Darren Sharper is a former professional safety for the NFL.
Sharper attended the College of William and Mary, where he played for the William & Mary Tribe football team. In high school, Sharper had primarily played quarterback, and he wanted to be a quarterback at William & Mary as well until his college coach, Jimmye Laycock, told Sharper that he had the potential to succeed in the NFL as a defensive back. During Darren’s college career, he earned All-America honors twice and was named first-team All-Yankee Conference selection three times. As a senior, he was the Yankee Conference Defensive Player of the Year after intercepting 10 passes. Sharper finished his college career with a school record 24 career interceptions and a I-AA record 468 career interception return yards. He also set the school record with 1,037 career punt return yards.
Sharper was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the second round of the 1997 NFL Draft. During his rookie season, Darren played in 14 games, finishing with 19 tackles and two interceptions, both of which he returned for touchdowns. The first of which was a 50-yard return in week 10 to help the Packers to a 20–10 victory over the Detroit Lions. His play helped Green Bay reach Super Bowl XXXII which they lost to the Denver Broncos by a score of 31–24. Sharper’s breakout season was in 2000. Darren finished the season with 92 tackles and a league leading nine interceptions. Sharper signed with the Minnesota Vikings on March 12, 2005. Sharper made an immediate impact for the Vikings, intercepting nine passes for a league high 276 interception yards and two defensive touchdowns in only 14 games. His great play earned him a trip to his third Pro Bowl. Sharper made the Pro Bowl for the fourth time in 2007, after totaling 63 tackles and four interceptions. On September 16, 2007, Sharper became the 22nd player in NFL history to intercept 50 passes.
Sharper signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints on March 18, 2009. Sharper shares an NFL record with Deion Sanders for most games with 50+ interception return yards (9) and owns the NFL record for most games with 75+ interception return yards (6). For his performance in 2009, Sharper was selected for his fifth Pro Bowl and as a first team All-Pro. On February 7, 2010, Sharper earned his first Super Bowl ring as the Saints defeated the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV by a score of 31–17. Sharper reportedly announced his retirement after a 14 year career. Darren finished with 63 career regular season interceptions, placing him sixth all time. He took 11 of them back for touchdowns, which ranks him third only to Hall of Famer Rod Woodson & Charles Woodson, with 12. Sharper’s 13 career defensive touchdowns (11 interception returns, 2 fumble returns) is tied for 1st in NFL history with Rod Woodson and Charles Woodson. Sharper is the only player to ever lead the NFL in interception return yards in 3 different seasons (2002, 2005, 2009). After retiring, Sharper worked briefly for WWL-TV as an analyst in August 2012 before leaving to take a position with the NFL Network.
How Darren Sharper Made His Money – Football
Estimated Net Worth: $8 Million
Birthday: November 3, 1975