The Big Ten is well represented with four former players nominated by the NFL for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

In a statement on this year’s nominees, the NFL notes that the “Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, presented to a player in recognition of his ‘outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on it.” Each team nominates one player for the honor

The four nominees who went to Big Ten schools are:

  • Corey Linsley (Ohio State), Green Bay Packers
  • Alec Ingold (Wisconsin), Las Vegas Raiders
  • Devin McCourty (Rutgers), New England Patriots
  • Russell Wilson (Wisconsin), Seattle Seahawks

The current holder of the award is Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell. In 2017, former Wisconsin standout and Houston Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt won the award. He was the last recipient of the award from the Big Ten.

“It is a great honor to be nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award,” McCourty, a former Rutgers star defensive back, said in a press release.

“I recognize the opportunity that I have to use my platform to help make an impact in the community. I appreciate being nominated for this award because of the man that Walter Payton was and the legacy that he has left behind. Walter Payton embodied the spirit of community engagement. I am humbled to represent his legacy with this nomination, but it is even more important to continue the work and try to make a difference.”

The award was named after Payton following the running back’s passing in 19996. Payton won the honor as a player in 1977.