Jacksonville Jaguars safety Donovin Darius has been named December's NFL "Extra Effort" Award winner for his ongoing hard work and efforts in the Jacksonville, Florida community, the NFL announced today.
The NFL "Extra Effort" Award is presented monthly to a player who has made a significant contribution to his community, either during that particular month or on a continuing basis. Clubs nominate players and an NFL selection panel chooses the winner.
Darius has served as the Jaguars' 2002 NFL and United Way spokesman, and his own foundation, the Donovin Darius Youth Foundation, sponsors several programs in the Jacksonville area for at-risk youth, with a free one-day football and life skills camp held each June at a high school in Jacksonville.
Darius kept a busy community schedule in December starting with attending a fundraiser dinner for teammate Fernando Bryant's foundation on December 2. He signed autographs at a local mall to raise money for his foundation in Mid-December, and attended a Jaguars news conference to accept the team's Community Champion award. He then hosted the annual Gift of Life Blood Drive in partnership with the Florida Georgia Blood Alliance. This is the second year he has served as spokesman for the annual drive, held during the holidays when blood supplies are critically low. He also filmed a public-service announcement to help promote the event and thanked donors by signing autographs and distributing t-shirts. Six other Jaguars players joined him to support the cause.
Darius frequently speaks to elementary-school students about making responsible choices and the consequences of their decisions. He actively supports the Playbooks, Honor Rows, and Straight Talk programs of the Jaguars Foundation.
NFL Charities will donate $1,000 on Darius' behalf to the charity of his choice.