Mike Davis of the Falcons nominated for Walter Payton Man of the Year Award

FLOWERY BRANCH -- Falcons running back Mike Davis was nominated for Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

Davis, who is an Atlanta native, was notified by his former high school head coach, Ron Gartrell, who coached while Davis was at Stephenson.

The Walter Payton award is given to an NFL player for his community service.

Through his foundation, Mike Davis Foundation of Hope, Davis hosts events for the Westside Atlanta community where he grew up. Events include, youth football camps and back-to-school events to make sure kids have supplies and materials for school.

Davis was surprised that he got the nomination and is grateful for others realizing the work being done.

“It’s really an honor and amazing,” Davis said Wednesday. “I would of never thought I would have been up for the award. I didn’t even realize I was doing that much in the community. I didn’t realize I could be up for the award.”

For being a nominee, Davis will wear a Walter Payton Man of the Year decal on his helmet for the rest of the season.

Davis said he wants his foundation to have an impact on his community and give the kids something different and something to believe in.

“(I want) them (to) actually see somebody who has been in their shoes and (be) able to ask questions,” Davis said. “Seeing a smile on their face and them wanting to change their environment and the way they live.”

Davis is one of 32 players nominated for the award, and the winner will be announced at the NFL Honors, which will be held the Thursday before Super Bowl LVI. The winner of the award will get $250,000 to donate to a charity of his choice. All nominees are awarded $40,000 to a charity of their choice.

Davis grew up in Westside Atlanta and went to Douglass High School. He played both junior varsity and varsity football before transferring to Stephenson High School his sophomore year. After that, Davis went on to play football at South Carolina and was drafted in 2015 by the San Francisco 49ers.

He’s in his first season with the Falcons.

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