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Roman Harper named New Orleans Saints 2016 Man of the Year
from Staff Reports - NEWS
December 30, 2016 -

( — Roman Harper is a leader for the Saints on and off the field. Entering 2016, his 18 career sacks rank first among active defensive backs and tied for ninth all-time. Harper has played in 140 career regular season games with 136 starts with career totals of 873 tackles (625 solo), 18 sacks, 11 interception, 68 passes defensed, 13 forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and 39 special teams stops. No current Saint has matched the 743 stops he has posted in a Black and Gold uniform.

Roman Harper has been deemed a fellow New Orleanian since the moment he was drafted to the Saints and the natives wasted no time claiming him as one of their own. With his signature hair and infectious smile, he quickly became a familiar face in the Gulf South community and has participated in every type of Saints community/youth initiative (with great frequency) since his rookie year. His genuine rapport with fans makes them feel a personal connection as if he were a member of their own family; a notion that is incredibly appreciated by any true New Orleanian.

There was an especially profound respect for Harper by New Orleanians, as he spearheaded efforts of the United Way's Hope for the Holidays initiative, which focused on re-building the homes of residents affected by the Hurricanes Katrina & Rita in New Orleans and its surrounding areas, through efforts of his foundation, Harper's Hope 4*1 Foundation.

Harper's foundation has continued to service individuals in the Gulf South and Charlotte areas. It is dedicated to preparing today's youth for tomorrow's challenges through various educational and extracurricular activities since its inception. Part of its mission is to support programs that promote reading in younger children.

Since 2009, Harper launched #ReadingwithRoman, an incentive-based reading program for students in grades Kindergarten-9thgrade. He also hosts annual, free football camps and kids days. Another of his major endeavors include a celebrity waiter dinner, to raise funds that will support his other charitable programs including 41 days of Christmas and Kleats for Kids. His new program, Mini Teacher Grants, will provide many of the necessary items for teachers' classrooms that are sometimes a struggle for them to purchase. Harper's most recent activity was his Substitute Teacher for the Day initiative, where he taught Psychology, Algebra, English, Industrial Technology, and Sociology. He feels that an individual, who gives of his time, makes the greatest impact of a child's life.

As an Ed Block Courage Award recipient, Harper's efforts on the field have been just as impactful, being a critical component in the Saints' first Super Bowl winning season in 2009, is one of the NFL's most physical defensive backs, and the only Safety in team history selected to two Pro Bowls. | © 2014 | All Rights Reserved
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