Terry McLaurin has been a leader for the Washington Commanders, and a fan favorite for years. He spoke about his desire to change the lives of young people as a rookie, and he has been working towards that goal every year. McLaurin continues to work with the community that has embraced him since being drafted in the 3rd round in 2019. Since then he has been a team captain, a leader on and off the field, and a Pro Bowler who earned a big contract extension earlier this year.
McLaurin has started the Terry McLaurin Foundation and has worked with numerous youth groups and charities in the Washington, D.C. area and beyond. He also launched Terry McLaurin’s Crunch Time Flakes earlier this year, with the proceeds going to his charitable foundation.
The Terry McLaurin Foundation seeks to help underserved children become the best version of themselves by providing them with the tools to succeed in the classroom and society. This includes educational and social support, health and wellness assistance and mentorship.
In addition to outreach activities like the annual Terry McLaurin Birthday Celebration and events celebrating back to school, Thanksgiving and the Holidays, the Terry McLaurin Foundation has also launched the “Dream Catchers Fund” to help fulfill special requests for disadvantaged kids that most children take for granted. This includes things like sports equipment, a band instrument, art supplies, dance lessons or even college application fees.
Terry McLaurin’s girlfriend Caitlan broke to the news to him as he was waiting for an interview with former Washington Redskins WR Santana Moss. He was surprised, grateful, and a whole spectrum of other emotions as he learned of his nomination, and was played a video highlighting why his work has touched so many lives in the DMV and beyond.
“What I’ve been blessed and fortunate enough to do in this community, it’s been super special,” McLaurin said after learning of his nomination. “I’m going to remember this one for sure. This is something that never leaves you. This stuff transcends time.”
Head Coach Ron Rivera spoke about McLaurin’s nomination to Commanders.com:
The Walter Payton Man of the Year honor holds a special place in my heart. As a former teammate and friend of Walter Payton, I know how big of an honor being the team nominee is. It has been a pleasure to see how much Terry has grown as a leader in the community since I arrived here in the DMV. Terry’s impact on his team and community is very similar to that of Walter’s to the Bears and Chicago community. He possesses all the characteristics and traits of being worthy of the nomination.
As a nominee, McLaurin will wear a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season in recognition of his accomplishments on and off the field.
All 32 nominees will be recognized for their achievements during the week leading up to Super Bowl LVIII. The 2023 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year winner will be announced during NFL Honors, a primetime awards special to air nationally on CBS on Thursday, Feb. 8.
Each nominee will receive up to a $55,000 donation, and the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award winner will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of his choice. All donations are made possible by the NFL Foundation and Nationwide, the sponsor of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.
This year, fans are once again encouraged to participate in Nationwide’s annual Charity Challenge, a social media and online contest that allows fans to show support for their favorite Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee. Fans can vote on X (formerly Twitter) by posting #WPMOYChallenge along with the last name/X handle of their chosen nominee or by voting directly on NFL.com/ManOfTheYear. In cases where multiple nominees share the same last name (i.e. Justin Jones and Jonathan Jones), all valid votes on X must include the #WPMOYChallenge hashtag and the nominee’s handle or full name.