Ravens surprise Bradley Bozeman with Walter Payton Man of the Year nomination

Bradley Bozeman, Ravens (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Bradley Bozeman, Ravens (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

For the second-straight year, Baltimore Ravens center Bradley Bozeman has been nominated for the 2021 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

The Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, named after the late Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton, recognizes an NFL player for his excellence on and off the field.

Every NFL team nominates one player who has made a significant impact on his community, and that player is eligible to win the national award. The winner receives a $250,000 donation to their charity of choice.

For the Ravens, Bozeman gets his name in the hat for the second time in a row.

The Ravens center gave this brief speech to his teammates:

"“I encourage you to just get involved. Find something you’re passionate about, find what you love, whether it’s talking to kids to inspire them to do something great. You don’t realize what five seconds of your life would do for that kid.”"

It’s an all-around well-deserved nomination for Bozeman.

In 2021, Bozeman has started all 12 games at center — and he’s been even more reliable before that, starting in every game since 2019.

The Ravens recognize Bradley Bozeman for his inspiring achievements in 2021

As the big man of the offensive line, Bozeman has helped the Ravens develop their rushing attack sans J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards, which ranks third in the league (147.1 yards per game).

Bozeman continues to play an important role in blocking for Lamar Jackson, and those watching Jackson’s last few games know how difficult that can be.

Off the field, Bozeman has made a much bigger impact in improving others’ lives.

Last year, Bozeman and his wife traveled across the country to speak to thousands of at-risk students about the dangers of bullying.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Bozeman turned his efforts to combat food insecurity in the Baltimore area. Starting in July of 2020 and continuing well into the 2021 season, Bozeman’s foundation distributed nearly two million meals to needy families.

Then, in 2021, Bozeman’s foundation partnered with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Maryland, and the Baltimore City Police department to provide snacks and educational resources to children living in Baltimore’s disadvantaged communities.

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Bozeman’s actions are truly inspiring, and the Ravens should be proud to have such a talented and kind-hearted offensive lineman on their team.