samuels, 2001; Darrell Green, 1996 (won the national award); and Joe Theismann, 1982 (won the national award).
Here is a list of the WRCF events in which Young has participated this calendar year: