Throughout Dancing with the Stars, several athletes have participated in the tough competition. Rashad Jennings didn’t only shine on the NFL field but also showcased his groovy dance talents on the DWTS stage. However, he isn’t the only NFL player to win the dancing competition. Here are four other pro football players who took home the Mirrorball Trophy.
Rashad Jennings won ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Season 24
Rashad Jennings arrives at ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars: Athletes” Season 26 show on May 7, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. | Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images
Running back Rashad Jennings joined DWTS Season 24, paired with pro dancer Emma Slater. Host Erin Andrews revealed that the athlete broke a record for the most time spent on rehearsals (362 hours, to be exact).
“I push myself so hard because working hard is all I know,” the pro athlete said. He and Slater were crowned the season 24 winners, taking home the coveted Mirrorball Trophy. Jennings’ win made him the fourth NFL player to win the competition.
Jennings has maintained close ties with DWTS appearing in other seasons and serving as a guest judge on season 26. He also coaches the Fan Controlled Football team Kingpins.
Donald Driver won ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Season 14
Donald Driver joined the competition in 2012, partnering with pro dancer Peta Murgatroyd. His high energy and intense athleticism earned him praise from the judges. But he didn’t achieve a perfect score until he and his partner did a freestyle which impressed the judges.
Driver and Murgatroyd were able to fend off stiff competition from actor William Levy and pro Katherine Jenkins, who always maintained high scores, to win the competition. The athlete and his dance partner were declared the winners of season 14 of DWTS and took home the Mirrorball Trophy.
Driver retired from professional football in 2013 and was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 2017. The former NFL star runs a nonprofit named after him and also has several business ventures.
Hines Ward won ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Season 12
Hines Ward and his dance partner Kym Johnson competed in the 12th season of DWTS. During the competition, Johnson had to be rushed to the hospital following a scary neck injury. Still, the two persevered, and Johnson and the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver ended up winning the Mirrorball Trophy that season.
Ward had a rough time after his DWTS appearance, as he was arrested for driving under the influence in July 2011. The charge was dropped after the athlete struck a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to reckless driving. Ward announced his retirement a year later.
The star managed to pivot into acting, appearing in the Christian Bale-led film The Dark Knight rises as a member of the fictional Gotham Rogues football team. He also appeared in Food Network’s Rachael Vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off and played a walker in the ninth episode of the third season of AMC’s The Walking Dead.
Emmitt Smith won ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Season 3
Before Jennings, Driver, and Ward, Emmitt Smith joined the cast of season 3 of DWTS in 2006, paired with Cheryl Burke. The pair received praise for their effortlessness and charm, and he became the first NFL player to win the Mirrorball Trophy. Smith had announced his retirement the year before after serving as a running back in the league for 15 seasons.
The former NFL player has gone on to achieve many other impressive feats in his life. He covered football for ESPN, co-founded and chairs a real estate company known as ESmith Legacy, Inc., and co-founded a nonprofit with his wife, Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities.
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