by Nick Hamilton (@NickHamiltonLA)
COSTA MESA, CA — Chargers defensive end Isaac Rochell was nominated by the team for the 2020 Walton Payton Man of the Year awards that recognizes, outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.
When Rochell heard he was nominated his excitement and appreciation being nominated was through the roof.
“I mean, it’s always been a goal of mine to make a massive impact off the field,” Rochell said. “Then for that, to be recognized in that way, I mean, it’s really up to this point, probably one of the bigger things that I’ve accomplished being in the league.”
With all going on in the world in today’s society, he decided he wanted to make an impact that could change lives for the better. In other words, he didn’t just talk about — he’s truly being about it.
“He’s passionate about certain things and he goes out there, and not only talks about it, but also demonstrates action toward it,” Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “It seems like a lot of times his picture shows up. So, I think he’s well rounded. I mean, football is extremely important to him, and he goes about his business that way, very professional, but I think he’s got a good balance.“
Rochell started his Local Human brand to help out those who don’t have a lot and inspire. Recently he and another teammate Trai Turner had a drive thru Thanksgiving meal give away that fed about 450 families in Orange County. Those that participated would pull up and receive full holiday meal.
At another event, Rochell dressed up as an employee at a Vons supermarket and started paying for people’s groceries. He would walk up to families and tell them to add more to their carts because their groceries were getting paid for by him. He gave away $5,000 worth to families that day. He said bills ranged from $5 to $250.
All proceeds generated by Local Human are invested in the community through the Do Good Foundation.
Rochell used his platform and voice after the murder of George Floyd, and decided that he would not make a difference with healthy food, but also education. He revealed that two local students (along with an guardian) will receive fully funded trips to visit any university they are interested in attending in the United States.
“The biggest difference we can make is in the lives of young students because that can change the trajectory of their lives,” Rochell emphasized.
Many athletes have taken on causes that have impacted the lives of the people, but will we see any collaborative efforts between him and Lakers superstar Lebron James, who’s efforts have impacted many to make their voices heard in the recent election with “More Than A Vote.”
“Listen if you all can a meeting organized with me and Lebron, I promise you I’ll be the first person at it,” Rochell said smiling. “We’ll see I think it’s something brewing in the L.A. community as far as the sports teams. I feel like now more than every people are having conversations but it’s going to take more than someone from the Chargers and someone from the Lakers or somebody from the Rams, it’s going to take all of us. If anyone has the contacts, I’m ready.“
Rochell will wear a helmet decal for the remainder of the season, as a Walter Payton Man Of The Year nominee. The winner will be announced during the week of Super Bowl LV.