Linebacker Jeremiah "Jerry" Attaochu is the Chargers' nominee for the 2016 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award presented by Nationwide. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award is one of the NFL's most prestigious honors, recognizing players for his excellence on and off the field.
A second-round draft pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Attaochu wasted no time using his new-found platform to launch his Glory's Hope Sickle Cell Foundation. The name of the foundation is in honor of his sister, Glory, who was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease as a child. The foundation was created to shed light on the painful disease and support research in the United States and in Africa. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the inherited blood disorder affects roughly 100,000 Americans but is much more prevalent in the Attaochu's home of Nigeria. More than 100,000 babies are born with SCD each year in the African country.
While the foundation is in many ways still in its infancy, it organizes conferences, workshops and seminars in Africa through churches, health and Christian-based organizations. This past summer, Attaochu also hosted a blood drive at Howard University in D.C. to benefit the foundation's work.
Attaochu is also a very active participant in the Chargers community efforts. Earlier this year, he served as a spokesman for a PSA campaign with the San Diego Domestic Violence Council encouraging healthy relationships in teenage couples. The PSA's debuted in February during Dating Violence Awareness Month, with printed materials distributed to schools throughout Southern California. Among other programs Jerry participated in was the Chargers 10th annual Join the Team Adoption Calendar with San Diego County Foster and Adoptive Resource Services, featuring children looking for their "forever family." He has also participated in numerous Play 60 themed events and camps as well.
Three of the nominees will be selected as finalists for the award, named for Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back, Walter Payton, who died in 1999. Finalists will be announced in January 2017. The winner will be announced in Houston at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on February 4, the night before Super Bowl LI, from 8-10 p.m. (ET and PT) on FOX.
For more information on the team nominees and the award, visit NFL.com/manoftheyear.
Linebacker Jerry Attaochu is the Chargers' nominee for the 2016 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award presented by Nationwide. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award is one of the NFL's most prestigious honors, recognizing players for his excellence on and off the field.