Deatrich Wise Jr. is the 20th recipient of the Ron Burton Community Service Award. The defensive lineman was honored as part of the New England Patriots Premiere on the Gillette Stadium field on Thursday night.
The award, named after the late Patriots running back and the franchise’s first ever draft pick, recognizes players for their charitable work and community impact. Wise Jr. is a well-deserving winner, having been involved with several organizations through the years.
“It means a lot to me, honestly,” Wise Jr. told CBS News Boston. “Not so much winning the award, but what I do in the community, what my family does in the community, and the lives that we touch. If you have the opportunity to change somebody’s life, inspire somebody, a mind or something, that’s all that matters.”
Wise Jr. is working with Big Brothers, Big Sisters and also runs an annual Thanksgiving and Christmas drive. He organizes a Block Party in Mattapan each year, celebrating local organizations business, and furthermore is an active participant in the Big Man Camp aimed at helping fellow defensive lineman develop not just their techniques but character as well.
Additionally, he is running the Wise Up & Co. Foundation with his brothers, Daniel and Solomon.
“Deatrich has an infectious laugh, an engaging personality and a generous heart. Those are the characteristics our team sees every day and are the same qualities he shows when he is out in the community,” said Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
“Deatrich started the Wise Up & Co. Foundation with his brothers, Daniel and Solomon, to leverage their names off the field with the aim to have a positive impact in the community. Deatrich has been a pillar in the community by supporting organizations that share the same mission, to assist youth, fight hunger and celebrate individuality.”
Wise Jr. originally joined the Patriots as a fourth-round draft pick out of Arkansas in 2017. One of only four players selected by the team that year, he has developed into a valuable member of New England’s defensive line.
All in all, the 28-year-old has appeared in 78 regular season games and six postseason contests since entering the league. He registered 19 sacks, scored a touchdown, and has won a Super Bowl ring
Now, Wise Jr. can add the Ron Burton Community Service Award to his résumé. Its 20th winner, he is following the footsteps of Lawrence Guy (2021), Kyle Van Noy (2019), Joe Cardona (2018), Jordan Richards (2017), Rob Gronkowski (2016), Nate Solder (2015), Devin McCourty (2014), Matthew Slater (2013), Zoltan Mesko (2012), Jerod Mayo (2011), Vince Wilfork (2010), Kevin Faulk (2009), Larry Izzo (2008), Ty Warren (2007), Jarvis Green (2006), Matt Light (2005), Troy Brown (2004) and Joe Andruzzi (2003).