Who Is Aaron Rodgers?
Aaron Rodgers is an American football player who is currently the starting quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. He played football in college for the University of California at Berkeley, where he was a star player for two years before being drafted by the Packers in 2005. Named Green Bay's starting quarterback in 2008, Rodgers went on to lead his team to victory in Super Bowl XLV and win two MVP awards, setting numerous NFL passing records along the way.
Aaron Charles Rodgers was born in Chico, California, on December 2, 1983. Rodgers was the second of Ed and Darla Rodgers' three sons. Football was an early love for Rodgers, who at the age of two, was able to sit silently and watch an entire NFL game. At the age of five, he could pick out different football formations on the television screen and throw a football through a hanging tire.
Also a talented baseball player, Rodgers starred for his Raleigh Hills Little League team when the family lived in Beaverton, Oregon, in the mid-1990s. After returning to California, Rodgers set a variety of school passing records as quarterback for Pleasant Valley High School. However, coming from a small town like Chico hurt his college prospects. Unable to land a Division I scholarship, he enrolled at Butte College, a junior college in nearby Oroville, California, in 2002.
During his one year at Butte, Rodgers led the school to a 10-1 record and a No. 2 national ranking. He was also named his conference's MVP. His success with the program caught the eye of scouts at the University of California at Berkeley, and the following season, Rodgers enrolled at the college and became the team's starter.
During his two years at Berkeley, Rodgers led a vaunted offense that propelled him to break a number of school records and helped make him a Heisman finalist in 2004. Still, even while garnering praise for his passing attack, Rodgers—who bypassed his final year at Berkeley to enter the 2005 NFL draft and was one of college football's top prospects—saw his fortunes sink on draft night. Despite being considered a top 10—maybe even top five—pick, he lasted until the 24th selection of the first round, when the Green Bay Packers selected him.
Joining the NFL's Green Bay Packers
For Rodgers, coming to Green Bay meant sitting and watching the team's starting quarterback, Brett Favre, an ironman of a football player who started every game for the Packers since 1992.
Finally, in 2008, after Green Bay elected not to re-sign the then 38-year-old Favre, Rodgers got his chance to quarterback Green Bay as a starter. Rodgers did not waver, manning QB duties for all 16 regular season games while throwing for 4,038 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Super Bowl Champion and MVP
Rodgers endeared himself to Green Bay fans and proved he was one of the game's elite quarterbacks when he steered the Packers to victory in Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011. On the big stage, Rodgers earned MVP honors, completing 24 of 39 passes for 304 yards and notching three touchdowns.
Rodgers maintained his spot among football's top performers in succeeding seasons. When he notched his 100th regular-season start in December 2014, he ranked first in NFL history in career touchdown passes, yards and passer rating among all quarterbacks at that milestone point of their careers. At the end of the season, he was voted NFL MVP for the second time.
Later NFL Career
Rodgers continued to put up elite numbers, leading the NFL with 40 touchdown passes in 2016. However, his 2017 season was derailed by a fractured collarbone in week 6, and his return late in the year wasn't enough to push Green Bay back to the playoffs.
The Packers felt comfortable enough to offer their 35-year-old quarterback a lucrative contract extension before the start of the 2018 season, and Rodgers responded with vintage play, throwing an impressive 25 touchdowns against just two interceptions. However, the Packers sputtered to their worst record since his first year as a starter, finishing 6-9-1.
Rodgers delivered similar production in 2019, and this time the Packers surged to the top of their division with a 13-3 record, before they were overwhelmed by the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
Rodgers dated actress Olivia Munn from 2014 to 2017. In early 2018, he was revealed to be dating race-car driver Danica Patrick. In July 2020, Patrick's rep confirmed the pair was "no longer together."
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