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Edward Nathan George, Jr. (born September 24, 1973) is a former American football running back in the National Football League. He played for the Tennessee Titans both in Tennessee and in Houston when the franchise was known as the Houston Oilers, and spent his final season with the Dallas Cowboys. He is best known for his career with the Titans and as a Heisman Trophy winner at Ohio State Universitymarker in 1995.

Early life

George was born in Philadelphiamarker, Pennsylvaniamarker. He attended Abington Senior High Schoolmarker until the 10th grade. Soon he transferred to Fork Union Military Academymarker. George made the decision to stay at Fork Union Military Academy for a fifth prep school year. Such choices are commonly made by high school football players hoping to improve their recruitment status with colleges, but for George it meant another year of vigorous military lifestyle. George went on to rush for 1,372 yards in his fifth season at FUMA, attracting the attention of several major colleges. He went on to attend college at Ohio State Universitymarker.

College career

As a freshman running back for the Buckeyes, George was an instant contributor. He scored 3 rushing touchdowns in a win over Syracuse Universitymarker. However, he suffered a major setback in a game against the University of Illinoismarker. In that game, George fumbled at Illinois' 4-yard line that was returned 96 yards for a touchdown. Later in the game, with Ohio State leading by 2 points in the final quarter, George fumbled again, this time on Illinois' 1-yard line. Illinois recovered the fumble and drove for the game winning touchdown.

Before the Illinois game, George had carried the ball 25 times and scored 5 touchdowns, but for the rest of the season, he had only 12 more rushing attempts and didn't score once. In the following season, George was used as the team's third string running back, behind Raymont Harris. He carried the ball only 42 times, mostly when Ohio State had a large lead late in games. However, as a junior, George became the team's starting running back and went on to rush for 1,442 yards and 12 touchdowns.

As a senior in the 1995 season, George rushed for a school record 1,927 yards and 24 touchdowns, an average of 152.2 yards per game. One of his best performances of the year was in a 45-26 win over the University of Notre Damemarker, where he rushed for 207 yards, his third 200 yard game of the season. He also rushed for a school-record 314 yards and scored 3 touchdowns in OSU's victory over Illinois. In the 3 years since committing his 2 fumbles in the Illinois game as a freshman, George had over 600 rushing attempts and fumbled only 6 times. Ohio State finished the season with an 10-2 record and George won the Heisman Trophy in the closest vote in the history of the award at the time, beating University of Nebraska's Tommie Frazier by 264 ballots. George lost his last two games as a Buckeye. Tim Biakabutuka showed him up by going off for a 313-yard rushing effort, which helped Michigan upset the previously-undefeated Buckeyes. Then the University of Tennessee Volunteers won 14-20 in the Florida Citrus Bowl. George's ineffectiveness was a key to the Vols victory. Following the season, he was the first-round draft selection of the Houston Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans). George left Ohio State second in school history in career rushing yards (3,768) and third in rushing touchdowns (44).

Professional career

George won the NFL Rookie of the Year award in 1996, and was the Oilers/Titans' starting tailback through 2003, never missing a start due to injury. He made the Pro Bowl four consecutive years (1997-2000), and assisted the Titans to a championship appearance in Super Bowl XXXIV, where they lost to the St. Louis Rams 23-16. George gained 391 combined rushing and receiving yards in the Titans' three playoff games that year and went on to rush for 95 yards, catch two passes for 35 yards, and score two touchdowns in the Super Bowl.

Numerous sports writers have suggested that a heavy workload was the primary factor in George's decline. In five of his eight seasons with the Titans, George carried the ball over 330 times. In 2003, George rushed for a near career low 3.3 yards per carry. George's decline in production along with numerous toe and ankle injuries were contributing factors in Titan's owner, Bud Adams decision to release him after George would not agree to a pay cut.

George signed a one-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys on July 23, 2004 for $1.5 million plus incentives that could have earned him more than the $4.25 million he would have made under his contract with the Titans, who released him on July 21, 2005 in part due to salary cap considerations. George only started 8 games for Dallas, rushing for 432 yards on 132 carries. He retired from the NFL before the 2005 season.

His career totals include 10,441 rushing yards, 268 receptions, 2,227 receiving yards, and 78 touchdowns (68 rushing and ten receiving).

Television and movie work

George has done numerous television work. He has hosted a video-game themed show (G4's Training Camp) and now hosts a pregame show with Jason Sehorn, Tim Brown, and Fox Sports Insider Jay Glazer.

In 1998, George appeared as a guest star on Nash Bridges as a football star named Leon Washington.

In 2006, Eddie helped a teen become Prom King at Westerville South High Schoolmarker in Westerville, Ohiomarker for an episode of the MTV show Made.

George served as a pre-game analyst for the 2007 BCS Championship Game on FOX, and is well known for handing out OSU hats and apparel to fellow analysts during the Buckeyes' 41–14 loss to the University of Florida. He could be seen cheering on the sidelines during most of the game.

Eddie and his wife Taj currently star in the TV One reality series I Married A Baller.

Eddie also made a credited cameo appearance in the movie Into the Sun starring Steven Seagal

Hosts a show on Big Ten Network called "The Quad"

Made an appearance on the reality show Survivor: Tocantins, on which his wife Taj was a contestant.

Personal life

George is married to Tamara "Taj" Johnson, a member of the R&B group SWV and contestant on Survivor: Tocantins. He has two sons, Eriq Michael George, from his marriage to Tamara, and Jaire "Jarry" David George, from a previous relationship. On October 1, 2006, George was appointed spokesperson for Tennessee's GetFitTN program by Gov. Phil Bredesen. The initiative is aimed at the prevention of Type 2 diabetes and the promotion of healthier, more active lifestyles. George's mother, Donna, had changed her schedule as a flight attendant (at the request of Eddie's agent, Lamont Smith) to be in San Antoniomarker for Eddie's signing of his first NFL contract on July 19, 1996. If she hadn't, she would have been aboard TWA Flight 800marker, which had crashed shortly after takeoff two days earlier. With partners, George has opened sports-theme restaurants in Nashville, Tennesseemarker (Eddie George Sports Grille) across the Cumberland River from LP Fieldmarker and in Columbus, Ohiomarker (Eddie George's Grille 27) near the Ohio State University campus. George is also a trained and licensed landscape architect, and a principal of The Edge Group, a firm of over 20 professionals. In 1995, George's Heisman Trophy was damaged when he put it through an X-ray machine at a New York airport. On Saturday, April 28, 2007, George ran the Country Music Half Marathon (ending just outside LP Field) in an unofficial time of 2:04:08. He wore race number 27 during the race, just as he wore number 27 during his college and NFL careers. George later stated that completing the race was tougher than playing in the NFL. In 2008, George campaigned for Senator Barack Obama's presidential bid. George is currently attending the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern Universitymarker, pursuing an MBA in the Executive MBA program in the class of 2009.

Career rushing statistics

Year Team Games Attempts Yards YPA TDs
1996 Houston Oilers 16 335 1,368 4.1 8
1997 Tennessee Oilers 16 357 1,399 3.9 6
1998 Tennessee Oilers 16 348 1,294 3.7 5
1999 Tennessee Titans 16 320 1,304 4.1 9
2000 Tennessee Titans 16 403 1,509 3.7 14
2001 Tennessee Titans 16 315 939 3.0 5
2002 Tennessee Titans 16 343 1,165 3.4 12
2003 Tennessee Titans 16 312 1,031 3.3 5
2004 Dallas Cowboys 14 132 432 3.3 4
Career 142 2865 10441 3.6 68


Further reading

Pennington, Bill. The Heisman, Great American Stories of the Men Who Won. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers P, 2004. ISBN 0-06-055471-1 pages 305-313.(1), (2), (3)

References

  1. http://www.profootballweekly.com/PFW/Features/Free+Agency/2004/arkush060104.htm
  2. texnews sports
  3. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/football/ncaa/12/12/smith.trophy.ap/index.html
  4. http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070429/SPORTS12/704290389/1027/RSS0201&theme=CMM
  5. Nick Timirao, Obama Looks to Score Big, The Wall Street Journal, February 27, 2008.


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