Born: February 14, 1978
Town: East Orange
David Douglas Garrard was born February 14, 1978 in East Orange. The family moved to Durham, North Carolina, where David excelled as a football, basketball and baseball player. He was tall and muscular as a teenager, but extremely agile. Playing sports helped David take his mind off his mother’s medical situation. She was diagnosed with cancer and passed away when he was 14.
David enrolled at Southern High School and became the star of the Spartans’ football team. His arm strength was already at a professional level when he earned prep All-America honors as a senior in 1997. David accepted a scholarship from East Carolina University. As a sophomore in 1999, he led the Pirates to a stunning comeback win over the Miami Hurricanes, erasing a 20–3 deficit. ECU went 9–2 and earned a bid to the Alabama Bowl. Prior to the game, the Pirates were ranked nationally, but a loss to LaDainian Tomlinson and TCU bumped them out of the Top 25.
David led his team to bowl games as a junior and senior, too. ECU’s 40–27 victory in the Gallery Furniture Bowl against Texas Tech featured a wild first half in which the Pirates found the end zone five times. David’s final college season saw him put big points on the board, but a leaky defense led to a 6–6 record. His final game was a shootout with Byron Leftwich and Marshall in the GMAC Bowl. Marshall won the game 64–61 in double-overtime. It was the highest-scoring bowl game in history.
David graduated with virtually every ECU passing mark, including 9,029 yards and 60 touchdowns. He also ran for over 1,000 yards and scored 21 times on the ground.
David was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth round of the 2002 NFL Draft. The plan was to develop him as the successor to Mark Brunell. However, the team drafted Leftwich a year later, and promoted him to a starting role, with David remaining on the bench. Prior to the 2004 season, David underwent an