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Asomugha deserving of possible honor

1/28/2011

It’s difficult for Nnamdi Asomugha to fathom that he is a finalist of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award.

Oakland’s superstar cornerback joins Chicago defensive lineman Israel Idonije and Minnesota safety Madieu Williams. The award is the most prestigious off-the-field honor in the NFL and will be handed out in Arlington, Texas, prior to the Super Bowl on Sunday.

“I’m still trying to wrap my head around it,” Asomugha said.

Asomugha said it is difficult to comprehend he is going to be a finalist for an award that centers around charitable work because he doesn’t consider it work.

“It’s fun to me, I enjoy doing this type of thing,” Asomugha said. “I like doing things to help people and raise awareness. So, it’s crazy to think I can be rewarded for it. It’s just something I like to do.”

Asomugha -- who started his off-the-field charitable work with current Oakland teammate and former California teammate Kyle Boller -- is known as one of the most tireless charitable workers in the NFL. Asomugha’s two major charities are the Asomugha College Tour for Scholars in the Untied States and the Orphans and Widows In Need Foundation in Africa. He spends ample time with both charities.

Asomugha has joined forces with former United States President Bill Clinton on the importance of global service and student activism. He’s been cited for his work by several outlets, including winning the prestigious Byron "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year last year. It is the NFL Players’ Association highest honor.

Winning the Walter Payton Man of the Year award would be another huge honor for Asomugha.

But it’s clear; Asomugha isn’t in it in for the recognition.

“I just enjoy doing it,” Asomugha said. “I’m sure I always will no matter what I do after I stop playing football.”