In the early 90s, people at Charlton County High School in Folkston, Georgia knew that Champ Bailey was something special. Along the way to membership in the 2019 class of the NFL Hall of Fame, folks around the country, especially in Athens, GA, Washington, DC, and Denver, CO found out just how special he was.
Growing up in Folkston, GA, down near the Florida border in swampland so thick it’s rumored that there are more alligators than people, Bailey excelled. He was known as an overall athlete, dominating on the football field as well as on the basketball court with a 43 inch vertical and on the track, where he was the state high jump champion his junior year.
Those athletic escapades landed him at the University of Georgia where he played three years for the Bulldogs. His junior year, Bailey was a consensus All-American and had won the Bronco Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s best defensive player. He was drafted by the Washington Redskins with the 7th pick of the 1999 draft.
Champ Bailey had great years in Washington, but after asking to be traded, ended up on the team he would be known for by football fans across the nation, the Denver Broncos. It’s no wonder the Broncos named him to their 50th Anniversary Team. He was a 12 time Pro Bowler( the most selections by a cornerback in NFL history), the 2006 interceptions leader, and a 3 time NFL 1st team All-Pro. Bailey is considered one of the best defensive players in Broncos history and his selection to Canton on his first ballot is well deserved.
Bailey has two daughters and a son with his wife Jessica, who he married in 2014. His son, Keevan, recently announced his commitment to play football at Colorado State University with head coach Mike Bobo, who coached Bailey at UGa. He is available for player appearances and speaking events.
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