RENTON, Wash. -The Seattle Seahawks announced today that CB Richard Sherman was selected as 2015 Man of the Year for his on-field performance and off-field community service. Sherman is now eligible for the league Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, presented by Nationwide. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award is the only league award that recognizes a player's off-the-field community service as well as his playing excellence.
Sherman, who was drafted in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, has always recognized the importance of education. Raised in Compton, Calif., Sherman made a commitment to be a great athlete but an even better student - a straight-A student and the first player from Compton's Dominguez High School to earn a football scholarship to Stanford.
Now a three-time All-Pro selection, Sherman is dedicated to sharing the importance of education to inner-city kids through "Blanket Coverage - The Richard Sherman Family Foundation." Launched in spring 2013, the foundation provides school supplies and adequate clothing to students to ensure they have the necessities needed to achieve their goals.
Throughout the year, Sherman travels to schools to give talks about goal setting and hard work. Following these assemblies, he will meet with at-risk students who sign a pledge to improve their grades, show up for school, and be good citizens. Each student receives a backpack full of school supplies and a promise from Richard to support them yearly if they fulfill their obligation.
He serves as a mentor to more than 50 high school students and actively monitors their grades. Students are rewarded with game tickets and the chance to see Sherman put his words into action on the playing field.
Since his rookie year, he has provided presents for families during the holidays. Last December, he hosted 25 families at the Seahawks training facility and provided gifts from their "wish" list but also purchased items they really needed.
Fans have the opportunity to support the foundation through online promotions and attending the annual Richard Sherman Celebrity Softball Game. The charity game has become so popular, Sherman moved the event from a minor league ballpark to Safeco Field with more than 20,000 fans attending each of the last two years.
"We're trying to help a lot of kids academically, to get themselves in a better position to be successful later on in life," Sherman said. "That's always the goal of our foundation and everything we do; all our efforts are focused on making sure the next generation has a better chance, especially focusing on kids in underprivileged neighborhoods and underfunded schools."
Each finalist for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award will receive a $5,000 donation from the NFL Foundation and Nationwide to the charity of their choice.
Visit NFL.com for more information.
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