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Jason Taylor  

Legendary Football Player, ESPN Analyst

With a rare blend of determination, charisma and athleticism, Jason Taylor has taken the sports and entertainment worlds by storm and isn't looking back. After being drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 1997, this home-schooled "Pittsburgh kid" became the greatest pass rusher in the storied franchise's 45-year history, one of the most feared defenders in the National Football League and now an NFL studio analyst for ESPN. But above all else, it is Taylor's huge heart that moves one of pro football's most popular figures to give back through the Jason Taylor Foundation and resulted in his being named the 2007 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.

Away from the field, Jason has been equally as successful evidenced by his new role with ESPN and his second-place finish on the sixth season of Dancing with the Stars. People named him to its 2008 "100 Most Beautiful" list and US Weekly tabbed him one of "TV's New Top 10 Dream Men."

Prior to announcing his retirement from professional football in December of 2011, Taylor built a resume of seemingly endless athletic accomplishments. Following the 2006 season he was named the Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year, the highest honor bestowed on a defensive performer. Taylor was honored as the Dolphins' Most Valuable Player on four occasions, was the club's Leadership Award winner three times and was a three-time champion of the NFL's "Ultimate Defender" competition.

Over the course of his 13-year career with the Dolphins, Jason worked with numerous charitable organizations including the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, United Way, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, First Book, Habitat for Humanity and the Urban League. In the spring of 2002, he participated in two USO Tours during which he visited military bases and hospitals in Kuwait, Iraq and Germany. In 2004, feeling the desire to further extend his charitable arm, Jason and his wife, Katina, established the Jason Taylor Foundation in an effort to build a better future for the children of South Florida.

In 2007, the Jason Taylor Reading Room was proudly launched in Miramar. Currently, nearly 70 students, ages 12-18, participate four days per week for two hours per day in this multi-faceted, after-school program designed to offer a holistic approach to addressing the problem of illiteracy among inner-city youth. In addition, Holtz Children's Hospital officially renamed its recreational and educational hub in Taylor's honor, 41 middle-school students have been awarded college scholarships as a result of the Foundation's work with Take Stock in Children, hundreds of student-athletes have been treated to inspirational films as part of the "Big Screens-Big Dreams" program and more than 450 deserving children have each been given a $300 back-to-school shopping opportunity at Old Navy as part of the "Cool Gear for the School Year" program.

Just prior to Super Bowl XLII, Jason was honored with the 2007 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award for his community service activities as well as his excellence on the field. He has been recognized by The Sporting News on multiple occasions with their annual "Good Guys" award, received a prestigious JB Award following the 2006 season from James Brown, host of CBS Sports' "THE NFL TODAY," and in June of 2011, was presented with the Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Award, given annually to America's premier athletes who excel in their sport and have shown by their actions a desire to help others. Taylor was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.

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