Through his first two seasons as an NFL defensive end, everybody knew the big defensive end had mounds of talent. His issue was more related to injuries--most notable was the hamstring issue that plagued him through the middle of the 2011 season. Dunlap dedicated himself to a different workout regime and a healthier diet going into 2012 and it paid off with a solid season. Dunlap finished 2012 with six sacks, four forced fumbles, three recoveries, and an interception that he returned for a touchdown.
Recently, Dunlap took some time to speak at Goodwin Elementary School in North Charleston, South Carolina to a group of youngsters. The topic was on the benefits of healthy eating and using it towards feeling better and staying fit. Part of Dunlap's offseason dedication to a healthier way of life included the hiring of a personal chef who pushed him to eat leafy greens and embracing a new lifestyle. He credits his chef as a major reason for his solid 2012 season and how healthy his body feels.
A moment of levity during his speech occurred when Dunlap made claimed his partiality to spinach and it wasn't well-received by the group of elementary school kids. Still, the message still rang through clear. Have a look a the video, courtesy of NBC's local Charleston affiliate.
It's great to see Dunlap out in the community and doing some good work. Unfortunately, these kind of stories with Bengals players tend to get overshadowed by the ghosts of 2006 and stereotypes that haven't fit the team in half of a decade. Kudos to "Big 96" on doing some admirable work in the community. And, hey, if you don't like spinach, take Dunlap's advice and try spinach dip.