Allen Park, Mich.— The Detroit Lions announced today C Frank Ragnow as its nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award Presented by Nationwide. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide is the league's most prestigious honor and acknowledges NFL players who excel on the field and demonstrate a passion for creating a lasting positive impact beyond the game in their communities.
LIONS C FRANK RAGNOW
"I am incredibly grateful to be recognized for one of the most prestigious honors in our League, especially while being on a team filled with so many guys who impact the community in different ways and have supported the Rags Remembered Foundation. My family and I take a lot of pride in this Foundation, and to be able to help grieving families through the outdoors is something that we are very passionate about. This is a huge step in being able to help a lot more kids and families in the future."
LIONS HEAD COACH DAN CAMPBELL
"Frank Ragnow is the ultimate teammate who lays everything on the line to help the person next to him. He deserves every aspect of this award for the work he has done with his Rags Remembered Foundation and the young lives he has touched. Frank's nomination as our team's Walter Payton Man of the Year is a special honor for a special person, and with the impactful platform that our players have, there is no greater honor."
In addition to competing as one of the top offensive linemen in the NFL, Ragnow is known for his avid love of fishing and the outdoors that he cultivated with his father, Jon 'Rags' Ragnow. Following Jon's unexpected passing in 2016 while Ragnow was a student-athlete at Arkansas, he used the outdoors as an outlet for his grief. Embarking on a mission to help children experiencing loss through their own healing processes, Ragnow founded his own nonprofit in 2022 – the Rags Remembered Foundation – to help families foster the same passion he shared with his father. Ragnow consistently dedicates himself to the cause with a rare and altruistic sense of connection to the community he serves.
Each year, Ragnow and his Foundation hold a Fishin' for Memories outreach program where families can learn to fish from the two-time Pro Bowler and create lasting memories that provide children with an outlet for their grief. Each child receives their own fishing pole, supplies and gear while also having the opportunity to take a private boat tour with Ragnow with the goal of acquiring a newfound interest.
Ragnow also hosted his first-ever Camp Huddle Up for grieving children and their families this past offseason. Nearly 30 campers aged 4-17 spent the afternoon with Ragnow, his wife and teammates. They received the opportunity to fish, learn archery, build fires and enjoy the outdoors. Ragnow also provided resources for the children to meet with the grief team at Angela Hospice to reflect on their losses and remember their loved ones.
Throughout the season, Ragnow continuously makes it possible for the children involved in his Foundation to stay engaged. He hosts Huddle-at-Home game day watch parties for families who have lost a loved one, providing them with tailgate materials, food, signed gear and time spent with members of his own family. He also hosts charitable dinners called Night of Memories to mobilize funds for the families of southeastern Michigan that Ragnow brings light to in their darkest time.
Since joining the Lions as a first-round draft pick in 2018, Ragnow has made his mark as a leader in both the community and in the locker room. A two-time team captain, he was named Second-Team All-Pro in 2020 and earned Pro Bowl selections in 2020 and 2022. Ragnow was also the Lions' nominee for the 2020 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.
As a nominee, Ragnow will wear a Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year helmet decal through the end of the season in recognition of his accomplishments on and off the field.
All 32 nominees will be recognized for their achievements during the week leading up to Super Bowl LVIII. The 2023 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year winner will be announced during NFL Honors, a primetime awards special to air nationally on CBS on Thursday, Feb. 8.
Each nominee will receive up to a $55,000 donation, and the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award winner will receive a $250,000 donation to the charity of his choice. All donations are made possible by the NFL Foundation and Nationwide.
This year, fans are once again encouraged to participate in Nationwide's annual Charity Challenge, a social media and online contest that allows fans to show support for their favorite Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee. Fans can vote on X (formerly Twitter) by posting #WPMOYChallenge along with the name/X handle of their chosen nominee or by voting directly on NFL.com/ManOfTheYear. The nominee who receives the most collective hashtag mentions and votes will win an additional $35,000 donation from Nationwide to the charity of their choice, with the runner-up receiving $10,000 and the third-place winner receiving $5,000. Charity Challenge voting takes place from Dec. 5th to Jan. 8th.
For more information on the nominees and the award, please visit NFL.com/ManOfTheYear.