The Big Ten named former Ohio State defensive back Malcolm Jenkins the Dungy-Thompson Humanitarian Award honoree, the conference announced Monday. The award recognizes student-athletes who achieved success in humanitarianism following their academic and athletic careers at a Big Ten university.
Jenkins was a four-year letter winner at Ohio State, starting in 45 games and totaling 196 tackles, 18 passes defended, three blocked punts and four forced fumbles in his career. He left the university with 11 interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns.
The Piscataway, N.J., native became a team captain and consensus All-America selection in his senior season and was honored with the Jim Thorpe Award after recording a career-high 57 tackles, three forced fumbles, three interceptions, two blocked punts and a sack. The year before, Jenkins finished his junior season with second-team All-America honors after leading the secondary with 44 tackles and four interceptions.
Following his time at Ohio State, the New Orleans Saints selected him with the 14th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. He spent his first five years with the organization and won a Super Bowl in 2010. In his sixth year, Jenkins signed a contract with Philadelphia, where he would become a first-team All-Pro (2015), a three-time Pro-Bowler (2015, 2017, 2018) and win his second Super Bowl (LII, 2018).
Jenkins has been a pillar throughout his NFL career in the locker room and communities where he worked and played, including New Jersey, Louisiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Jenkins launched The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation in 2010, which develops youth development programs and initiatives that provide learning opportunities, resources and experiences to help them succeed and become productive members of their community.
Jenkins won the 2017 Byron “Whizzer” White Award — the highest honor the NFLPA can bestow on a player — for his community service. The Big Brothers Big Sisters of America recognized Jenkins as the inaugural Defender of Potential Award Recipients, which honors individuals who ensure the potential of children in their community through volunteerism, financial support and advocacy.
The Eagles nominated Malcolm Jenkins for the 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year award, but the honor went to then-Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell.
Still, Jenkins won the McSilver Award as a Vanguard for Social Justice from New York University, recognizing activists who are prominent in their fields and use their platforms to create a more equitable society. Jenkins also received the Community Hero award for his service in education and economic advancement in low-income communities, criminal justice reform and police-community relations.
Jenkins’ foundation launched “Get Ready Fest – Feeding the 504” with the Winn-Dixie Gives Foundation, Second Harvest of South Louisiana and the Broadmoor Improvement Association Food Pantry in September 2020. The foundation started its initiative in New Orleans by hosting an event that provided more than 25,000 pounds of food to 557 families.
The hunger relief partnership helped the New Orleans community by feeding families through the end of 2020 and bringing awareness to food insecurity. Support from the Malcolm Jenkins Foundation and Winn-Dixie allowed the Broadmoor Food Pantry to double the number of families it serves living in poverty-stricken conditions.
In May 2021, Jenkins’ foundation and College Track New Orleans awarded 12 high school seniors $2,000 in college scholarships. College Track has been in partnership with The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation for nine years and has since awarded more than $150,000 in scholarships to College Track students.
Jenkins joins Chris Spielman as the two Buckeyes to earn The Dungy-Thompson Humanitarian Award named after Minnesota’s Tony Dungy and Indiana’s Anthony Thompson. For more information on the award, visit bigten.org.