Donald Driver: 'Dancing With The Stars' trophy would go well with my Super Bowl trophy' (Video)
Donald Driver, a wide receiver for the Green Bay Packers, is looking forward to bringing his "smile" and his "character" to the dance floor of "Dancing With The Stars" and says a Mirror Ball Trophy would pair up well with the one his team earned for winning the Super Bowl last year.
The 37-year-old football player was announced as a new cast member of the 14th season of the ABC ballroom dancing show on Tuesday, February 28, on "Good Morning America." Check out photos and more details about the cast of "Dancing With The Stars" season 14.) Driver is paired up with pro dancer Peta Murgatroyd. They have already begun rehearsing.
"You gotta be who you are," he told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "My character is what I am. I go out there and I have a lot of fun and that's what I want and I think she saw that this week when she got a first chance to meet me. She knew I had that character and I have fun. So I think we'll be good together."
He flexed his bicep jokingly in front of Murgatroyd, who felt it and said she is in safe hands with Driver as her partner.
"We've done a few dips and a few twirls and stuff like that and he's been great so I have no worries what so ever," she said. "I think it'll be fine."
Peta Murgatroyd who danced with Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Ron Artest during the previous season. They were the first ones to be eliminated.
Driver was drafted by the Packers after finishing his football career at Alcorn State University in 1999. The team won the Super Bowl in 2011, marking its first victory since 1997. Driver discussed the mass audience of both NFL games and "Dancing With The Stars," ABC's top-rated primetime show, which is filmed before a crowd in a big studio in Los Angeles.
"When you're playing (football) in front of 70,000 people, you're a little bit nervous," he said. "There's going to be millions and millions of people watching this, so it's a little bit different. But I think we're going to be fine."
"You know, you always gotta claim victory and just hoping that when it's all said and done, you're holding that ball in your hand and if not, then you feel like you've basically just shot yourself in the foot," he added. "But we've talked about it. I know her goal right now is to win it. This will be her first one, so, as well as mine, so it'll be good because it'll go well with my Super Bowl trophy."
The last time an athlete won "Dancing With The Stars" was in May 2011, when Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward and pro dancer Kym Johnson took home the grand prize (see photos).
The Driver and Murgatroyd talked to OnTheRedCarpet.com after appearing with several of their fellow contestants during the cast reveal on "Good Morning America." Katherine Jenkins, a Welsh Mezzo Soprano singer, was also named as a celebrity contestant but was unable to attend the event.
The 31-year-old was scheduled to fly to Afghanistan to perform for UK troops and "couldn't divulge her plans for her own safety and security," her spokesperson told OnTheRedCarpet.com. However, Jenkins never made it to the war-torn country. She ultimately learned about her dance partner and fellow contestants through online reports.
"I would have loved to have been at the announcement but as a supporter of military men and women around the world, it was very important to me that I keep my word and be in Afghanistan to entertain the troops," the singer said in a statement. "However, due to technical problems with the plane, I was unable to make it there this time ... but this will not stop me from going again in the future!"
The singer is a patron of the British Forces Foundation and has performed for UK troops in Afghanistan before.
Season 14 of "Dancing With The Stars is set to premiere on March 19. The celebrity cast also includes Jaleel White, who played Steve Urkel on the sitcom "Family Matters," Melissa Gilbert of "Little House on the Prairie" fame and "The View" co-host Sherri Shepherd. White's partner, Kym Johnson, told OnTheRedCarpet.com that the actor "is a natural" when it comes to dancing. Shepherd said White was her competition and also showed off some of her own dance moves.
"I have my professional dance partner - my mirror. I do take dance lessons," she added. "I drop it like it's hot for my husband all the time."
Reporting by George Pennacchio of KABC Television, who produces the entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).