Jaylon Smith nominated for Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award

Photo Supplied/University of Notre Dame

NEW YORK (WOWO): Fort Wayne native and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith has been nominated for the 2020 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which recognizes a player for their excellence on and off the field.

Smith, who starred at Bishop Luers in high school before playing collegiately at Notre Dame, is one of 32 nominees, one for each NFL franchise.

He hosted the first Minority Entrepreneurship Institute (MEI) Texas Showcase in July after a similar effort was launched in Fort Wayne. The pitch competition saw 142 applications from 42 Texas cities, with the five MEI portfolio companies receiving $600,000. Smith also launched the first MEI Summit last month, which helps minority entrepreneurs build and grow their business.

On the field, Smith had a career-high 168 tackles last season and earned a spot in the Pro Bowl. This season, Smith currently has 110 tackles.

The winner of this year’s award will receive $250,000 to donate to the charity of their choice. The remaining 31 nominees will receive up to $40,000 to do the same.


  1. Great to see good news instead of the doom and gloom that we see so often. Not surprising to see a Luers and ND grad doing well and supporting the community. Good luck to Mr. Smith (except when they play the Colts)


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