Stone Bridge High School graduate Jonathan Allen has made a difference on and off the football field since being selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft by the Washington Football Team.
For his outstanding community service activities off the field, along with his prowess as a defensive lineman on the field, Allen has been selected as Washington’s nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.
“I am incredibly honored to receive the Walter Payton Man of the Year nomination for @WashingtonNFL,” Allen posted on his Twitter account. “I am empowered by this opportunity to expand even further in how my wife and I give back to the community I love. Thank you again, we are just getting started!”
Along with participating in events hosted by the Washington Football Charitable Foundation, Allen and his wife Hannah began working with the Sasha Bruce Youthwork in 2019. The nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. assists homeless youth to find safe homes, achieve and maintain good physical and mental health, create and strengthen supportive and stable families, and explore opportunities in education and careers.
Part of Allen’s time and financial contributions to Sasha Bruce Youthwork includes the Jonathan and Hannah Allen Innovation Lounge, a multidisciplinary space designed by youth that provides a fun and innovative space to inspire creativity, open-mindedness and an entrepreneurial spirit among homeless and runaway youth.
“I am proud to continue to support the work of the Washington Football Charitable Foundation, as well as Sasha Bruce Youthwork and the amazing work they are doing for our youth,” Allen said in a press release. “As someone who has been through the foster system myself, I am very passionate about making an impact on their lives and being a resource for them moving forward. I hope to continue to be a positive example that these kids can follow and see that it’s not impossible to come out of any situation and be successful.”
As a nominee, Allen will wear a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season and will receive a $40,000 donation to be awarded to the charity of his choice. The NFL will announce which of the 32 team nominees will be presented with the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award during the week leading up to Super Bowl LV.
“I was fortunate enough to play with Walter, and Jonathan exemplifies the type of teammate and type of person that Walter Payton was,” Washington head coach Ron Rivera said of his defensive captain. “Within the team, Walter was a leader and everybody’s friend, and, in the community, he was a servant just like Jonathan. Giving back is very important, and I am proud of Jonathan for his commitment to giving back to our community and investing time, energy and resources into impacting the next generation.”
Allen was a USA Today High School All-American in 2012 playing for coach Mickey Thompson at Stone Bridge. He played four seasons at the University of Alabama, winning a national championship and earning the Lombardi Award as the nation’s top college football player based on performance, leadership and character in 2016.