The assignment for this article was to write an article about the top five role models choosing from a list that includes all current NFL players. This is difficult to do for two reasons. First, there are a good number of players in the NFL, 32 teams multiplied by 53 man rosters equals 1,696 players. Second, there are multiple criteria for determining who is and is not a role model.

One dynamic I like to look at is a player’s work outside of football related to working with charities, or going on mission trips. However, looking at that, criteria alone does not help with narrowing down a list of role models.

Each team in the NFL has several players who sponsor and participate with various charitable causes or has players that do missions overseas or visit hospitals on a regular basis. While these things are good, it is hard to narrow down a list of people without personally knowing them or knowing their motives. Now I am not saying all players have hidden agendas, even though some might, but it can be hard at times to judge genuineness.

All football fans cheer for or follow a certain player because of personal preferences. Therefore, one person might consider a certain player a role model, while another person may not.

One preference used to choose which players to follow is the position they play. Since becoming a fan of football, I have always liked to follow quarterbacks. Therefore, some of the players I have followed were Trent Dilfer, Jake Delhomme, Josh Freeman, etc. People who like running  backs may choose to cheer for Chris Johnson or Maurice Jones-Drew, and there are many people who follow defensive players.  The type of player a fan cheers for will help determine that fan’s role models.

Other preferences might include whether a fan absolutely hates or loves a certain team, or because of a player’s faith/religion being publicly shown on the field. For example, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are one of those love them or hate them type of teams.  A fan who hates New England and Brady probably would not choose Brady as a “role model.”

In the end, there are several NFL players who are involved with helping the less fortunate and who set an example on and off the field. However, I believe it is impossible to come up with a formula that ultimately and fairly determines the top five role models in the NFL. However in the research I did this is the list I managed to come up with:

1. Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos
Tebow is a role model for his Christian faith and character that are displayed both on and off the field, and because of his mission work to the Philippines and locally in the United States.

2. Amobi Okoye, Chicago Bears
Okoye is a role model because of the charity orginzation that shares his name that is helping many starving children around the world including the United States and who is also attempting to change the world through education and the power of reading.

3. Vontae and Vernon Davis, Miami Dolphins and San Fransico 49ers:
For their work in both raising money for and travelling to Rwanda and Uganda this past summer. Additionally, this past summer both co-hosted the “Sound Mind, Sound Body” ® which  “ is part of a multi-city community based sports and academic enrichment program that takes young men from inner-city communities and mentors them into college on sports scholarships.”

5. Aaron Maybin, New York Jets:

For his work with his non-profit organzation Project Mayhem that, "has been established to provide aid, both personal and economic, to help underprivileged and at risk youth excel beyond their current conditions."