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Jared Gaither (born March 18, 1986 in White Plains, Marylandmarker) is an American football offensive tackle who currently plays for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League. He was originally drafted by the Ravens in the fifth round of the 2007 Supplemental Draft. He played collegiately at The University of Marylandmarker.

High school career

Gaither played basketball for his first three years of high school at Eleanor Roosevelt High School before playing football in his senior year. He originally verbally committed to the University of South Carolina Basketball team, but later changed to football. He played defensive tackle and tight end. He recorded 89 tackles, 9 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 4 passes deflected.

College career

As a true freshman at the University of Maryland in 2005, Gaither played in all 11 games and started the last 8. He was named a third team Freshman All-American by College Football News and honorable mention by The Sporting News. He allowed no sack in 583 snaps played (all at left tackle) and committed 2 penalties.

As a sophomore, Jared played in twelve games and helped the Terps offensive line allow just 19 sacks all season. He was a member of the 2006 preseason watch list for the Outland Trophy, a consensus preseason All-ACC choice, and ranked No. 7 nationally among offensive tackles by The Sporting News.

Professional career

Gaither did not participate in 2007 spring practices at Maryland because of academic problems. On June 25, Terps coach Ralph Friedgen told reporters that Gaither's grades failed to meet his expectations, that he would not be able to play in 2007 and he would be eligible to return in 2008. Instead, Gaither declared for the NFL's supplemental draft and on July 12 was taken by the Baltimore Ravens in the fifth round. Gaither is expected to be the heir to Jonathan Ogden's starting left tackle role. Jared, at 6'9, is the tallest player in the NFL.

During the start of off-season camps for the 2008-2009 NFL season, Cam Cameron declared Jared would be the starting left tackle. Despite an early ankle injury during the beginning of training camp, Jared has played surprisingly well and is a big reason for the improved offensive line of the Baltimore Ravens.

On October 4, 2009, he suffered a head injury in a game vs. the New England Patriots and was sent to the hospital. He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospitalmarker, and had movement in his arms and legs. In addition, x-rays on his neck and shoulder were negative.

Personal

He has advocated for the passage of the FIT Kids Act, federal legislation that would require school districts to report on students' physical activity and to give youngsters health and nutritional information.

Notes and references

  1. NFL Players Promoted Increased Physical Education ESPN, March 19, 2009


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