About Jonathan vilma

A leader on the field and in the locker room, tireless in preparation and fierce while patrolling the middle, Vilma has proven to be everything the New Orleans Saints had hoped for since acquiring him in 2008. Vilma has been the club’s leading tackler the past three seasons, earning a reputation as one of the NFL’s top linebackers. In the past two seasons, Vilma has been voted by his teammates as a defensive team captain and by opposing players, coaches and fans as a Pro Bowl selection. The University of Miami product enjoyed another standout campaign in 2010, recording 131 tackles, a career-high four sacks, one interception, four pass defenses, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery to lead a defense that finished ranked fourth in yardage and seventh in points per game. Vilma arrived in New Orleans after a four-year stint with the New York Jets, where after being selected 12th overall in 2004, he earned Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. Through seven seasons, Vilma has enjoyed impressive results, recording 872 tackles (583 solo), 11 interceptions, 10 forced fumbles, seven recoveries and 9.5 sacks, starting 100 of 102 career games.

 

Jonathan VilmaIn support of relief efforts for the Haiti Earthquake, Vilma, whose parents are both natives of the nation, participated in a PSA soliciting fan donations that was aired nationally prior to the NFL’s conference championship games. He also produced and sold a t-shirt to benefit the efforts. In late 2010, Vilma launched the Jonathan Vilma Foundation to help raise funds to build a school in Haiti. He was named the 2010 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year for the New Orleans Saints.

 

In addition to charity, Vilma has a passion for education and hosts a financial conference for NFL players called “Jonathan Vilma’s Financial 51” to help players manage their money. In 2011, he was named Celebrity Ambassador for Operation HOPE’s Five Million Kids Initiative where he will lend his celebrity and philanthropic voice to promote the importance of education for inner-city youth.

 

Jonathan VilmaVilma was also named a Board Member of the National Football Foundation's “Play It Smart” program, an educational program designed to use football as a vehicle to foster the academic, personal and career development of at-risk student-athletes. The former Hurricane has given talks to schools about success on the field and in the classroom, and the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Vilma proudly represented the Miami-Dade County Community Foundation and Jonathan Vilma Charitable Fund on an episode of Wheel of Fortune, which aired on Sept. 6, 2006.

 

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