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2003 PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

DUCE STALEY

Duce Staley.jpg (12596 bytes)

Columbia native Duce Staley is a performer, on and off the football field.  He was an all-state wide receiver at Airport High School, then went to Itawamba Community College in Mississippi before transferring to USC.  During his senior season at Carolina he led the SEC in rushing with 1,116 yards and earned first-team All-SEC honors.  He is thought to be one of the country's most versitile backs.   Staley was drafted in the 3rd round by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1977 and has quickly become one of the top running backs in the NFL.  This season he rushed for 1,029 yards and 5 TD's and had 51 catches for 541 yards and 5 TD's.  During his career, he rushed for3,315 yards with 12 touchdowns and has 188 career receptions with 5 touchdowns.  He has twice been selected his team's MVP by his teammates.  Off the field he has donated money to the First Steps Early Childhood Education Program, as well as serving as chairman for Philadelphia's Special Olympics "Sponsor an Athlete" campaign.  He has also been involved in the United Way's NFL commercial campaign and earned a special award at Philadelphia's third Annual Black History month celebration in 2000.

 

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