Former NFL and Madden '12 cover athlete Peyton Hillis is in critical condition in ICU following a heroic act in the ocean, according to multiple reports.

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Hillis, an NFL running back and fullback from 2008 to 2014, rescued his children from drowning.

Hillis's uncle detailed his nephew's condition in a facebook post.

Prayers up for Hillis.

While he may be best known nationally for gracing the cover of Madden' 12 in the popular video game series, in his home state of Arkansas, he's known for his entire football career.

Peyton Hillis participates in a photo shoot for the cover of EA Sports Madden NFL 12
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for EA Sports

Hillis grew up in Conway, Arkansas, just north of Little Rock.

Following a standout prep career at Conway High, Hillis signed with the University of Arkansas after receiving offers from schools across the country, including Oklahoma, Nebraska, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, and LSU.

He was part of a three-headed monster backfield for the Razorbacks that included future NFL first-round picks Darren McFadden and Felix Jones.

University of Arkansas v Louisiana State University
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

After a standout career with Arkansas from 2004 to 2007, Hillis was drafted in the 7th round of the 2008 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos.

Following two years in Denver, he signed with the Cleveland Browns, putting together his best pro season in 2010 when he rushed 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns, along with 477 receiving yards and 2 scores.

The breakout season helped him land on the cover of Madden '12.

Peyton Hillis
Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for EA Sports

Fortunately, Hillis was able to save his children from any physical harm.

We're lifting up Hillis and his family in prayers as he recovers following his act of heroism.

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