A 6-foot-6-inch, 325-pound professional football player, fresh from an appearance in Super Bowl XLI, tickled the gridiron fancy of Pine-Strawberry Elementary School students Friday.
Chicago Bears offensive tackle John Tait made the guest appearance at a Feb. 16 morning assembly held in the school gymnasium.
Tait spoke to the students about health issues, making good choices and setting goals.
In 2001, the all-pro offensive lineman started the John Tait Foundation with a goal of promoting a healthy start in children's lives through health care, good life choices, access to the arts and research.
The football player, whose nephew, Josh Williams, is a fifth-grader at the school, said about Pine, "It's a nice town. I have nothing but good family memories here."
Tait was a first-round draft choice, 14th overall, of the Kansas City Chiefs in 1999. In college, he starred at Brigham Young University.
Prior to accepting a scholarship to BYU, he attended Tempe McClintock High School where he was a three-year letter winner for the Chargers. As a junior and senior, he was an All-City, All-Region and All-State selection. Tait also earned two letters in track and field.
After spending five seasons with the Chiefs, Tait signed with the Bears as the second highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL.
Off the field, Tait has been heavily involved in charitable work. In 2002, The Sporting News named him a Top 100 Good Guy for his community involvement.
Tait and his wife, Jenava, live in Mettawa, Ill.