Claim to fame: professional football player
DOB: April 29, 1983
Diabetes type: 1
Jay Cutler was born on April 29, 1983 in Santa Claus, Indiana. He attended Heritage Hills High School in Lincoln City, Indiana, where he started as quarterback for the football team for three out of the four years he was there. During his junior and senior seasons, he led his team to a 26-1 record. It was in Cutler’s final year at Heritage Hill that his team played a perfect season with a 15-0 record, and proceeded to take the school’s first championship in an overtime win over Zionsville. Cutler and his fellow teammates outscored opponents 746-85, including a 90-0 route against Pike Central.
Along with his outstanding ability in the position of quarterback, Cutler often played safety, as well. He intercepted nine passes his senior year, ranking him twelfth overall in the state of Indiana. He also snagged a first-team All-State selection by the Associated Press in football, a first-team All-State selection in basketball, and an honorable mention All-State selection in baseball.
Following his high school career, Cutler attended Vanderbilt University, and started all forty-five games as quarterback. In 2002, he set the school record for most touchdowns and most rushing yards by a freshman, earning him first-team freshman All-SEC honors. As a junior, he set another school record for completing 61% of his passes, and as a senior, Cutler soared to an entirely new level. Starting eleven games, he passed 3,073 yards and made twenty-one touchdowns while maintaining a completion percentage of 59.1. He was the first player at Vanderbilt to win the SEC Offensive Player of the Year since Bob Goodridge in 1967. Cutler was a three-time captain and a four-year starter for the Commodores. He set school records for total offense (9,953 yards), touchdown passes (59), pass yards (8,697), pass completions (710), and pass attempts (1,242). Cutler graduated from Vanderbilt with a bachelor’s degree in human and organizational development in 2005.
Cutler began his career in the National Football League as the eleventh pick of the 2006 draft for the Denver Broncos. On July 7, 2006, Cutler and the Broncos signed a six-year contract worth $48 million ($11 million in bonuses). Then, on December 3, 2006, he made his debut as a professional starting quarterback. Unfortunately, the Broncos fell to the Seattle Seahawks 23-20. It was in this game, however, that Cutler threw one of the longest passes for a debut in NFL history.
On December 17, 2006, Cutler finally tasted victory, with a 37-20 win over the Arizona Cardinals. He finished the game with a passing record of twenty-one completions out of thirty-one attempts for a total of 261 yards, two touchdowns, one interception, and a quarterback ranking of 101.7 (the highest single-game rating for a rookie since John Elway in 1983). Cutler played in five games during his rookie season with the Denver Broncos, and ended it with 1,001 pass yards, nine touchdowns, and five interceptions. In 2007, he saw his first full season, but fell short of the playoffs with a seven-to-nine record.
In May of 2017, Cutler announced his retirement from pro football and was hired to be a commentator on FOX Sports. However, this retirement was short lived: he signed a one-year, ten-million dollar contact with the Miami Dolphins after the team sought him as a replacement for the their recently-injured quarterback.
On May 1, 2008 Jay Cutler revealed that he had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and would need daily insulin shots for treatment. Today, while fighting to keep his team above .500 in the AFC West, Cutler does volunteer work for mentally challenged young people through Vanderbilt’s Best Buddies program. He also works with the Denver-based organization Dedicated to Diabetes to improve public knowledge, and in this past offseason, started the Jay Cutler Foundation, which partnered with Mile High United Way’s Youth Success Initiative to help at-risk youth to graduate high school.