It could be argued that the Jacksonville Jaguars thrilling run to last year’s AFC Championship game was a public service of sorts–lifting the spirits of an entire city. Yet, aside from their work on Sundays, each and every one of the Jags players participates in some form of charitable work in his spare time. Some like All-Pro cornerback, Jalen Ramsey, partner with local organizations, while others have started organizations of their own. Each is using his platform to improve Northeast Florida. While we didn’t have space to list the initiatives of all 50-plus players, here are a few that jumped out at us.
Blake Bortles (QB): The Blake Bortles Foundation
The Bortles Foundation provides opportunities to children with intellectual and developmental challenges in their pursuit of full, independent lives and provides support to first responders. You can donate online or attend Bortles’ annual charity golf event in June.
A.J. Bouye (CB): Member of the American Cancer Society’s Athlete Council
Bouye lost his mother to brain and breast cancer when he was an infant. Helping others who are impacted by the disease is his mission. Last season, for each interception the team recorded, Bouye donated money to the American Cancer Society. Be on the lookout for fundraising events Bouye hosts around town.
Telvin Smith (LB): Host of Free Football Camp
Smith what somewhat viral for calling NFL players who charge for these camps “suckers” on Instagram last season, then proceeded to back up his smack talk. In June he hosted a free football camp at Daily’s Place for 250 kids age 13 to 17. Smith plans on hosting another camp next summer.
Tommy Bohanon (FB): Tommy Bohanon Foundation
Bohanon won the Pop Warner Humanitarian Award over the summer for his work with NFL Play 360 and his foundation, The Tommy Bohannon Foundation, which awards scholarships for outstanding high school seniors, donates equipment to schools in the Southwest Florida area and has free football camps for kids in first through eighth grade. tommybohanonfoundation.org/who-do-we-serve/.
Malik Jackson (DT): Malik’s Gifts
Jackson was the Jags 2017 community leader, working with the local Boys & Girls Club and his own charity, Malik’s Gifts, which helps at-risk youths, military families and provides emergency assistance to families in need. Jackson and teammates will be at Morton’s Steakhouse on Monday, November 12 at 6 p.m. for their annual charity event, Celebrity Servers at Morton’s.
Jalen Ramsey (CB): Boys and Girls Club
This summer Ramsey donated $10,000 to North Florida’s division of the Boys & Girls Club. Ramsey has talked about the impact the club made on him when he was younger and held a fundraising event at Topgolf this summer.
Donate here: bgcnf.org/donate-2/.
Marcell Dareus (DT): Dareus Foundation
The defensive tackle donated $125,00 this summer through his foundation to his parents’ homeland of Haiti to build a three-classroom building at the Christ-Roi Primary School of Cammy. He has visited and made donations to organizations in Haiti the past two off-seasons.
Yannick Ngakoue (DE): Jacksonville Humane Society
Ngakoue and other Jags work with the Humane Society often and Ngakoue supported them last December during the “My Cleats, My Cause” initiative, in which NFL players wear cleats honoring the charity of their choice. Ngakoue made numerous visits to the Jacksonville Humane Society throughout the year. Jaxhumane.org.