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Rodney Peete    

Former NFL Quarterback, Broadcaster & Autism Advocate

Peete was born in Mesa, Arizona. He attended Sahuaro High School in Tucson, Arizona, as a freshman, sophomore, and junior, and went to Shawnee Mission South High School in Overland Park, Kansas for his senior year. He was a three-year letterman in football, basketball, and baseball. In football, he was named the Arizona High School Player of the Year as a junior.

Peete was the first player ever from USC to win the Johnny Unitas Award as the nation's best senior quarterback. (He has since been joined by Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart). In that senior year, he also finished second to Barry Sanders in the voting for the Heisman Trophy. His USC teams would win both head-to-head matchups in the UCLA-USC rivalry against Troy Aikman's UCLA teams. The 1988 UCLA-USC game was notable in that Peete was stricken with measles the week before the game and had been to the hospital. He led USC to the 1988 and 1989 Rose Bowl games

Peete was also a star third baseman on USC's baseball team. He was named to the all-Pac-10 team. He was also drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays out of high school, and the Oakland Athletics and Detroit Tigers while in college

Peete did not achieve stardom in his professional career in the NFL, but played well enough to sustain his place in the league for 16 seasons, primarily as a backup. Selected by the Detroit Lions as the 141st pick in the 6th round of the 1989 NFL Draft, Peete was scheduled to start the season opener but sprained his knee in an exhibition game against the Los Angeles Rams, missing the first few games of the season. He would have been the first rookie quarterback to start for the Lions since 1968, when Greg Landry started.

His career was marked by injury. In his first five NFL seasons with the Lions, he would split time with Bob Gagliano, Erik Kramer, and former Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware. After spending time with the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, and Oakland Raiders, Peete's career appeared to be over until he became the starter for the Carolina Panthers in 2002, where he led the Panthers to an 7-9 record, an improvement over 1-15 the year before.

After a weak showing in the first half of 2003 season opening game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, head coach John Fox replaced him in the third quarter with Jake Delhomme, who then led the Panthers to a comeback victory. Delhomme subsequently replaced Peete as the Panthers' starting quarterback, leading the team to an 11-5 record that ultimately led to Super Bowl XXXVIII against the New England Patriots.

The Panthers released Peete to free agency in February 2005 for salary cap reasons, but he chose to retire instead of re-signing with a team for another season. Peete finished his career with the most NFL career passing yards among QBs from USC, a record that was eclipsed by Carson Palmer of the Oakland Raiders.

After his retirement from the NFL, Peete became one of the hosts the Fox Sports Net sports talk show The Best Damn Sports Show Period alongside John Salley, Chris Rose and Rob Dibble.

Peete has been married to actress Holly Robinson since 1995. The couple have four children: daughter Ryan and son Rodney Jr., twins born October 19, 1997, son Robinson, born August 11, 2002, and son Roman, born February 25, 2005. One of their twins, Rodney Jr., was diagnosed with autism at age three.

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