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David Russell Duerson (born November 28 1960 in Muncie, Indianamarker) is a former American football safety in the National Football League who played for the Chicago Bears (1983-1989), the New York Giants (1990), and the Phoenix Cardinals (1991-1993).

Early life

Duerson played football, basketball, and baseball at Muncie Northside High School. He was given an opportunity to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers as a pitcher and outfielder in 1979, but declined. Duerson received many honors during his high school years, including the 1979 Indiana Mr. Football, and was part of the National Honor Society and The Musical Ambassadors All-American Band.

College career

Duerson played college football at the University of Notre Damemarker from 1979 to 1982. He graduated with honors, with a BA in Economics. He started all four years, and earned recognition as an All-American in 1981 and 1982. He was named as his team's MVP in 1982, and a Captain. Years after graduating, Duerson won the Notre Dame Monogram Club, which honors the school's most distinguished alumni. Until recently, he was a member of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees.

Professional career

Duerson was selected to four consecutive Pro Bowls from 1986-1989 in his career, and won two championship rings with the Bears (Super Bowl XX) and with the Giants (Super Bowl XXV). During the 1986 season, Duerson set an NFL record (later broken in 2005 by Adrian Wilson of the Arizona Cardinals) for most sacks in a season by a defensive back, with seven. He also intercepted six passes for 139 yards with a long return of 38 yards. At season's end, Duerson was named first team All-Pro by Pro Football Weekly, the Pro Football Writers Association and The Sporting News and second team All-Pro by AP. In 1987, Duerson was the recipient of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. In his 11 seasons, Duerson recorded 20 interceptions, which he returned for 226 yards, and 16 quarterback sacks. He also recovered five fumbles, returning them for 47 yards and a touchdown.

After football

He has been equally successful in business, as in sports. In Business, Duerson owned three McDonald's restaurants in Louisville, Kentuckymarker for six months, in late '94-April of '95, then moved to the supply-side, purchasing the majority interest in Brooks Sausage Company. The name was changed to Fair Oaks Farms, LLC and Duerson grew the company from $23M to over $63.5M in six years. Sold Fair Oaks to build a State-Of-The-Art meat production plant (Duerson Foods, LLC), in February 2002.

Duerson Foods, LLC opened its plant in August 2003, six months late, due to its most critical equipment company being late on delivery of key freezers, and design flaws. Duerson won a Federal Judgment in October 2004, in The Eastern District Of Wisconsin (Milwaukee), for $34.592M, against Advanced Freezer, N.A. The Netherlands. Duerson Foods customers included 40% of Burger King's Sausage, 50% of The Olive Garden's Italian Sausage, and direct manufacturing for The USDA's Commodity Beef Program, among others. 2006 revenues exceeded $22M. He sold the assets of the company in December 2006, due to ramifications of late startup creating cash flow challenges, which complicated the funding of future growth.

Personal

Duerson earned a Master's from Harvard Business School's Owner President Management Program (OPM30) in May 2001. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, Inc., Sigma Pi Phi fraternity, Inc., and is a 32nd Degree Mason in Hiram #14, PHA, Chicago, IL. He is a National Trustee for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and is a Trustee of The National Football League Player's Benefit Board (Fund is now in excess of $2.4B), and was lead plaintiff of one of 5 Class Action Law Suits that brought free agency to The NFL.

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