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Derek Rivers joins teamjamesy24/7

Derek Rivers was working out at Ignition gym in Cincinnati last month when a guest speaker caught his attention. A dad from New Jersey was talking about his push to cure Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare and fatal disease that afflicts his second-grade son.

The presentation hit home for Rivers, who lost a boyhood friend to muscular dystrophy. Afterward he approached the dad and offered to help.

With that, the Manalapan-based JAR of Hope Foundation took a huge step toward the holy grail of publicity — a spokesman in the National Football League. Rivers, who just completed a standout career as a defensive end at Youngstown State University, is projected to be selected as high as the third or fourth round in April’s NFL Draft.

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