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New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum, a former Super Centex star at Mexia, is the Jets’ team nominee for the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

Mexia native Kelvin Beachum is among 32 nominees for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award. The award annually recognizes an NFL player for their outstanding contributions to community service as well as excellence on the field.

Beachum, 29, is in his second season as an offensive tackle for the New York Jets. He previously played for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Pittsburgh Steelers.

“Being a nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award is a tremendous honor and a highlight of my NFL career. We stand on the shoulders of the guys who came before us in this league and Walter Payton is the gold standard. He’s the Mount Everest of competitors and community leaders,” said Beachum. “Since joining the NFL, I’ve just wanted to be somebody special who uses his platform to give back.”

Among Beachum’s numerous community service projects is a free football camp each spring in his hometown of Mexia.

The Walter Payton Man of the Year winner will be announced Feb. 2 at the NFL Honors show in Atlanta.

Redskins ask for privacy amid reports of Smith complications

ASHBURN, Va. — The Washington Redskins have asked for privacy for Alex Smith and his family amid reports the quarterback is dealing with complications from surgery to repair a broken leg.

In a statement released Thursday, the team says it appreciates concerns about Smith’s injury that occurred Nov. 18 against Houston and that the 34-year-old and his family remain strong. A team spokesman declined to say whether Smith was still in the hospital more than two weeks after surgery to repair a broken right tibia and fibula.

Coach Jay Gruden said Nov. 19 he expected Smith to make a full recovery and be out six to eight months. NFL Network and Washington’s FM-106.7 reported Thursday that Smith is still battling infection in his right leg and being tended to by doctors.