|Position||College||Years in the NFL|
|Defensive Tackle||Stanford University||4|
Demonstrates Excellence on The Field
Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Harrison Phillips is currently in his fourth year in the NFL, a career that has included a season-ending injury early in his second season. Through Week 8, Harrison has played in four games this season with five tackles and two quarterback hits. Total in his career, he has played in 35 games - tallying 61 tackles, four tackles for loss, half a sack, nine QB hits, and two fumble recoveries.
Demonstrates Dedication and Commitment to Community Efforts this Year
Each day that Harrison takes the practice field, he sees the message "FIND A WAY" donned across the fence. Throughout his career, Harrison has carried this into his community outreach – finding a way to change lives, finding a way to use his platform for good, and finding a way to make a lasting impact.
Harrison has remained diligent in his community outreach while the world adjusts to a new way of life coming out of the height of the pandemic. His passion for serving through community outreach is prominent in the work he does with the Playmakers Organization. This non-profit supports children with intellectual disabilities by offering unified opportunities for those youth athletes alongside underserved youth.
His outreach this year was highlighted with three Playmakers Camps for youth who participate in the program. Over 1,000 children attended his camps in Buffalo, Omaha, and Sacramento. Harrison thoughtfully designed these camps to offer children a wide range of activities to elevate their experience with a well-rounded array of activities, including visits from first responders, various sports drills, and many other activations. He also hosted Playmakers athletes at a Bills open Training Camp practice, where he challenged the group to do chores. Harrison provided a meal for local first responders for every chore they completed, resulting in over 200 deliveries. He also rented out a local drive-in theatre to host Playmakers athletes for a Halloween event. While the season continues, Harrison is already looking for ways to impact the community around the holidays. His plans include a donation drive for a local animal rescue, a Christmas shopping event for his Playmakers kids, and a night out at Dave & Busters. In addition to his efforts with the Playmakers, Harrison remained a go-to guy for the Bills community relations department. He was an active participant in the Crucial Catch Family Fun Night event, an ambassador for the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, and the Bills 2021 Ed Block Courage Award Winner.
Demonstrates Dedication and Commitment to Community Efforts in Years Past
For all the impact Harrison has made year after year, this is the second consecutive season as the Buffalo Bills Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee. In 2020, Harrison was also named the Week 5 NFLPA Community MVP and the Buffalo Bills nominee for the NFL's Salute to Service Award.
Through his four-year tenure with the Bills, Harrison has been an integral piece for every initiative within the team's community relations outreach. He attended Bills Crucial Catch events and has frequently visited patients at local hospitals in Buffalo. An avid supporter of the Inspire Change initiative, Harrison was part of the Buffalo Bills virtual Inspire Change Grant announcements in WNY and recorded voice messages delivered via phone to thousands of families, encouraging the community to complete their census. He has also been an active member of the team's Social Justice Committee since 2018.
In 2020 Harrison campaigned to his teammates to support an immediate need in the Buffalo Public Schools – Wi-Fi for their students facing a virtual school year. The team rallied around the cause, resulting in a $500,000 donation from their Week 1 game checks to provide funding for internet hot spots for over 2,300 students who would otherwise be without Wi-Fi for remote learning. He offers additional financial support through various scholarships in the Western New York area and at his high school. Aside from the community work with the Buffalo Bills and Playmakers Organization, Harrison has worked with several non-profits in the WNY community, including WNY Heroes to honor the military community, Bornhava, and Special Olympics to work with children with developmental disabilities, FeedMore WNY to assist the underserved, Hunter's Hope to raise awareness for Leukodystrophy, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo to promote their educational programs, as well as several healthcare networks to support frontline workers and raise health-safety awareness throughout the pandemic.
Demonstrates Consistency in Positive Character and Models a Lifestyle of Giving Back
During Week 3 of the 2019 season, Harrison suffered a torn ACL, sidelining him for the season. Harrison took this time to get to the forefront of community outreach – kicking off his rehabilitation with garnering perspective by visiting with patients at Oishei Children's Hospital two days after the injury. The way Harrison impacts the community is so unique that he focuses on genuinely engraining a lifestyle of giving back to those he serves. His focus is on paying it forward – using his platform to serve every day, with his boots on the ground. Since his college career at Stanford, Harrison developed a passion for supporting children with intellectual disabilities. Harrison works to change the perception of this population to help enrich their lives by offering them opportunities to showcase their independence and ability to be contributing members of our communities. Aside from the work he has done with the Bills in years past, Harrison has worked with several local organizations in the WNY community, including WNY Heroes to show appreciation for the military community, Bornhava and Special Olympics to work with children with developmental disabilities, FeedMore WNY to support the underserved, Hunter's Hope to raise awareness for Leukodystrophy, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo to promote their educational initiatives.
A team rarely has a player with such a positive attitude and good-guy demeanor who finds endless ways to better the community he plays in through genuine, authentic work. Harrison is deliberate in his giving, making it a personal mission to support those who need support and a friend. This is the second consecutive year Harrison received the majority vote from his teammates to be a nominee for this prestigious award – reflecting his peers' admiration and respect for his on-and-off field performance.