The NFL today announced the NFL Legends Youth Advisory Committee to assist and guide efforts to preserve and grow youth & high school football through peer-to-peer engagement.
NFL Legends MARK BRUNELL, TRENT DILFER, MAURICE JONES-DREW, WILLIE McGINEST, JORDAN PALMER, CHAD PENNINGTON, MICHAEL ROBINSON, DEION SANDERS and BOBBY TAYLOR will generate inspiring conversations with youth and high school football communities about the values learned from playing football.
“These NFL Legends are dedicated to the love of the game, the values it transfers to life, and to serving communities by sharing their experience and knowledge with parents, coaches and players,” said TROY VINCENT, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations. “They are champions of growing youth and high school football – stressing values, playing technique and player protection.”
At Play Football Draft High School Day in Nashville TN., the committee led breakout sessions for 200 high school student-athletes to discuss important values on and off the field, the role of athletes in the community and career opportunities in the sports industry.
Participating high schools in the Nashville area included Fairview High School, Gallatin High School, Hunters Lane High School, Oakland High School, Overton High School, Ravenwood High School, Stratford High School and Whites Creek High School.
MARK BRUNELL: Brunell enjoyed a 19-year NFL playing experience, highlighted by his nine seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars where he was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and holds the franchise record for passing yards, touchdown passes and 300-yard games. He also played for the Green Bay Packers, Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints and New York Jets and was a member of New Orleans’ Super Bowl XLIV winning team. Brunell remains active in the football community, currently serving as the head coach for the Episcopal School of Jacksonville.
TRENT DILFER: A native of California, Dilfer was the sixth overall pick in the 1994 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A Pro Bowler in 1997, Dilfer played 14 seasons and was the winning quarterback in Super Bowl XXXV with the Baltimore Ravens. He then became an analyst for NFL Network and ESPN. He is currently the head coach of Lipscomb Academy in Nashville, Tennessee.
MAURICE JONES-DREW: Jones-Drew, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ second-round selection and 60th overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, was a three-time Pro Bowl running back. In 2009, he established the Maurice Jones-Drew Foundation to assist youth organizations. While playing, he routinely hosted football camps for youth in Jacksonville and in his hometown of Antioch, California. Jones-Drew became an analyst for NFL Network and is currently a color analyst for the Los Angeles Rams.
WILLIE McGINEST: A two-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time Super Bowl champion, McGinest was a vital member of the New England Patriots dynasty of the early 2000s. His 15-year NFL playing experience was highlighted by his 12 seasons with New England, where he recorded an NFL-record 16 postseason sacks, including a single-game playoff record 4.5 sacks in the Patriots’ 2005 AFC Wild Card game. McGinest, who finished with the Cleveland Browns, currently serves as an analyst for the NFL Network. McGinest is the founder of the Willie McGinest Freedom School, a non-profit foundation that provides social and cultural enrichment for at-risk youth.
JORDAN PALMER: Palmer was selected in the sixth round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. While at the University of Texas at El Paso, Palmer threw for 11,084 yards with 88 touchdowns, both ranking second on the school’s all-time list. He spent time with four NFL teams (Cincinnati Bengals, 2008-10; Jacksonville Jaguars, 2012; Chicago Bears, 2013; Buffalo Bills, 2014; Tennessee Titans, 2014). Thereafter, Jordan began working as a quarterbacks coach. Prior to the 2018 NFL Draft, he mentored first-round picks Sam Darnold (New York Jets) and Josh Allen (Buffalo Bills).
CHAD PENNINGTON: A first-round draft pick of the New York Jets in 2000, Pennington enjoyed an 11-year NFL playing experience with the Jets and Miami Dolphins. The Marshall University graduate is the only player in league history to win the AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award twice, doing so in 2006 and 2008, when he also finished second in MVP voting. Pennington is the Co-Executive Director of the NFL Legends Community and created the 1st and 10 Foundation in 2003, which works to help build stronger communities and improve quality of life. Pennington currently serves as the Director of Football at the Sayre School in Lexington, KY, where he has assisted in reviving a high school football program that had been dormant since 1976. Pennington has also served in youth and middle school football as both a coach and administrator.
MICHAEL ROBINSON: Robinson was the 100th overall selection in the 2006 NFL Drafted by the San Francisco 49ers. Robinson, a Penn State graduate, was the first Nittany Lion to throw for over 2,000 yards and rush for over 500 yards in the same season. He wrapped up his eight-years in the NFL playing for the San Francisco 49ers (2006-09) and Seattle Seahawks (2010-13). Robinson was a 2011 Pro Bowler and Super Bowl Champion with the Seattle Seahawks after they defeated the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. Robinson became an analyst for NFL Network. In 2010, he founded Excel to Excellence, a charity that encourages youth to excel in school and society.
DEION SANDERS: Recognized as one of the most prolific defensive players in NFL history, Deion Sanders was selected fifth overall by the Atlanta Falcons in the 1989 NFL Draft. During his 14-years in the NFL, Sanders played for the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens. He was recognized as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1994 and is the all-time leader with 19 defensive and return touchdowns. Sanders was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011, selected to the Pro Bowl eight times and is a two-time Super Bowl Champion. After football, Sanders pursued a career in broadcasting, where he is currently an analyst for CBS Sports and NFL Network. He also currently serves as the offensive coordinator at Trinity Christian-Cedar Hill High School, where his sons attend.
BOBBY TAYLOR: Bobby Taylor was a second-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1995 NFL Draft. A Texas native, Taylor was the first player in Longview (Texas) High School history to have his jersey retired. In 2012, he was inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame. Taylor enjoyed 10 years with the Eagles (1995-2003) and the Seattle Seahawks (2004). For the last nine years, Taylor has hosted the Fun Camp (Fundamentals of Football) alongside former Eagles teammate N.D. Kalu in Houston, TX, where they have coached thousands of kids ages 6-16. In 2013, Taylor started the BT Defensive Backs Skills & Athlete Training operated at Zoe’s Sports Performance in Richmond, TX.
About Play Football: Play Football is a year-round initiative celebrating youth and high school football. Play Football works to shape the football experience, advocates for player protection, promotes football values and connects football communities. For more information, featured football stories, best practices and resources aimed to create a positive playing experience, please visit PlayFootball.com or follow @NFLPlayFootball. Join the conversation on social media using #LetsPlayFootball.