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Roquan Smith named Ravens’ Walter Payton Man of the Year

Just a year into his Ravens’ career, the inside linebacker is nominated for the teams’ most prestigious off-field award

Baltimore Ravens v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

It’s been just over a year since inside linebacker Roquan Smith became a Baltimore Raven; in that time he’s made big-time plays for the organization on the field and earned on-field awards and personal accolades. On Tuesday, he earned the teams’ most prestigious honor, being the Ravens’ nominee for Walter Payton Man of the Year.

According to the team website, he’s been highly involved in the community since he joined the team 13 months ago:

The Roquan Smith Foundation was established this year with the mission to strengthen families by providing programs and services focused on parenting, vocational training, behavioral health and financial literacy.

Last Thanksgiving, Smith helped to distribute hundreds of turkeys to Baltimore-area families and served hot meals to 5,000 underserved people alongside his fellow teammates and the Salvation Army.

Last Christmas, Smith purchased gifts for children at the SAFE Alternative Foundation for Education. He has been an advocate for single-parent households and recently connected with the House of Ruth Maryland to provide the women’s shelter with brand new mattresses and season tickets.

A huge supporter of youth sports, Smith annually hosts youth football camps in his native Georgia and across Maryland.

In June, Smith joined the NFL-USO tour and visited with U.S. service members and their families at military bases in Okinawa, Japan.

On Sept. 11, Smith visited with police and fire stations to thank them for their service and honor the first responders that were lost 22 years earlier.

To kick off the 2023-24 school year, Smith hosted a back-to-school event at Henderson Hopkins Elementary School in Baltimore City that offered the students free haircuts, school supplies, food, books and more.

During the holiday season, Smith plans to serve as host of the Ravens’ 18th annual Holiday Helpers event where he’ll take 60 students on a shopping spree at Target. He will also donate gifts to families affected by domestic violence and plans to donate 700 turkeys and sides to families in Baltimore and Georgia.

After practice on Monday, Head Coach John Harbaugh proudly announced to the team Smith won the nomination.