Several NFL alumni have national collegiate football awards named in their honor including Dick Butkus, Fred Biletnikoff and the late John Mackey.
One new name was added to that list last season as the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and the non-profit Stand Together Foundation joined to initiate a “Shaun Alexander Freshman Player of the Year Award”. The award goes to a leading college student-football player each season.
Alexander’s outstanding freshman year (1996) at the University of Alabama gave an early indication of the football career to follow as he later was All America running back for the Crimson Tide, a 2000 first round draft choice of the Seahawks and the NFL’s 2005 MVP and leading rusher.
After his NFL retirement in 2008, Alexander and his family started the Shaun Alexander Foundation and he often has traveled the country this past decade as a motivational speaker and book author.
“Shaun’s legacy in the sports world is only matched by the legacy he’s building as a dedicated social entrepreneur,” says Evan Feinberg of the Stand Together Foundation. “He is working with the most effective non-profits across the country to help people in poverty transform their lives.”
One recent example of Alexander’s caring for others began this summer in Dallas where he worked with the owner of the local Café Momentum which provides internships to young people who once were in juvenile detention. The teenagers work –and learn—in the restaurant’s kitchen, dining room and the front of the establishment. Alexander’s goal is to take the successful concept to other NFL franchise markets around the league.
“None of us want to imagine making a decision when you’re 14 that can cost you the rest of your life,” says the 42-year old Alexander. “Sadly, that’s the case for many kids. With this program, we can expand and touch lives and create something that has the ability to grow.” We at NFL Alumni wish continued success to Shaun Alexander and thank him for being one more example of a retired NFL player using his stature for positive change.