Jarrett Payton is the son of the late Walter Payton, former Chicago Bears running back and member of the NFL Hall of Fame. Jarrett was born on December 26, 1980 in Arlington Heights, Illinois...see full bio
Jarrett Payton played high school soccer and football at St. Viator High School. In his first two years of high school, he opted for soccer and earned All-State player honors. As a senior in high school...see full career
Jarrett Payton, son of the late NFL Hall of Famer Walter Payton, is a radio host, businessman, philanthropist, motivational speaker, former NFL and CFL running back and devoted husband and father. Currently he is a fill-in sports anchor for WGN’s Morning Show and is co-host of WGN Radio’s The Beat program. Payton was most recently a co-host of the “Jarrett, Harry and Spike” radio show on Chicago’s former radio station The Game 87.7FM.
He is a partner with Chicago based Argus Brewery where he is actively involved in the production, promotion and sales of his own beer: Jarrett Payton’s All-American Wheat Ale. Payton was inspired to create his own beer from earlier memories of his father’s appreciation for craft beer. Argus Brewery is owned by a father-and-son duo. Payton, relying on an extremely close relationship he had with his famous father, appreciated similarities of the successful duo and saw an opportunity to carry out his father’s dream amongst an important father-son bond. His beer, which went into production in 2012, is the second best selling item from Argus Brewery.
Along with honoring his father’s legacy of making a difference in the community, Payton enjoys connecting with children, serving as a role model and stressing the importance of sports, education and character. He and his wife Trisha are the co-founders of The Jarrett Payton Foundation. The foundation is committed to positively impacting the lives of children and adolescents by creating and providing programs that present them with a wide variety of opportunities specifically designed to develop their leadership skills and enrich their lives. Payton also dedicates time to The Walter & Connie Payton Foundation which is dedicated to taking an active role in helping those less fortunate to find stability while providing positive opportunities needed to live their lives with dignity and pride.
Another part of his business world is creating a special jewelry line dedicated to his foundation. In 2014 Payton teamed up with Cy Fredrics Jewelers to create JP by Cy Fredrics—unique jewelry designs for men and women. The pieces designed are individually numbered and produced only 34 times—the number his late Pro Football Hall of Famer Walter Payton wore and was ultimately retired by the Chicago Bears. And for Walter Payton fans, some of the pieces will also have the number 34 woven into the design. The JPF is a benefactor of the proceeds.
Payton’s own career in athletics started at an early age. Following a successful high school soccer and football career in the Chicago area, he was recruited by major universities, including Penn State and Notre Dame, to play football. The result: having an illustrious career at the University of Miami where Payton appeared in five major bowl games and was named Most Valuable Player of the 2014 Orange Bowl. After college, he went on to play in the NFL for two years with the Tennessee Titans and the Amsterdam Admirals in NFL Europe, winning the 2005 World Bowl championship. From 2007-2009, Payton played in the Canadian Football League for the Montreal Alouettes and Toronto Argonauts. In 2010 he signed with his hometown team, the Chicago Slaughter of the Indoor Football League.
Payton’s football career transcended into a successful sports television and radio career. For the 2012 college football season, he appeared on the ESPNU SportsNation College Football show each Saturday. Payton has had reoccurring roles on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and hosted his own Internet sports radio show, The Jarrett Payton Show, on ChicagolandSportsRadio.com.
His passion for public speaking dates back to August 1993—the day the world met the younger Payton. He made the introductory speech for his father when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Since then, Payton is sought out to connect with all age levels, particularly in the business community to motivate, inspire and impact others.
As an active participant on social media, friends and fans connect with him on Twitter @paytonsun, Facbook and connect to his Foundation's Webpage or the Foundation's Facebook Page. Information on Jarrett Payton’s All-American Wheat Ale can be found at Argus Brewery.
Payton currently resides in the northwestern suburbs of Chicago with his wife and son.
- Played high school soccer and football
- First two years earned All-State player honors in Soccer
- 1st year of organized football was as a junior in high school
- Accounted for 2,842 all-purpose years as senior playing quarterback, tailback and wide receivers (passed for 1,088 years and rushed for 1,345 yards)
- Rated No. 58 overall prospect in the nation by The Sporting News
- Named the No.5 athlete in Midwest Region by PrepStar
- Finished freshman year with 262 rushing yards on 53 carriers, 6 catches for 48 yards and returned 2 kicks for 44 yards
- Redshirted as a sophomore
- Moved from fullback to tailback as third-year sophomore playing in 8 games gained 26 yards on 14 carriers with 2 touchdowns
- 4th year at Miami (3rd season playing) rushed for 223 yards on 50 carriers and returned kickoffs with an average of 20.7 per kickoff return
- Final year ran for 1,018 yards on 182 carriers (5.4 average), caught 17 passed for 136 yards, scoring several touch downs receiving and rushing
- Named 2004 Orange Bowl MVP
- Played in 5 bowl games, winning 1 National Championship
- Signed by Titans as undrafted free agent after going undrafted in 2004 NFL Draft
- Joined practice and active rosters throughout 2004 and 2005
- Played third string running back for Titans in 2005, finished season with 33 carriers for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns
- Released by Titans in September 2006
- Allocated to Amsterdam by the Titans for NFL Europe season
- Named to all-NFL Europe League team
- Won World Bowl XIII
- Signed with Montreal of the Canada Football League on February 22, 2007
- Scored first career CFL touchdown on August 2, 2007
- First 100 yard rushing game came on August 8, 2007, rushed 20 times for 160 yards and 1 touchdown
- Finished season 5th in CFL with 852 yards, and fourth with 8 rushing touchdowns
- Released by Montreal prior to 2008 season
- Signed with Toronto June 7, 2009
- Gained 47 all-purpose yards on 3 catches and seven carries
- Released from Argos, on JP’s request, on September 9, 2009
- Signed with Chicago on January 7, 2010
- Finished season with 11 rushing touchdowns, 72 carries for 253 yards
- Total all purpose season ending numbers – 501 yards, 14 touchdowns, 84 total points scored
- Scored rushing, receiving and passing for touchdowns
SAINT VIATOR HIGH SCHOOL
1999-2004 UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
2005 AMSTERDAM ADMIRALS (NFL EUROPE)
2007-2008 MONTREAL ALOUETTES (CFL)
2009 TORONTO ARGONAUTS
2010 CHICAGO SLAUGHTER
Jarrett officially retired from professional football on Friday, January 7, 2011.