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Donald Driver



 Donald Driver

Donald Jerome Driver (born February 2, 1975) is an American football wide receiver and children’s author. He plays for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League. Driver was picked by the Packers in the 1999 NFL Draftin the seventh round (213th pick overall) out of Alcorn State University. Driver also won the 14th season of Dancing with the Stars.

Donald Driver attended Alcorn State University in Mississippi, where he lettered in both football and track & field. He finished his college football career there with 88 receptions for 1993 yards (19.69 Yards Per Catch). Driver is one of the most decorated track athletes in the NFL (he is an Olympic class high jumper, being able to jump 7 feet 6 inches[1] and could have qualified for the 2000 Summer Olympics team). He was a five-time “Athlete of the Year” in his conference for his track and football prowess.

Driver is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.[2]

[edit]Professional career

Donald Driver was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 7th round of the 1999 NFL Draft. As of 2012, he has spent his entire career with the Packers.

[edit]Green Bay Packers

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Donald Driver (lower right) lined up during a 2006 game against the Buffalo Bills.

Known as one of the most consistent wide receivers in the game,[3] Driver has been solid throughout his career, often posting 1,000 receiving yards in a season. Driver had the most catches in the NFL in the middle of the field in 2006. He set a career best for yards on November 12, 2006 when he caught six passes for 191 yards, including an 82-yard touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings.[4] Driver finished the 2006 season in the top five of the league in reception yardage with 1,295 yards.[5] He also recorded the most receptions in his career with 92 of them, earning a spot in the 2007 Pro Bowl.

On December 16, 2007 during a 33-14 victory over the St. Louis Rams, veteran Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre broke Dan Marino‘s all-time record mark of 61,361 career passing yards. The new record came on a seven-yard completion to Driver.[6] Driver was selected for the 2008 Pro Bowl.

In the NFC Championship game on January 20, 2008 against the New York Giants, Driver had the longest play in the playoffs of the Packers’ franchise history with a 90-yard TD catch from Favre.[7]

On October 18, 2009, Donald Driver became the Green Bay Packers‘ all-time leading receiver in catches, with 596. He went on to catch six more balls for 107 yards in a 26-0 home victory over the Detroit Lions. On September 8, 2011, Driver caught four balls for 41 yards in the opening game against the New Orleans Saints and was only one yard short of becoming the Packers’ all-time leader in receiving yards. Driver finally broke the Packers’ all-time receiving yardage record on September 18, 2011 against the Carolina Panthers after he caught a 10-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers, surpassing James Lofton.

On February 6, 2011, Driver was injured on his second reception of Super Bowl XLV. Out with an ankle sprain, Driver did return to the game in the end for the final plays as the Packers went on to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25. Driver finished Super Bowl XLV with two receptions for 28 yards. Despite losing playing time to the likes ofGreg Jennings and Jordy Nelson, Driver has been a veteran presence for a young Packers receiving corps led by reigning NFL MVP QB Aaron Rodgers.

[edit]Personal life

Since 2004, Driver has co-hosted the statewide Packer analysis television series Inside the Huddle with Donald Driver with WLUK-TV‘s sports director Drew Smith. Every Tuesday Donald talks football with John Mercure on Wisconsin’s Afternoon News with John Mercure on AM 620 WTMJ. He previously served as host to the annual Offense vs. Defense softball game featuring members of the Green Bay Packers.

As a well-known athlete in the state of Wisconsin, Driver has been featured in marketing campaigns for companies such as McDonald’sAirTran AirwaysKwik Trip,GoodwillJani-King and Time Warner Cable.

Throughout his career, Donald Driver has been very active off the field, making over 300 charitable appearances since his rookie season in 1999. In the spring of 2001, Donald and his wife Betina created the “Donald Driver Foundation”, which offers assistance to ill children with unmanageable hospital bills, provides housing for the homeless, and donates to a variety of local charities. In December 2003, the foundation put two previously homeless families in new, fully furnished homes.

Donald has also donated much of his time and efforts to such institutions as Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Goodwill Industries. In 2001, Driver was awarded the “Community Service Award” by the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce in recognition of his outstanding community involvement. In 2005 he was awarded the Ed Block Courage award by his Green Bay teammates.

Driver is also the author of three children’s books, Quickie Handles a LossQuickie Makes the Team, and Quickie Goes to the Big Game. The books are based on Driver’s bedtime storytelling to his three children, and are sold statewide in Wisconsin through bookstores, participating Goodwill locations, the Packer Pro Shop and on his website. He has stated that “Quickie” is a nickname his mother gave him because, when she would chase him around the house, she could never catch him.

On February 28, 2012 it was announced that Driver would join the cast of Dancing with the Stars for season 14. Driver and professional dance partner Peta Murgatroydwere declared winners on the season finale on May 22, 2012.

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