Atlanta Falcons return man Andre Roberts was named one of three finalists for the NFL’s Salute to Service Award, the league announced Thursday. The 30-year-old joins Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera and former Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Mularkey as the nominees.
"Giving back to the military is very important to me because of the freedoms and liberties they allow us to have. I'm proud to be a part of an organization, in the Atlanta Falcons, that goes above and beyond to support our military. It's pretty special to my family and other military families, that the Falcons and the NFL set a stage to express gratitude to our veterans and active duty military members," Roberts said in a press release.
Roberts, who attended The Citadel -- one of only six senior military colleges in the U.S -- was born into a military family. Both his mother and father served in the U.S. Army.
Roberts works with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) and chose to honor the organization in the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” campaign this season. During the league’s Salute to Service Week, Roberts joined Falcons’ long snapper Josh Harris at a local VA Medical Center to give thanks to veterans. Roberts also spends his summers helping to host football camps for children at military bases.
If Roberts wins the award, it will mark the second year in a row a member of the Atlanta Falcons organization has won the Salute to Service Award. Head coach Dan Quinn was the recipient last season for his work with the military community and TAPS.
The award presented by USAA will be handed out on Jan. 31.
This was Roberts first season with the Falcons. He appeared in all 16 games and averaged 22.6 yards per kick return.