Gaither during Ravens camp in 2009
|No. -- Free agent|
|Date of birth:||March 18, 1986|
|Place of birth:||White Plains, Maryland|
|Height:||6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)|
|Weight:||340 lb (154 kg)|
|Supplemental draft:||2007 / Round: 5|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2012|
|Stats at NFL.com|
Jared Dwight Gaither (born March 18, 1986 in White Plains, Maryland) is a former American football offensive tackle who played in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the fifth round of the 2007 Supplemental Draft. He played college football at Maryland.
Gaither played basketball for his first three years of high school at Eleanor Roosevelt High School before playing football in his senior year at Hargrave Military Academy. He originally verbally committed to the University of South Carolina basketball team, but later changed to football. He played defensive tackle and tight end. He recorded 89 tackles, 9 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 4 passes deflected.
As a true freshman at the University of Maryland in 2005, Gaither played in all 11 games and started the last 8. He was named a third team Freshman All-American by College Football News and honorable mention by The Sporting News. He allowed no sacks in 583 snaps played (all at left tackle) and committed 2 penalties.
As a sophomore, Gaither played in twelve games and helped the Terps offensive line allow just 19 sacks all season. He was a member of the 2006 preseason watch list for the Outland Trophy, a consensus preseason All-ACC choice, and ranked No. 7 nationally among offensive tackles by The Sporting News.
Gaither did not participate in 2007 spring practices at Maryland because of academic problems. On June 25, Terps coach Ralph Friedgen told reporters that Gaither's grades failed to meet his expectations, that he would not be able to play in 2007 and he would be eligible to return in 2008. Instead, Gaither declared for the NFL's supplemental draft and on July 12 was taken by the Baltimore Ravens in the fifth round. Gaither took over Jonathan Ogden's starting left tackle role after Ogden's retirement. Gaither, at 6'9, is one of the tallest players in the NFL, the others being Dennis Roland of the Cincinnati Bengals and Demar Dotson of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
During the start of off-season camps for the 2008 NFL season, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron declared Gaither would be the starting left tackle. Despite an early ankle injury during the beginning of training camp, he played surprisingly well and was a big reason for the improved offensive line of the Baltimore Ravens.
On October 4, 2009, he suffered a head injury in a game vs. the New England Patriots and was sent to the hospital. He was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital, and had movement in his arms and legs. In addition, x-rays on his neck and shoulder were negative. Gaither missed all of 2010 after an injury put him on Injured Reserve (IR).
Kansas City Chiefs
On August 11, 2011, Gaither signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. He was waived on November 29, 2011.
San Diego Chargers
He has advocated for the passage of the FIT Kids Act, federal legislation that would require school districts to report on students' physical activity and to give youngsters health and nutritional information.
- "ESPN Profile". ESPN.com.
- Steinberg, Dan (September 22, 2005). "Gaither to Tackle a Tall Task". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-01-11.
- "Ravens' first priority: stopping Cowboys' Ware". Associated Press. Dec 17, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-11.
- "Chargers solve left tackle issue". Chargers.com.
- NFL Players Promoted Increased Physical Education ESPN, March 19, 2009.(