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Carl Paul Nassib, a former defensive end for the Penn State Nittany Lions, was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, on April 12, 1993. Nassib played high school football at Malvern Preparatory School, where he played as an offensive tackle and defensive end and lettered in basketball and track and field.


Nassib joined the Penn State Nittany Lions team as a walk-on in 2011 and became a starter for the first time in his senior year in 2015, where he set numerous records and earned unanimous All-American honors. In his senior year, Nassib set the Penn State season sack record with 15.5 sacks, which led the FBS that year. He had a sack in each of the season's first ten games and forced six fumbles. Additionally, Nassib won multiple awards in his senior year, including the Rotary Lombardi Award for the nation's top lineman or linebacker, the Ted Hendricks Award for the nation's top defensive end, and the Lott IMPACT Trophy for the defensive player that represents the qualities embodied by Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott. He also won the CBS Sports National Defensive Player of the Year. He was a unanimous Consensus All-American, earning the distinction from Walter Camp, AP, FWAA, Sporting News, and AFCA. 


In the 2016 NFL Draft, Nassib was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the third round and played for them as a rookie before becoming a starter in 2017. Nassib was waived by the Browns in 2018 and was claimed off waiver by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he set career highs in both sacks and tackles for loss in 2018, playing two seasons with the Buccaneers, starting 17 games and totaling 12.5 sacks.


In March 2020, Nassib signed a three-year, $25 million contract with the Las Vegas Raiders, where he recorded his first career interception in the 2020 season against the Denver Broncos. In the Raiders' 2021 season opener against Baltimore, Nassib strip-sacked Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, which led to the winning touchdown in a 33-27 victory. By playing in the game, he became the first openly gay player in NFL history to play in a game. During Pride Month in June 2021, Nassib publicly came out as gay in a statement on his Instagram account, becoming the first active NFL player to do so. He pledged to donate $100,000 to The Trevor Project, an organization dedicated to crisis intervention and suicide prevention among LGBTQ youth. Nassib received public support from the NFL, Raiders, Penn State, and current and former athletes.


In March 2022, Nassib signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With his impressive track record and historic coming out as a gay NFL player, Carl Nassib inspires many both on and off the field through how he lives and plays.



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We’re always happy to pay tribute to the giants of the past whose shoulders we proudly stand on. With a tradition of recognizing and honoring the accomplishments of the brightest and best from our industry, we are happy to present the past winners below. If you’d like more information, feel free to get in touch.

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