WATCH: Former Clemson punter surprises lifelong friend with Super Bowl tickets
|Saturday, December 23, 2017, 9:12 PM- -|
Former Clemson and current San Francisco 49ers punter Bradley Pinion's Christmas goodwill was featured on social media this weekend.
Already a nominee for the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, Pinion surprised a friend named Jason from around his hometown of Concord, North Carolina with tickets and an all-expenses-paid trip to this year's Super Bowl in Minneapolis.
Check out more background on their friendship and Jason's reaction in the video below:
Bigger than the game.— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) December 22, 2017
As a #WPMOY nominee, @pinion92 received two #SuperBowl tickets to use as he saw fit. He decided to surprise lifelong friend Jason with an early Christmas present. This was Jason's reaction. #WPMOYChallengePinion pic.twitter.com/eizAAYXTeG
Pinion is one of 32 nominees for the Walter Payton honor and three finalists will be chosen on January 21st. As part of the process, the nominee with receives the most hashtag mentions - in Pinion's case, #WPMOYChallengePinion - will receive a $25,000 donation to his charity of choice, with second place receiving $10,000 and third place receiving $5,000.
Pinion's Walter Payton Profile (per the 49ers)
Pinion wasted no time making his mark in the community after being selected by the 49ers in the fifth round (165th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Clemson University. After attending nearly every community event on his days off throughout his first season, Pinion earned the 49ers Community Relations Rookie Service Award. To earn this prestigious award, Pinion volunteered at 12 community events in six months and dedicated more time to serving others than any other member on the team.
Over the past two seasons, Pinion has made an impact on several causes, including athletes with special needs, literacy, animal adoption, wounded veterans, cancer awareness and character building. Pinion has solidified his status as one of the most devoted community servants on the 49ers. In his first three years with the 49ers, Pinion has participated in 30 events benefiting over 40 different organizations.
Throughout 2017, Pinion has continued to lead the 49ers community relations efforts. He was the keynote speaker at this year’s Charlie Wedemeyer High School All-Star Football Banquet held in honor of the players and coaches selected for the 2017 All-Star team. He cut the ribbon at the grand opening of a Fitness Zone at the JW House, welcoming kids for the inaugural afternoon of play at the home where families find hope and support while their loved ones are in the hospital.
As part of the Character Playbook LIVE program, Pinion hosted several classrooms via video conference to discuss different lessons related to positive character development and healthy relationships, placing an importance on education, communicating effectively and treating those around you with respect. He later joined Furry Friends Pet Assisted Therapy Services for animal therapy and confidence building activities with students in the Leland High School special needs program as they worked to erase the stigma attached to special needs.
Pinion danced with a pediatric cancer warrior down the runway as her story of strength and courage was shared at the Crucial Catch Fashion Show that also featured breast cancer survivors in honor of the NFL’s Crucial Catch Campaign. Prior to this past Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears, Pinion joined the 49ers at a “My Cause, My Cleats” design event where he helped representatives from organizations including the military, education sector, San Francisco Police Department and epilepsy awareness design cleats that the players wore in Week 13 versus Chicago. Pinion showed support for his selected cause, Convoy of Hope, on his cleats.