NFL Man Of The Year Nominees | NFL.com

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Jordan - USO Tank

Cameron Jordan

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Table inside Article
Position College Years in the NFL
Defensive End University of California Berkeley 11

Demonstrates Excellence on The Field

An explosive and physical defensive end, Cameron Jordan possesses the combination of size, speed, and strength to play end in either a 3-4 or 4-3. He was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 2011 (1st round, 24th pick) and was named as a team captain this year for the 7th straight season. Cameron has received numerous awards for his on-field play over the years, including being named to six Pro Bowls, NFL Top 100 for six years, Pro Football Hall of Fame's All 2010s Team, AP Defensive Player of the Year, 1st Team All-Pro, twice honored as NFC Defensive Player of the Week, and twice honored as Defensive Player of the Month and holds the record for the most consecutive starts by a Saints player. In June 2020, he was inducted into the Reese's Senior Bowl Hall of Fame.

Demonstrates Dedication and Commitment to Community Efforts this Year

Describing Cameron's community efforts can be summarized as consistently innate selfless acts that have had a tremendous impact on the individuals who benefit from his benevolent heart. Whether the focus is on empowering our youth, social justice reform, strengthening community and police relations, or simply lending a helping hand to someone in need, Cameron's primary focus is always to figure out how he can assist and rise to the ever-changing needs of the community.

Every week since he was drafted, he participates in a community effort of some sort but most often can be found engaging with kids in local elementary schools. Whether in youth fitness camps or literacy and motivational visits, Cameron never misses the opportunity to spend time with young scholars, albeit in a virtual manner this season. During the summer, his annual youth football camp provided hundreds of under-served kids an opportunity to have fun while learning football fundamentals from Cameron himself, along with young coaches from The 18th Ward.

In the wake of Hurricane Ida, he immediately sprang into action to promote a team captain-led campaign that provided support to the affected residents receiving services from United Way. Cameron also sponsored thousands of hot meals to food-insecure residents following the storm and set up a program with the Cameo platform that resulted in a $20,000 donation to Second Harvest Food Bank. On his own accord, he often takes the time to identify random people in need and finds a way to provide them with the appropriate support. A local teacher and her son who became homeless after the hurricane caused severe damage to their home were blessed by Cameron's support as he provided a home for them to live in for an entire month to help them get back on their feet. After participating in peaceful protests following many of the social injustices witnessed recently, Cameron felt the need to inspire a change among local law enforcement. He provided a significant financial donation and personal involvement in support of a programming partnership with the New Orleans Police Department and Crescent City Corps, which is a New Orleans-based non-profit that equips police officers with leadership development and community engagement training so that they can work alongside citizens to build a more just, safe, and inclusive city.

Demonstrates Dedication and Commitment to Community Efforts in Years Past

Wrapping up an 11-season span of community work in a few sentences can be challenging because every effort has its own unique impact that deserves to be mentioned, but to simply highlight a handful, the list would include: mentorship programming & regular engagement and support with students at local schools and youth who are part of after-school programs like Youth Empowerment Project, Boys & Girls Club, & Son of a Saint; served as the ambassador for the Saints Kids Club and the local Dairy Council's program; hosted countless shopping sprees (families in need, students, & domestic violence victims), annual backpack giveaways as well as bike & toy giveaways (with local Marines); participated in two NFL-USO tours overseas; support to local military; hospital visits; home rebuilds & refurbishment projects; fellow player and team/organization event support (especially the team's decades-long Turkey Dinner Giveaway tradition); Listen & Learn events in support of criminal justice reform; innumerable random acts of kindness; continuous support to community endeavors through his GodIzLove foundation as well. 

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, he provided over a thousand hot meals to food-insecure residents and provided transitional housing for residents facing evictions.

Demonstrates Consistency in Positive Character and Models a Lifestyle of Giving Back

Cameron credits his fervor for charitable endeavors to the examples shown by & what has been instilled in him by his parents and gives all praises to God for even being in a position to provide support to those in need. Family is of the utmost importance to Cameron as well as his faith. He is truly a selfless individual who does not expect to receive credit for the community work he does because he believes it is his duty as a human being and member of the community to do so. He's intelligent, well-respected, is a great leader & teammate, a great family man, and he exudes the most incredible amount of humility!

It has been quoted that "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others" and can certainly serve as a parallel for the work Cameron has done (and continues to do) over the years. He is always centered on identifying the issues and rising to meet the members' needs. In every moment during every engagement, Cameron makes each individual feel like they're family. He never leaves a person with a feeling of "Cam Jordan with the Saints," but rather "my guy Cam" who is providing support or simply sharing his time. Not many players in the league can claim to engage in community endeavors every week… every week… since they started playing professionally, but Cameron can! Quite a bit of his community support aligns with the NFL's Inspire Change initiative as well.  

Cameron constantly asks, "What can I do to help?" and consistently seeks to answer that question and works to activate the solution. He's selfless and honestly does not look for any credit because he feels like helping others in need and sharing his time & resources to uplift others is what he is supposed to do as a human being and member of the community. It's often easy to only recognize the impact one may have via a single engagement and can cause the individual impacts for multiple engagements to go unnoticed. Regardless of that possibility, Cameron knows that every moment, every individual, and every element of support (large or small) can have a lasting impact on the beneficiaries, which is of the utmost importance to him.