For his incredible passion for the community and many achievements on-field, Fred Jackson has been named the 2014 Buffalo Bills Walter Payton Man of the Year.
The fourth-year captain has been a record-setting athlete for the NFL and the Bills. Since graduating from Coe College – a Division III program – and entering the NFL undrafted, Jackson has achieved the following during his nine-year career:
- The first NFL player to amass more than 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 kickoff return yards in one season (2009)
- Led the NFL with 2,516 (1,062 rushing 1,014 kickoff 371 receiving 69 punting) combined net yards in 2009, the fourth-most yards in a single season in NFL history
- One of five undrafted players in NFL history to total over 5,000 rushing yards in his career
- One of only two Bills to record over 5,000 yards rushing and 2,500 yards receiving (Thurman Thomas)
- Ranks third in Bills history for number of 100-yard rushing games and most career rushing yards
Off the field, Jackson has been just as impressive, serving as a strong community advocate supporting not only the Buffalo Bills breast cancer awareness and community service initiatives, but also the team's youth player-safety (Heads Up Football) and fitness programs (Play 60). In addition to the community work he does at and away from One Bills Drive, Fred provides twenty tickets and food vouchers for every home game to Carly's Club.
In June, Jackson hosted a Heads Up Football-themed USA Football FUNdamentals Camp, educating close to 200 youth football players on proper tackling techniques. Twelve of his teammates were not only there to help the youth players, but to show Fred their support, proving the influence Jackson has on his teammates' community involvement.
Recently, Jackson founded D3-Nation, an initiative that strengthens the pride of and relationships between Division III athletes, while also offering scholarships to these students. Jackson spent his bye week attending the memorable first collegiate basketball game of Lauren Hill, a D-III athlete at Mount Saint Joseph currently battling brain cancer.
From Division III to the NFL, Fred Jackson has seen it all in his football career. Congrats on a remarkable career.
The Buffalo Bills are honored to name Fred Jackson as the 2014 Bills Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner.
Each year, a league-wide Man of the Year winner is selected from 32 nominees from each NFL team. A panel of judges including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Connie Payton, Pro Football Hall of Fame members Frank Gifford and Anthony Munoz, 2013 winner Charles Tillman, and Sports Illustrated writer Peter King determines the winner of the award. The Man of the Year winner receives a $25,000 donation to the charity of his choice, the two finalists receive $5,000 donations in their names, and the other 29 nominees will receive $1,000 donations to their selected charities. Jackson has selected Carly's Club as the recipient of the donation in his name.
Below is a list of past Buffalo Bills Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winners:
1999 Ruben Brown
2000 Marcellus Wiley
2001 Ruben Brown
2002 Ruben Brown
2003 Brian Moorman
2004 Drew Bledsoe
2005 London Fletcher
2006 London Fletcher
2007 Lee Evans
2008 Brian Moorman
2009 George Wilson
2010 Fred Jackson
2011 George Wilson
2012 Bryan Scott
2013 Arthur Moats
2014 Fred Jackson