by Caroline Gabsewics
Donovin Darius is not just a football player for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He has more jobs than just being the best safety he can be every weekend. He is a husband, a father of four, a student working on his MBA and works very hard to give back to the community.
Darius is in his ninth season with the Jaguars. He was a first round draft pick in 1998 out of Syracuse and has been with the Jaguars ever since. Darius, originally from Camden, N.J., was a free safety at Syracuse before coming to play for the Jaguars.
“My talent is a gift from God,” said Darius. “He didn’t bless me to be strong and quick, but he gave me a work ethic and humility.”
At 31, Darius still loves playing football because he knows he can always improve his game.
“I play for competition against myself,” he said. “Working to get better drives me and keeps me hungry.”
Playing on the biggest stage there is in pro sports as a football player in the National Football League gives Darius other opportunities outside of football. Darius hosts a free one-day football camp for kids to not only teach them about the sport but also about life skills — how to deal with day-to-day conflicts in life, leadership, and motivational skills.
“I use the platform the NFL provides me to do these kinds of things,” he said.
When asked what he would want to do if he wasn’t a football player, Darius said he would be a consultant to serve kids and help them reach their full potential.
“I use the NFL to my advantage to help out and give back to the community,” he said.
Outside of practice and games, Darius said his three daughters and son keep him busy. His daughters are in gymnastics and soccer and his son plays basketball.
“It can be very time consuming,” he said of being a father. “But I have a wonderful wife and she has helped build a great home.”
Darius also enjoys bowling and playing golf. Darius said he isn’t better at one, but above average at both sports. He also does a little video editing and recording and makes highlight tapes.
Between football, raising a family and finding time for himself, Darius is also taking classes at Jacksonville University. He has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and he is currently working on an MBA in business administration.
So how does he balance everything?
“After being in the NFL for nine years you learn time management and you learn how to balance your time,” he said. “When I am on the field, I don’t let anything interfere with that and when I am at home I don’t let anything interfere with my time at home.”
Did you know?
Favorite stadium to play in besides Alltel Stadium: Pittsburgh’s old Three Rivers Stadium
Biggest rival: Indianapolis Colts
Favorite team to play against: Pittsburgh Steelers
Nickname: Double D
Most memorable game: In 2004 he had two interceptions against the Oakland Raiders.
Game to forget: “You always want to surround yourself with positive thoughts,” he said. “You learn from losing, but you want to forget the losses because losing hurts.”
Favorite movie: “Coming To America.”
Favorite music: classical, gospel or jazz.