J.J. Watt has been nominated for the NFL's 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
The NFL announced its 32 nominees, one from each team, on Thursday night. Watt's nominated comes just days after Sports Illustrated honored him along with World Series champion Jose Altuve with the 2017 Sportsperson of the Year cover.
"For me personally, I don't feel like I'm singularly deserving of any award," Watt said Friday. "I think that there were so many people that went into these efforts. I think there were so many deserving. I think that all of Houston is deserving of the awards. I think that all the people who donated are deserving. Especially with Walter Payton Man of the Year, when you look at all the nominees and the guys from every team, I think it's so great that we have guys from all around the league who are so deserving to be nominated."
In less than three weeks, J.J. Watt raised over $37 million dollars for his Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Watt began with a goal of $200k with $100k coming from his own pocket. His online fundraiser had a snowball effect with donations pouring in from all over the world, including professional athletes, NFL team and celebrities. After closing the fundraiser, Watt personally met with the leaders of non-profit organizations to determine how the funds would be distributed to help the rebuilding process across Southeast Texas.
The Walter Payton Man of the Year is awarded annually to recognize an NFL player with outstanding service to the community and excellence on the field. Three nominees will be selected in January and the winner will be announced on Feb. 3, the night before the Super Bowl, during the NFL Honors ceremony.