Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports



Earlier today, the San Francisco 49ers announced that WR Torrey Smith was their nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award. The award is given out each year honoring an NFL player's volunteer and charity work, as well as his excellence on the field. Each team nominates a player for the award and the 32 nominees will be pared down to three finalists which will be announced on January 22. Last season, then-49ers receiver Anquan Boldin was the winner of the award.

On Wednesday, Smith joined Murph & Mac on KNBR 680 and discussed what it meant to be nominated for the award. "I think anytime you're mentioned with a guy like Walter Payton for the things that you do off the field, that's bigger than football to me," Smith said. "There's going to be a time when I get slow, I'm not going to be in the league anymore, and that stuff means more to me than football does because that lasts a lifetime. That doesn't mean that I don't love football. I put my all into it, but, to me, I think who you are as a person means more than what you actually do as a professional."

Smith went on to say that that this was his third time being nominated for the award. "It happened twice when I was in Baltimore and now here," Smith said. "It's just a different place. It shows the type of impact beyond where you are. A lot of it here is because of the 49ers. I don't think people realize."

Smith went on to say that because the 49ers are struggling on the field, it takes away from the other things that the organization is doing. "Literally on Monday, probably about 10 or 12 guys or probably more than that -- 15 guys -- and they had like 1,200 people at the stadium," Smith described. "A lot of people were from a tough financial background or homeless or whatever, can have free meals, shoes, winter clothes, some gifts if they wanted to celebrate Christmas...people aren't going to talk about that because we lost the day before that, it sucks. But stuff like that, it kind of puts stuff in perspective for you, especially this time of the year when it's very easy to feel sorry for yourself, feel sorry for what we're going through as a team. It reminds you being at events like that, that life is way bigger than a game."

Smith went on to say that it is great going to events like that because there are still people there that love you and still love the team. "Obviously, they were probably cussing us out the night before," Smith joked. "They genuinely love that you're there and that you care for them."

You can listen to the entire interview on KNBR 680.