INDIANAPOLIS – Not many 24-year olds in the NFL have accomplished the things Dwayne Allen has in just three seasons.
Allen added another accolade on Friday when the Colts announced that he was the team's 2014 recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award.
The award is an annual recognition for courageous play by an individual and Allen is one of 32 National Football League players who earned the accolade. The players of each member club nominate an individual annually and those chosen are honored at a banquet in Baltimore each March.
"This guy is a selfless guy," Chuck Pagano says of Allen. "He's a great player, but he's a better person. I know he spends a great deal of time giving back and serving. We talk all the time here about team first and self second and serving.
"He does it on the football field and he does it in the locker room. He's not a real loud guy around here. He lets his actions speak for themselves. He's one of those guys that whatever time he has away from football, you know he's doing something for the community and spending time out in community and giving back. He's one of those guys that has a great appreciation for the blessings that he has. He certainly understands that this is a privilege, and not a right, and he's taken full advantage of the platform he has to give back, to serve our community, serve the team and serve the horseshoe. He's a horseshoe guy through and through. He's a great, great person."
Putting his seven touchdowns in 2014 aside, Allen recently became the first person in his family to graduate from college. He is also the Colts NFL players association representative and is all over the local community with his charitable services.
"It's very humbling to receive the Ed Block Courage Award," Allen says.
"It's even more humbling knowing that it was voted on by my peers and knowing that they think of me in such a way to reward me. I never serve the community with the thought of receiving anything back and I always try to serve to the best of my ability. I'm truly grateful."
Once a long shot who needed a plea from a high school coach even to go out for the football team, Allen now is a young man wowing those with his play on the field, his leadership off it and his actions out in the community.
"He's a guy who is definitely mature beyond his years and he's also a great player," linebacker D'Qwell Jackson says of tight end Allen.
"Being an older guy, you can hand pick the guys who are going to be the leaders. You can just tell the way they carry themselves, the way they go about their business and profession. Just being around (Allen) more and more is just confirming what type of guy he is."
There's Allen walking around the Colts locker room offering a head nod, fist pound or pat on the back to anyone in sight — teammates, equipment staffer, media member.
"Dwayne's awesome off the field," Andrew Luck!(/team/roster/andrew-luck/ea912f8f-b6a5-4782-8b64-835b8fd58805/ "Andrew Luck"), Allen's quarterback, says with a smile. "He's a great leader in the locker room, a great leader in the community. What he does around Indianapolis is awesome.
"Infectious personality, once you get him talking, it's hard to get him to stop talking. It's great. People like being around him. A fun, fun, fun guy to play with, great teammate."
Colts tight end Dwayne Allen has been selected by his teammates as the recipient of the 2014 Ed Block Courage Award.
Allen has started all 26 games he's appeared in, catching 72 passes for 915 yards and 11 touchdowns. He has also contributed on special teams with five tackles and a forced fumble. In 2012, Allen led all NFL rookie tight ends in receptions (45) and receiving yards (521), while setting a Colts single-season rookie record for receptions by a tight end.
Off the field, Allen lends his support to many charitable endeavors. As Player Executive for DREAM Alive, he serves not only as the professional face of the organization for at-risk youth, but also participates in program development and implementation. Allen donates his Colts Community ticket block to the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation and served as a spokesperson for the LIBRARYSTRONG campaign in partnership with the foundation. In support of Black History Month, he hosted a SUPER Read Challenge and donated two Colts season tickets as the grand prize.
Allen is involved with the NFL's NO MORE Campaign, the 2014 Women's Fund of Central Indiana Annual Dinner, Colts Community Tuesdays and Read Across America. He has also served as a guest speaker or attendee for Washington Irving School 14 – Indianapolis Public School "All Honors Dinner", School on Wheels' "Education Celebration" and the White House 2014 Easter Egg Roll.
The award is named after Ed Block who was the head athletic trainer for the Baltimore Colts from 1954-1977. He served as trainer emeritus with the club until he passed away in 1983.
Past winners of the award dating back to 2000, include: DE-Cory Redding (2013), S-Antoine Bethea (2012), DE-Robert Mathis (2011), DE-Dwight Freeney (2010), DB-Marlin Jackson (2009), C-Jeff Saturday (2008), OG-Ryan Lilja (2007), WR-Reggie Wayne (2006), LB-Cato June (2005), LB-Gary Brackett (2004), DE-Chad Bratzke (2003), LB-Rob Morris (2002), QB-Peyton Manning (2001) and DT-Bernard Whittington (2000).
The 37th annual Ed Block Courage Award dinner is schedule during March in Baltimore. Proceeds from the affair benefit the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation in Baltimore. The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation's objective is to establish homes for abused children in each NFL city. Indianapolis established an Ed Block Courage home (Children's Bureau) in October of 2000. The home is part of a national support network for abused children.