Alabama under Nick Saban is a program that prides itself on producing great players, great professionals, and above all, great men.
We create a standard for how we want to do things, and everybody’s got to buy into that standard or you really can’t have any team chemistry. And honesty and integrity is an important part of our chemistry and our character, my character.
When you have the ability to affect other people and be somebody that somebody wants to emulate, care enough to help somebody else for their benefit, that’s what makes you a good person and a good teammate, and that’s what everybody’s looking for.
These are words that hundreds of Alabama players have learned over the past 13 years as well — Alabama is a program of characters defined by their character. And it has spilled over into their professional lives.
Today, three former Tide standouts were nominated by their respective teams for the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. While the award is one that “reminds us that even in the face of adversity, players continue to raise awareness and use their voice and platform to positively impact their communities. The nominees will leave lasting legacies across the country in a time when we need leadership and strength the most.”
But Calais Campbell perhaps summed up the spirit of the award the best:
“My goal when I give back is to inspire people; to encourage people to believe that dreams are achievable if you put the work in,” Campbell said after receiving his 2019 award. “Everybody, and I mean everybody, can give back. Wherever you are in your life, it doesn’t matter where you are in your life, but reach back and help someone. It’s our duty to help our neighbors. Even if you can only give five minutes to someone in need, give it to them. That one-on-one quality time, that little bit of extra time can make a world of difference. Those five minutes can change a life.”
This year, three men from the Crimson Tide emulated the model that Payton set and that Saban demands.
Jonathan Allen, who mentors at risk youth in the DMV and works closely with the Sasha Bruce Youthworks initiative:
I am incredibly honored to receive the Walter Payton Man of the Year nomination for @WashingtonNFL. I am empowered by this opportunity to expand even further in how my wife and I give back to the community I love. Thank you again, we are just getting started! #WPMOY pic.twitter.com/Wfhq5cGd4t— Jonathan Allen (@jonallen93_) December 10, 2020
Bradley Bozeman, for the work he and his wife do in the offseason traveling the country to prevent bullying:
We are SO proud to announce that our nominee for the @Nationwide Walter Payton Man of the Year Award is @BSBoze pic.twitter.com/V8FVzavnvQ— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 10, 2020
And, finally, Dalvin Tomlinson, who travels to Georgia and New Jersey to work with “programs that provide a supportive environment for kids who have lost a parent, sibling, or primary caregiver at some point in their lifetime.”
Congratulations to Dalvin Tomlinson, our nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award!#WPMOYChallenge + Tomlinson— New York Giants (@Giants) December 10, 2020
: https://t.co/5qM8m42RfP pic.twitter.com/a91OfUW874
Best of luck to all of Alabama’s nominees; though there are no losers here.
Great players; great men.