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Junior College Player Baited Rodgers Into Interception in Viral Video

You've seen the video of Aaron Rodgers being intercepted and throwing the ball toward the defender. Here is future Division II receiver Darius Maxwell to tell the story.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – During a charity football game in March, Aaron Rodgers was intercepted. On Wednesday, almost a month later, the video of that play went viral.

The player who intercepted the pass was Darius Maxwell, a receiver at Saddleback College, a junior college located in Mission Viejo, Calif.

“I think it was fourth down at the 5-yard line,” Maxwell recalled on Wednesday while en route to Division II Wheeling (W.Va.) University, where he’ll play in the fall. “We had scored and they were trying to come back and score. They were in bunch on the right. He made the No. 1 guy run a corner route, made the No. 2 run a pivot route and made the No. 3 run a crossing route. All I did was back up like I was on the corner route, came back up on the pivot route. I knew he saw the corner route so, as soon I saw him release, I just jumped right back to it. Basically, I baited him into it.”

The play ended with Maxwell sprinting toward Rodgers and handing him the ball.

“That just happened,” Maxwell said. “I don’t even remember what made me want to give him the ball. [NFL cornerback] Josh Norman was there, too. Josh was like, ‘That’s the first time I’ve ever seen someone to do that in person.’ I said, ‘I know. That’s why I did it.’”

Rodgers didn’t keep the ball for long. He spun around and threw the ball in Maxwell’s direction.

“It’s crazy,” Maxwell said. “During the play, I didn’t even know he threw the ball [toward me]. Everybody in the camp told me he threw the ball [toward me]. I didn’t know until I saw the video.”

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Afterward, Rodgers, Maxwell and one of Maxwell’s Saddleback teammates, fellow receiver Zachary Roebuck, struck up a conversation.

“Aaron, he’s a very competitive and very nice person. He was very, very nice. Very nice,” Maxwell said. “Right after the game, he was asking us about our story and how it is in juco. He’s unbelievable.”

The game, which was played at JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., was put on by RX3 Growth Partners, a private equity firm that Rodgers founded with Nate Raabe and Byron Roth. Rx3 invests in growth-stage consumer brands and provides value beyond capital through its influential investors.

A star-studded cast turned out, including current, former and future NFL quarterbacks Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Mark Sanchez, Matt Leinart, Carson Palmer and Desmond Ridder. Entry fees raised more than $400,000 for organizations ranging from Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Keep American Beautiful and North Valley Community Foundation.

“It was a very competitive game,” Maxwell said. “Coming into the game, everybody was nervous about talking to him, seeing him. He’d just signed a big contract. My friend [Roebuck], he was so hyped before the game. He said, ‘Let’s say what’s up to Aaron before the game.’ I was like, ‘No, we’ve got to catch a pick first, then say what’s up.’”

Maxwell said he intercepted Sanchez three times in that game, but the one of Rodgers, he of the lowest interception percentage in NFL history, will live forever in his memory.

“Even though it was a charity game, that’s one of the top ones, I’m not going to lie,” he said.

“He was cool about it. It’s crazy. During the game, he started yelling, ‘What happened to all that talking? What happened to all that talking?’ It was very fun and competitive, that’s all it was.”