Clark a well-deserving finalist

PHOTO GALLERY: Cleats for a Cure

Steelers' safety Ryan Clark was one of three finalists for the 2014 Bart Starr Award, presented by Athletes in Action.

The award, which Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers won, recognizes an NFL player for his outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community.

Clark is one of the Steelers emotional leaders on the field and in the locker room and a player who always takes younger guys under his wing, helping them get adjusted to life in the NFL.

Since being diagnosed with carrying the sickle cell trait in 2007, Clark has committed himself to raising awareness and helping to find a cure for the debilitating and painful disease. He hosts an annual "Cleats for a Cure" to benefit sickle cell disease research at the University of Pittsburgh Vascular Medicine Institute through Clark's Cure League. This year he also hosted "Beats and Blitzes" to help with the cause.

Clark also is a committed family man who is always attending sporting events and activities that his three children are involved in.

Clark was a finalist along with Rogers and Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen.

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