As one of the premier wide receivers in the National Football League, Donald Driver used his exceptional speed and hands to become one of the Green Bay Packers' most beloved and respected players. Born on Feb. 2, 1975 in Houston, TX, Driver earned the nickname "Quickie" from his parents, who grew tired of chasing him around the house. He was a four-sport letterman at Milby High School, excelling in track, football, basketball and baseball, while also performing well in the classroom. Despite his athlete prowess and drive to do well in school, Driver often lived hand-to-mouth, even living in a U-haul truck for a time after a collections agency confiscated his family's possessions. He sometimes spent holidays without his parents and on occasion slept in hotel rooms his mother purchased with food stamps. When he was 14, Driver moved in with his grandparents and began steering himself toward college, attending Alcorn State University, where he was a two-year starter, wracking up 88 receptions for 1,933 yards and 17 TDs, and earning a bachelor's degree in accounting as well. He entered the NFL draft in 1999 and was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 7th round, with whom he would go on to spend his entire professional career.
After spending his rookie season primarily on special teams, Driver emerged in 2000 to start all 16 games. By 2002, he was the Packers' go-to receiver and became one of the NFL's premier players. He went on to earn Pro Bowl selections in 2002, 2006-07, and 2011, while becoming the Packers' MVP in 2002 and a Super Bowl champion in 2011, when Green Bay defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25, though he was lost early in the game with an injury and never returned. Meanwhile, Driver had a busy life outside of football, starring as the host of the television show, "Inside the Huddle with Donald Driver" (WLUK, 2004- ) and appearing in commercials for McDonald's, Goodwill, and Time Warner Cable. Because of his rough upbringing, Driver was active in a number of charitable causes, forming the Donald Driver Foundation with his wife and college sweetheart, Betina, which assisted children with medical bills and provided housing for the homeless. He was instrumentally involved in the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and Goodwill Industries, earning the Community Service Award from the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce. Also off the field, he was the author of a series of children's books based on his childhood nickname, Quickie Makes the Team, Quickie Handles a Loss, and Quickie Goes to the Big Game. Meanwhile, he was announced as one of the competitors on season 14 of "Dancing with the Stars" (ABC, 2005- ).
By Shawn Dwyer