COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Ohio State offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. has been selected as the 11th recipient of the Armed Forces Merit Award for the work done by his foundation, The Paris Johnson Jr. Foundation.

The Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) was created in June 2012 “to honor an individual and/or a group within the realm of the sport of football.”

The Paris Johnson Jr. Foundation was selected from a list of 50 nominations (43 individuals and seven programs) as the 2022 recipient by a nine-person committee made up of FWAA members and  Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl officials.

“The foundation established by Paris and his mother [Monica Daniels] is very unique where a student athlete and his family are actively involved with helping military veterans,” said Brant Ringler, executive director of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. “While playing a key role on one of the nation’s top collegiate football teams, what Paris is accomplishing through his foundation is remarkable.  We hope at least one player on every college football program in the United States can follow the exemplary example that Paris has set.”

The Paris Johnson Jr. Foundation, established during his high school days in Cincinnati, has raised more than $10,000 to assist veterans, student-athletes and the homeless.

The foundation is dedicated to empowering and serving disabled veterans and disadvantaged student athletes with helpful resources that benefit them. 

“I’ve always been passionate about veterans,” Johnson said. “I have so much respect for veterans. It’s easy to say it, but words are just words. Our team tries to find a way to give back to those people who have arguably made the second greatest sacrifice on earth. Those people shouldn’t have to worry about the basic necessities when they come back home. They should be taken care of by the people that they protected.”