Jeff was a former walk-on at Eastern Washington University before his record-setting, five-year NFL career.
He walked-on to his alma mater after his brother, Pat convinced the coaching staff to give him a tryout. After developing in the program for three seasons, he became a NCAA Football Championship Subdivision All-America selection and First Team Academic All-American in 1997. Jeff earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Special Education and Health Education.
“It was like watching a dandelion grow,” said former Eastern head coach Mike Kramer. “Jeff had a pretty nondescript start to his career, but then he got better in the weight room… All of the sudden he became one of our most physically-gifted players ever.”
He went on to play five years in the National Football League, starting with the Dallas Cowboys where he made the team as a rookie wide receiver/return specialist in 1998 as an undrafted free agent.
“I don’t know what the expectations from the coaching staff were,” said Hall-of-Fame quarterback Troy Aikman at the time. “But he worked hard and he made some plays throughout the time we were in camp and the preseason games. He really caught everybody’s attention and wound up making the squad.”
Jeff also played in 1999 with the Cowboys before moving on to the Miami Dolphins (2000 and 2001) and Baltimore Ravens (2002). He had 28 career catches for 304 yards and a touchdown, had 57 punt returns, 15 kickoff returns and also played on kick coverage units. He set five records for the Dolphins – two in the regular season and three in the playoffs – and his 13.7 career average is still a franchise best.
During his professional career, he worked with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Athletes in Action. He also created his own foundation; Jeff Ogden’s Catch a Star Foundation, which provided financial aid to prospective adoptive parents.
After retiring in 2003, Jeff pursued careers in education as well as owning his own fitness companies. He has left his fingerprints on many endeavors through his passion for life and tireless work ethic.