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New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson named finalist for NFLPA's Byron 'Whizzer' White Award

Award recognizes players who go above and beyond to perform community service in their team cities and hometowns

Washington – The NFL Players Association annually recognizes players who go above and beyond to perform community service in their team cities and hometowns. The Byron "Whizzer" White Award is the highest honor the NFLPA can bestow on a player, and this year's finalists are: Thomas Davis (Carolina Panthers), Rashad Jennings(New York Giants), Stephen Tulloch(Detroit Lions), Delanie Walker (Tennessee Titans) and Benjamin Watson (New Orleans Saints)
The winner, who will receive $100,000 for his foundation or a charity of his choice, will be announced on Feb. 4, 5:30 p.m. at the NFLPA's annual Super Bowl press conference.

The finalists' applications will be reviewed and voted on by a panel of judges across labor, media, sport, service and charity: Cornelius Bennett (former NFL player, NFLPA Executive Committee); Alex Marvez(Senior NFL Writer / Host, FOX Sports / SiriusXM NFL); Marc Pollick (President and Founder, The Giving Back Fund); Tim Waters (National Political Director, United Steelworkers); and the Delta Private Jets, Inc. Committee.

The award was established by the professional football players of America to acknowledge a debt of gratitude to one of their own, Supreme Court Justice Byron Raymond "Whizzer" White — scholar, athlete, patriot, humanitarian and public servant. The NFLPA presents this prestigious annual award to the player that is just as dedicated off the field as he is on it.

Each team's locker room was given the opportunity to nominate players during the regular season, and each submission was given up to $5,000 for the player's foundation or charity of his choice. The judges, Charlie Batch, Domonique Foxworth and Kevin Mawae, narrowed the pool of applicants down to five finalists.

Davis, the 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year, established the Thomas Davis Defending Dreams Foundation in 2008. The organization hosts a youth leadership academy, free youth football camp, as well as back-to-school and holiday giveaways. The linebacker's foundation focuses on benefiting underprivileged youth in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

Jennings seeks to help youth overcome educational and health challenges that impacted him as a child. The Rashad Jennings Foundation's mission is to make school fun by providing tools and mentorship for individual success while promoting health and fitness. The running back hosts annual football camps, family festivals reading challenges, holiday drives and after-school character development programs.

Tulloch is focused on improving education in Detroit, and the Stephen Tulloch Foundation is making a positive impact on students across the region. The organization has adopted 55 area schools, supplying them with computer labs and other necessary supplies, with Tulloch making a personal appearance at each. The linebacker also hosts events for cancer survivors and provides free dental work for teens.

Walker launched his non-profit to provide inner-city and low-income children with educational opportunities and resources. The Delanie Walker Gives Back Foundation hosts back-to-school and college prep initiatives as well as football camps and giveaways. The tight end's organization also installs reading rooms and "imagination stations" in Nashville area schools.

Watson, a member of the NFLPA Executive Committee, is a finalist for the 2015 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. His Watson One More Foundation hosts events for families in need, including holiday gift giveaways, tailgate-themed parties for local homeless individuals and a youth football camp. The tight end also supports of a variety of faith-based transitional and enrichment programs.

For more information on the Byron "Whizzer" White Award, visit and follow #NFLPAWhizzerAward and the NFLPA on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google .

Previous Byron R. "Whizzer" White Award Winners
2015     Chad Greenway, Minnesota Vikings
2014     Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers
2013     Charlie Batch, Pittsburgh Steelers
2012     Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
2011     Tony Richardson, New York Jets
2010     Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders
2009     Brian Dawkins, Philadelphia Eagles
2008     Warrick Dunn, Tampa Bay Buccaneers/Atlanta Falcons
2007     John Lynch, Denver Broncos
2006     Steve McNair, Tennessee Titans
2005     Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
2004     Derrick Brooks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2003     Troy Vincent, Philadelphia Eagles
2002     Mark Brunell, Jacksonville Jaguars
2001     Michael McCrary, Baltimore Ravens
2000     Doug Pelfrey, Cincinnati Bengals
1999     Cris Carter, Minnesota Vikings
1998     Hardy Nickerson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1997     Chris Zorich, Chicago Bears     
1996     Bill Brooks, Buffalo Bills
1995     Derrick Thomas, Kansas City Chiefs
1994     Mark Kelso, Buffalo Bills
1993     Nick Lowery, Kansas City Chiefs
1992     Reggie White, Green Bay Packers
1991     Mike Kenn, Atlanta Falcons
1990     Ozzie Newsome, Cleveland Browns
1989     Mike Singletary, Chicago Bears
1988     Deron Cherry, Kansas City Chiefs
1987     George Martin, New York Giants
1986     Nat Moore, Miami Dolphins
1985     Reggie Williams, Cincinnati Bengals
1984     Rolf Benirschke, San Diego Chargers
1983     Doug Dieken, Cleveland Browns
1982     Franco Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers
1981     Ken Houston, Washington Redskins
1980     Gene Upshaw, Los Angeles Raiders
1979     Roger Staubach, Dallas Cowboys
1978     Archie Manning, New Orleans Saints
1977     Lyle Alzado, Denver Broncos
1976     Jim Hart, St. Louis Cardinals
1975     Rocky Bleier, Pittsburgh Steelers
1974     Floyd Little, Denver Broncos
1973     Andy Russell, Pittsburgh Steelers
1972     Ray May, Baltimore Colts
1971     Kermit Alexander, Los Angeles Rams
1970     Gale Sayers, Chicago Bears
1969     Ed Meador, Los Angeles Rams
1968     Willie Davis, Green Bay Packers
1967     Bart Starr, Green Bay Packers
*teams listed throughout indicate team which nominated the player.

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