Kerry Rhodes, 25, the third-year Jets free safety who had a breakout 2006 with 98 tackles, four interceptions and five sacks.
YOU MIGHT HAVE SEEN HIM ...
on the cover of this month's Essence. Rhodes stands shirtless on a beach next to Saints linebacker Dhani Jones and Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards. In the issue Rhodes is hailed as a Do Right Man for his RHODES Foundation, which provides college scholarships for students in Rhodes's home state of Alabama.
YOU MIGHT SOON SEE HIM ...
at a theater near you. Last month Rhodes, who minored in theater at Louisville, shot a scene for Queen of Media, a film based on the best-selling book Wendy's Got the Heat, about controversial New York deejay Wendy Williams and starring Robin Givens. Rhodes plays the owner of a bowling alley, and he fit in so well that some of the other actors didn't know he was an athlete. "He seemed like a normal actor," says Greg Lynch who plays a character called Daddy P. "But he should have made the Pro Bowl."
HIS ACTING CRED
Last summer Rhodes made his film debut in the independent movie Misunderstandings. He plays a man who gets caught by his girlfriend while wooing another woman in a hot tub. "She goes into the kitchen and grabs a knife," Rhodes says. "It's life or death." Jets coach Eric Mangini tried to get a copy of the hot tub scene, but, says Rhodes, "I wouldn't let him have it."
GIVING UP HIS DAY JOB?
"Trust me," Rhodes says, "football is my first love and my career." Yet even as he assumes a bigger leadership role—"I was already more vocal at minicamp ... talking to guys about their assignments"—he's eyeing a return to his thespian pursuits: "I want to be a badass like Samuel L. Jackson," he says, adding that he wouldn't mind costarring in a film opposite Jessica Biel.
The Pop Culture Grid
JEFF CHRISTENSEN/AP (LOHAN)