Rashad Jennings is a former New York Giants running back who is a successful athlete, TV talk and sports show personality, author, speaker and philanthropist. A faith-based and family-oriented man, Rashad overcame a drastic amount of adversity during his younger years to be where he is today and uses those experiences as motivation in all that he achieves.
Born and raised in Forest, Virginia, Rashad grew up an overweight, chubby child who had glasses, asthma and a 0.6 GPA. With the odds stacked against him, it was his unwavering dream to play in the NFL that inspired determination and focus within him. His trajectory was clear – to lead a better, impactful and healthy life – and he committed each and every day to making his dreams come true.
Although most known for his time with the Giants, Rashad was selected in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars where he spent four seasons before signing with the Oakland Raiders for a short stint. Eventually, in 2014, he signed a four-year contract with the Giants. After being ranked one of the top running backs in the league (2015), Rashad officially retired as a New York Giant in 2017.
After retiring, Rashad quickly transitioned to life off the field. In that same year, he joined the Season 24 cast of Dancing with the Stars and took home the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy. He went on to publish his first book in 2018 titled, The IF in Life: How To Get Off Life’s Sidelines and Become Your Best Self. The young adult memoir reached the New York Times Bestsellers list for June 2018. With the success of his first book, Rashad released his first children’s series, The Coin Slot Chronicles, in 2019 with the third book in the series to publish in February 2020.
Outside of being an author, Rashad has also dedicated time to passions such as public speaking, acting and TV/Sports talk show hosting. He was the 2016 Liberty University Commencement Speaker and the keynote speaker for the #MLK90 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial celebration at the Empire State Plaza in Albany, NY. Rashad has also appeared as a host/guest on a wide variety of shows such as Good Morning Football, Pickler & Ben, Catfish, Wendy Williams, MTV News and more.
As a philanthropist, Rashad created The Rashad Jennings Foundation, which educates, inspires and encourages youth everywhere through three main initiatives: The Reading Challenge, Mentorship and Camp 180. He realized a key reason his childhood dreams became a reality is because, in his youth, someone cared enough to inspire him through education, provide him with mentorship for success, and encourage health and fitness as a way of life. These real-life experiences remain the key principles of the foundation today.
Rashad once said, “If I’m just known as Rashad Jennings the running back, than I have failed.” He continues to live his life driven by curiosity, inspiration, learning and a zest for life that is contagious to all those around him.