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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Donte Whitner

(Born July 24, 1985) -- Donte Whitner was a surprise choice when it came time for the Bills to make a draft pick in the first round in 2006. Most fans didn’t know just how far Whitner had come in his life to reach that point.

Whitner was hit by a car near his Cleveland home while chasing a football down the street when he was six years old. He suffered 30 fractures in his leg in the accident. Play football? Whitner would be lucky to walk again, the doctors said.

But Whitner was a determined child. He was one of the nation’s top high school football players and landed a scholarship at the Ohio State University.

The Bills took him in the draft, and he intercepted a Tom Brady pass in his very first game. The defensive back stayed with the Bills until 2010.

Then free agency called, and Whitner left Buffalo to join the San Francisco 49ers. He was part of the reason why the Niners were much improved last season, reaching the the NFC Championship game.

--- Budd Bailey


Bandits | History
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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.