It was announced Tuesday the 32 nominees for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award, and of course, Galveston native and Ball High alumnus Mike Evans was on the list for the third consecutive year.
The Tampa Bay wide receiver has done so much for his communities while having on-field success, and clearly his teammates think so because they nominated him once again.
Mike Evans and his wife Ashli celebrated the Mike Evans Family Foundation’s fourth anniversary this month.
Evans is in a unique position compared to the other 31 finalists. That difference is he helps those in his community in Tampa Bay and his hometown Galveston. Evans has never forgotten about his roots and those who helped raised him, which makes him a special nominee.
Other than last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Evans and his foundations host a free football summer camp for Galveston County children in Galveston.
“I always dreamed of doing this ever since I was a kid,” Evans said. “I said if I ever made it pro in a sport, I’d have a camp in my hometown and give back like Casey Hampton used to.”
To top it all off, the Galveston native is a force to be reckoned with on the field. He’s an elite receiver who’s the only player in NFL history to start his career with seven consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons. He also is a three-time Pro Bowler and the youngest receiver in NFL history to earn 7,000 career receiving yards (26 years, 81 days). Since 2014, he has the most receiving touchdowns in the NFL.
Evans is the Buccaneers’ franchise leader in career receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns, and he also holds team records for most receiving yards (1,524) and touchdowns (13) in a season.
“We always have fun making lifelong connections with these kids,” Evans said. “Hopefully, we can change somebody’s life. If I could change one person’s life, that would be awesome. That’s why I do it.”
Now that’s a special person and football player who deserves the NFL Man of the Year award.
Keenan Betz: 409-683-5237, email@example.com or on Twitter @surebetkeenan.