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LaVar Arrington

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File:LaVar Arrington 2010.jpg
Arrington in 2010.
No. 56, 55
Position: Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1978-06-30) June 30, 1978 (age 37)
Place of birth: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Career information
High school: Pittsburgh (PA) North Hills
College: Penn State
NFL draft: 2000 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career Template:If empty statistics
Tackles: 415
Quarterback sacks: 23.5
Interceptions: 3
Stats at
Stats at

LaVar RaShad Arrington (born June 20, 1978) is a former American football linebacker who played in the National Football League for seven seasons. He played college football at Penn State and was drafted by the Washington Redskins in the first round of the 2000 NFL Draft

Arrington was also a member of the New York Giants.

Early years

Arrington was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He played linebacker and running back at North Hills Senior High School in Pittsburgh. After his senior year, he was named the 1996 Parade National Player of the Year, the Bobby Dodd National Offensive Player of the Year, the Gatorade Player of the Year and USA Today Pennsylvania Player of the Year. He became the second player in Pennsylvania Class 4-A history to rush for more than 4,000 career yards, with 4,357 on 711 carries and 72 touchdowns. He played in the 1997 Big 33 Football Classic, the annual game between Pennsylvania and Ohio's best high school football players.[1] In basketball, he was recruited to play basketball for Georgetown, UMass, and North Carolina.[2]

Also a standout sprinter, Arrington was on the school's track & field team, where he recorded personal-best times of 10.85 seconds in the 100 meters and 23.14 seconds in the 200 meters. He also had top-jumps of 1.96 meters in the high jump and 6.76 meters in the long jump.[3]

He was inducted into the WPIAL Hall of Fame on June 24, 2011.[4]

College career

While attending Penn State University, Arrington played for coach Joe Paterno's Penn State Nittany Lions football team from 1997 to 1999. His signature play with the Nittany Lions came during a game against Illinois. On a fourth and short yardage play, Arrington anticipated the snap count and jumped over the offensive line to tackle the runner in the backfield. The play became known as "The LaVar Leap".[5] Arrington's tendency for spectacular plays and his cover appearance on the Sports Illustrated 1999 College Football Preview Issue led many to mention him as a possible Heisman Trophy candidate.[6] Arrington received several honors during his college career, including the Chuck Bednarik Award, Dick Butkus Award, and Lambert Award in 1999. He was an All-Big-Ten selection, a first-team All-American in 1998, and a consensus first-team All-American in 1999.[7] Arrington finished ninth in balloting for the 1999 Heisman Trophy. He left Penn State after his junior season to enter the NFL draft.

On December 11, 2014 the Big Ten Network included Arrington on "The Mount Rushmore of Penn State Football", as chosen by online fan voting. Arrington was joined in the honor by John Cappelletti, Jack Ham, and Shane Conlan.

Professional career

Washington Redskins

The Washington Redskins chose Arrington with the second overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, and he played for the Redskins from 2000 to 2005. After four seasons with the Redskins, Arrington signed an eight-year, $68 million contract extension. His agent Carl Poston was accused of neglecting to inspect the final revision of the contract, in which $6.5 million worth of bonuses contained in earlier drafts were missing. Poston was eventually suspended for two years by the National Football League Players' Association (NFLPA) over the mishandling of Arrington's contract;[8] Arrington did not support the NFLPA's decision.[9] Arrington's final two seasons with the Redskins were marred by knee injuries and conflicts with coaches Joe Gibbs and Gregg Williams. In March 2006 Arrington paid the Redskins $4.4 million to buy his free agency.[9]

New York Giants

In April 2006, Arrington agreed to a seven-year, $49 million contract with the New York Giants. He was injured in week 7 against the Dallas Cowboys and missed the rest of the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon. On February 12, 2007, he was released by the New York Giants.[10]


Arrington's agent Kevin Poston initially stated that his client intended to play during the 2007 NFL season, saying "things could change at some point, but as of this moment LaVar is focused on playing this season."[11] A September 23, 2007, New York Daily News article confirmed his retirement.[12]

Career statistics

Year Team G Tackles Sacks INTs INTTDs FFums DefTDs PD
2000 Washington 16 55 4.0 0 0 0 0 4
2001 Washington 14 99 0.5 3 1 0 1 9
2002 Washington 16 95 11 0 0 4 1 8
2003 Washington 16 90 6 0 0 6 0 11
2004 Washington 4 15 1 0 0 0 0 2
2005 Washington 12 47 0 1 0 0 0 1
2006 NY Giants 6 14 1 0 0 0 0 3
Totals 84 415 23.5 4 1 10 2 38

After football

Broadcasting career

Arrington started working on pregame and postgame shows for Comcast SportsNet before the Redskins' 2007 season week 3 loss to the Giants. He became a permanent member of the Comcast team on October 14 for the Green Bay Packers game.

He returned to Comcast SportsNet's on-air lineup for week 3 of the 2008 NFL season, appearing on the pregame and postgame shows, and on Washington Post Live. Comcast also featured a segment entitled “Life on the Sidelines with LaVar Arrington” during its Redskins Kickoff program on game days.[13]

Arrington did a weekday afternoon radio talk show in Washington, DC with DJ Chad Dukes, titled "The LaVar Arrington Show with Chad Dukes." The inaugural show aired on July 20, 2009, on 106.7 The Fan. He also hosts his own weekly sports show titled "SportsWeek with Lavar Arrington" on local Washington television station DC50.[14]


On July 10, 2014, it was announced that Arrington would be joining NFL Network's “NFL AM” program.[15]


Arrington formed a sports agency, Leap Management, LLC, in 2008. The firm's first clients were 2009 NFL Draft prospects Aaron Maybin, Derrick Williams, Josh Gaines, and Tyrell Sales.[16]


LaVar Arrington was named after LeVar Burton, following the actor's portrayal of Kunta Kinte in the 1977 television miniseries Roots.[17] He has an older brother, Michael, who played basketball at Slippery Rock University and a younger brother, Eric. His father, Michael, became an ordained minister after he retired from the military. His mother, Carolyn, is a special education teacher in the Pittsburgh public school system.[2] Arrington lives in Anne Arundel County, Maryland with his wife Trishia. The couple have three children.[18]

Arrington opened a restaurant named The Sideline in Landover, Maryland on January 30, 2008.[19] In March 2009 one man was killed and six other people were injured after an argument ended in a burst of gunfire just outside the main entrance to the restaurant. The restaurant went bankrupt and closed in December 2009.[20]

Arrington appeared in several television commercials for Eastern Motors with fellow athletes Carmelo Anthony, Clinton Portis, Sean Taylor, and Antawn Jamison.[21] He appeared on a 2002 episode of the TLC program While You Were Out, where he helped redesign a room for his brother, Michael. Arrington served as a judge for ESPN's Dream Job.

Motorcycle accident

On June 18, 2007, Arrington was involved in a serious motorcycle accident in suburban Maryland. He was on the Route 50 off-ramp of the Capital Beltway when he lost control of his 2007 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14, striking a guardrail. Arrington was rushed to Prince George's Medical Center, in serious but stable condition.[22] Arrington sustained a broken right forearm, broken lower vertebrae, and deep cuts to his leg. He was issued two citations, one for failure to control speed to avoid a collision, the other for operating a vehicle without a class license that contributed to a crash.


  1. ^ "NFL Alumni". Big33 website. Archived from the original on 2007-12-06. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  2. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Trio of Nittany Lions Set For Induction into WPIAL Hall of Fame". Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics. 2011-06-22. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  5. ^ Schwab, Frank (May 7, 2013). "Doc Five: Most memorable hits in college football – No. 4, The LaVar Leap". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  6. ^ Ambrogi, Mark (1999-10-20). "Big Ten weaklings fighting back". CNN Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  7. ^ 2011 NCAA Football Records Book, Award Winners, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Indianapolis, Indiana, p. 11 (2011). Retrieved June 23, 2012.
  8. ^ Mullen, Liz (2006-07-27). "NFLPA Suspends Carl Poston, Files New Disciplinary Complaint". SportsBusiness Journal. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  9. ^ a b "NFLPA suspends agent Poston for two years". Associated Press. 2006-07-28. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
  10. ^ "Giants release former Pro Bowler Arrington". ESPN (Associated Press). Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  11. ^ La Canfora, Jason. "Redskins Insider - LaVar Update". The Washington Post. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  12. ^ LaVar Arrington gives first interview since near-fatal crash
  13. ^ Plumb, Tierney (2008-09-19). "Former Washington Redskins find new positions". Washington Business Journal. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  14. ^ DC50, Sports, SportsWeek. Retrieved July 16, 2012.
  15. ^ Steinberg, Dan (July 10, 2014). "LaVar Arrington joining NFL Network". Retrieved 2014-07-27. 
  16. ^ "Leap Management Clients". Leap Management, LLC. Retrieved 2009-04-17. 
  17. ^ Hyman, Jordan (2006). Game of My Life: Penn State. Sports Publishing LLC. pp. 186–. ISBN 9781596700543. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  18. ^ Elfin, David (2007-09-24). "LaVar does guest shot at old digs". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2014-08-12. 
  19. ^ "Lavar Arrington’s Sideline Sports Bar – Finally Open in Largo, Md. at The Blvd.". PG Chic (Prince George's County, MD). 2008-02-02. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  20. ^ "Arrington's restaurant Sideline sidelined for good". The Washington Post. 2009-12-26. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  21. ^ "Redskins Surprisingly Effective Car Salesmen". Deadspin (Gawker Media). 2006-01-09. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 
  22. ^ "Arrington Injured in Motorcycle Accident". Washington Post. 2007-06-18. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 

External links