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Hazelwood East grad Christian Kirksey up for NFL’s Man of the Year Award

ST. LOUIS, MO- Linebacker Christian Kirksey may be on the Injured Reserve list due to a hamstring injury, but that isn’t keeping him from being considered for one of the NFL’s highest individual honors. Thursday the league announced individual team nominees for the 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, including the Hazelwood East graduate now in his fifth year in the league.

Kirksey has earned praise for his work helping the Greater Cleveland Food Bank raise enough money to feed more than 1 million people, in addition to his work in St. Louis hosting football camps for kids.

“I try to do as much as I can and try to be a positive role model, influence a lot of people,” Kirksey said, according to Cleveland Browns.com. “I am just happy that the Cleveland Browns organization nominated me. How I am viewed by my peers, it definitely humbles me. ”

The winner of the leaguewide award receives $250,000 donated to United Way in his name and as much as $250,000 donated to the charity of the winner’s choice. The other 31 team nominees will have $50,000 donated to the charity of their choice.

A social media campaign using the hashtag #WPMOYChallenge and the last name of a nominee could net more money for their specific charities.

Former St. Louis Rams Defensive End Chris Long won the award in 2015. Long, now with Philadelphia, is the Eagles’ 2018 nominee. JJ Watt of the Houston Texans won the league award in 2018.