Aqib Talib’s mental toughness was tested early, growing up in a rough neighborhood in Cleveland Ohio during the school year and Trenton New Jersey for the summer. Talib knew he wanted better and he credits his family with keeping him on the right track. His love of football began early, watching the Dallas Cowboys with his brother and then getting out on the field himself. Eventually, the family moved to Dallas, TX where Talib, a multi-sport athlete at Berkner High School, lettered in football, basketball, and track. Knowing he wanted to play in the NFL, Talib kept his grades up and focused on his game. Talib was a first-team all-city and all-district defensive back, eventually signing his National Letter of Intention to the University of Kansas.
At the University of Kansas, Talib was a defensive standout. During the 2005-2007 seasons, Talib posted 13 interceptions, 7 touchdowns and became an invaluable asset to the team. As a junior during the 2007 season, Talib was named a consensus first-team All-American and All-Big 12 Conference selection. He was named the 2008 Orange Bowl MVP after recording over 100 yards and a touchdown. His 60-yard interception for a touchdown was a college-career highlight. Talib was the leader of the 2008 Orange Bowl Champion Kansas Jayhawks. Talib capitalized on this momentum by registering for the 2008 NFL Draft.
After excelling at the 2008 NFL Combine, Aqib Talib was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 20th pick of the first round. In his rookie season, Talib proved his worth to the team, making numerous tackles and registering his first four interceptions in the League. He continued his success in 2009, logging 64 combined tackles and five more interceptions. Talib’s 2010 season was cut short by a hip injury, but that didn’t stop him from being named the NFL Alumni Association’s Defensive Back of the Year. He recorded six interceptions returning one for a touchdown. Talib would return as a starter in 2011 and add two more touchdowns to his total.
In 2012 Talib joined the New England Patriots where he would return an interception for a touchdown in his first game with the team. That year’s playoff game against Houston saw Talib’s career-best 10 tackles. Following a stellar 2013 season, Talib was selected to the Pro Bowl and was an All Pro.
Taking his talents to the Mile High City, Talib joined the Denver Broncos in 2014 where he would have an outstanding first season, again being selected to the Pro Bowl. After one particularly impressive game, Talib would be named AFC Defensive Player of the Week. He also added two more touchdowns to his total. 2015 was a pivotal season for Talib. He was selected to a third Pro Bowl, and again added two touchdowns to his total. He made key plays in Super Bowl 50 and in the AFC Championship game. He was also one of the leaders on that championship defense. The No Fly Zone was in full effect during Super Bowl 50 holding the explosive Panthers offense to 197 yards passing and 0 touchdowns. He was included in the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016 at number 34. After the mentality challenging super bowl run, Talib cultivated his skills and took his 2016 season to the next level. Talib posted many key plays, was selected to the Pro Bowl for the fourth time and was a first team All Pro. Adding another interception for a touchdown, now with nine, he is 3rd on the NFL’s all time list. Talib attributes his growth on the field to the work he puts in during the off-season, film study and the happiest his family brings to his personal life.