Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Yanda finalist for Art Rooney Award

Anamosa native and current Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Marshal Yanda has been named one of eight finalists for the NFL’s prestigious Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award. (Courtesy Baltimore Ravens)

By Daryl Schepanski Sports Editor

December 23, 2016

BALTIMORE, MD — As a five-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time NFL All-Pro, Anamosa native Marshal Yanda’s resume with the Baltimore Ravens as one of the best offensive linemen in the National Football League is secure.

His legion of fans here in Iowa and across the country couldn’t be any more proud of his accomplishments as well.

Hold that thought for a second.

Yanda, who has a reputation of being the hardest worker in the NFL and displays those leadership skills each and every week to his Ravens teammates, was nominated by those teammates for the coveted Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.

Yet another amazing Yanda accomplishment.

“For me it was an honor just being nominated by my teammates for this award,” said Yanda, who hosted all the Ravens’ offensive linemen at his home in Baltimore Monday, Dec. 19, for a team Christmas party.

“To make it into the final eight, well, that’s an honor that goes beyond words for me. There are a lot of veteran NFL guys on that list. Guys who have played in the league for a long time. To be mentioned with them is as good as it gets.”

Last week the league announced Yanda was indeed one of eight finalists for the award that will be presented Saturday, Feb. 4, on FOX during the NFL Honors Show the night before the Super Bowl 51.

Joining Yanda, a 10-year NFL veteran, as finalists are Brian Cushing (linebacker, Houston Texans), Frank Gore (running back, Indianapolis Colts), Greg Olsen (tight end, Carolina Panthers), Julius Peppers (linebacker, Green Bay Packers), Darren Sproles (running back, Philadelphia Eagles), Joe Staley (tackle, San Francisco 49ers) and DeMarcus Ware (linebacker, Denver Broncos).

Seven of the eight finalists have 10-plus years of NFL experience.

A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community selected the eight finalists from the 32 total nominees. The panel is comprised of Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler.

Last year the players selected Charles Woodson, of the Oakland Raiders, as the 2015 recipient of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.

Larry Fitzgerald, of the Arizona Cardinals was the inaugural winner of the award in 2014.

This year’s winner will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice.

The winner will also receive a trophy that represents the important role that sportsmanship plays in the game and how NFL players that demonstrate integrity and honor on the field serve as role models for players at all levels.

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