CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Bengals announced defensive end Sam Hubbard as the team’s nominee for the 2021 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide.

The Cincinnati native and Moeller High School graduate was nominated for the award that “recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.”

"It means everything to me," said Hubbard. "A lot of people aren't fortunate enough to be drafted by their hometown team where they grew up, and where they have all their roots and all their family and friends. To be able to make an impact in Cincinnati is a special opportunity that I want to make the most of."

In 2021, Hubbard launched the Sam Hubbard Foundation, which aims to help people in Ohio combat hunger and provide vulnerable children and families with educational, medical and athletic resources.

He is also giving back to the Cincinnati community during the holiday season, working in November with The Passion Plate to feed 100 people with homemade meals for Thanksgiving. Hubbard and his family packed up the meals and then handed out full Thanksgiving dinners at the Freestore Foodbank's workforce development program, Cincinnati COOKS!, as well as at the Lighthouse Sheakley Center for Youth.

In December, Hubbard will be treating local kids to a holiday shopping spree at his Shop with a Pro event.

Last year, Hubbard launched a fundraiser to support the Freestore Foodbank during the COVID-19 pandemic. His efforts helped raise $85,000, which provided 250,000 meals to people in need in the Greater Cincinnati area.

As a nominee, and in recognition of his accomplishments on and off the field, Hubbard will wear a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the 2021 season.

All 32 nominees will receive up to a $40,000 donation in their name to a charity of their choice. The winner of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of his choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.

The winner of the 2021 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year will be announced during NFL Honors, a primetime awards special that will air on ABC the Thursday before Super Bowl LVI.