Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Auburn Student Graces Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition 

Posted by James at 9:28 AM ET

By Brad Barnes
The Ledger-Enquirer
Jessica Trainham didn't have to lobby or compete for a spot in the 2008 Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.

Sports Illustrated came to her.

"They just picked her out of the limelight and wanted her to fly up to New York," said Terry Trainham, mother of 22-year-old Jessica, who indeed appears in the magazine's most famous annual issue, which hit stands on Tuesday.

Jessica Trainham was born in Columbus and grew up in Phenix City, graduating from Central High School before attending Columbus State University, where she was a cheerleader. Now she's nearing completion of a bachelor of arts degree in radio, television and film at Auburn University.

Oh, and she's been an Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader for the past three years.

Jessica, Falcons Cheerleader

That last little fact is what helped lead S.I. to her door. Among the spreads of fashion models that typically fill the issue's glossy, quickly worn pages is a four-page section devoted to NFL Cheerleaders. Trainham is one of 12 cheerleaders to grace the pages.

She spent Tuesday in New York, capped with an issue-release party thrown by the magazine.

"She's already met Gisele," said her mother, leaving us to assume Gisele B√ľndchen, who's not among the models this year, "and the girl who's on the cover." (That's Marisa Miller, with strategically placed strands of blue-stone necklaces, by Badgley Mischka.)

Jessica was contacted by the magazine about six months ago and flown to New York for several days of photo shoots. Her mom was ecstatic.

"I thought, 'Please, Jesus, let this be the lottery,' " she said.

She doesn't know if the star treatment has changed her daughter's goals, but she expects not.

Next for Jessica: She hopes to land an internship working on the news program of a Fox affiliate in Tampa. She plans to graduate in May.

"She's talking to the Buccaneers about maybe cheering for them," her mother said.

Jessica at SportsIllustrated.com.

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