GREEN BAY, Wis. (BVM) — When discussing great wide receivers in the NFL, Donald Driver is most likely not the first name that pops into one’s head. But the underrated receiver still makes the case for one of the best Packers in history.
Driver’s life before the Packers
Growing up, Donald Driver didn’t have an easy life. But in high school, Driver excelled at football, track and baseball. His speed in track and football would offer him many opportunities – opportunities that led him to Alcorn State.
At Alcorn State, Driver would have a promising career. In his first season (1996), Driver recorded only 12 catches for 249 yards and one touchdown. He’d slowly build up his career, and in his final season (1998), he’d post his best numbers while playing for the Braves.
In 1998 he caught a team-high 55 passes for 1,128 yards and 10 TDs in 11 games and he earned All-SWAC second-team offensive honors. Driver finished with 1,933 yards in his career and caught 88 total passes. He scored a total of 17 touchdowns.
Along with his collegiate football career, Driver’s track career attracted the attention of NFL scouts. In his senior year, Driver earned all-conference and jumped 2.30 meters in the high jump. He qualified for the Olympic trials in the high jump in 1996.
Driver entered the 1999 NFL Draft and fell to the Green Bay Packers in the seventh round. It would end up being another excellent draft pick by then-GM Ron Wolf.
It would be a handful of seasons before Driver would make an impact, but in 2002, Driver made a name for himself in Green Bay. Driver caught 70 passes for 1,064 yards and nine TDs. He would also make his first Pro Bowl.
From that moment on, Driver would then be a main focus of Green Bay’s offense. With Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers under center, Driver’s number would be consistent for years to come.
He’d have a long and esteemed career with the Packers. He didn’t play for another team and finished with 10,137 receiving yards and 743 total receptions, both of which are the most in franchise history. He also caught 61 TD passes which rank fourth in team history.
Following the 2012 season, Driver would call it a career. It was a well-accomplished 14-year career for Driver. He was even able to capture one Super Bowl ring in 2010.
Career earnings and net worth
Following his retirement, he would remain in the national spotlight. In 2014, he was invited to join the cast of the popular TV show “Dancing with the Stars.” Not only would the Driver participate in the show, but he would also win.
With his cleats now hanging, Driver has continued to play an essential role in Wisconsin. He has shown that by writing four children’s books about a boy named “Quickie,” which was Drivers’ nickname.
Along with his success as an author, his accomplishments on the football field are beginning to be recognized. In 2022, Driver will be one of seven players to be inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame.
He was also inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 2017.
However, Driver is continuing his most important job: being a father.
“Being a great dad. That’s what it’s about,” Driver told FOX 6 news. “For me, just enjoying myself. I’ve opened up two gyms now in Texas. I’m pretty busy trying to give kids an opportunity to have a better career than I did. I didn’t have all the resources that we have today, so if we can give those kids those opportunities, then they are going to go on to be great athletes but also great people.”
Driver was undoubtedly one of the most underrated WRs in NFL history. But now, he’s left the field and will be remembered as one of the best pass catchers in one of the game’s most storied franchises.