Justin Tuck is a defensive end/defensive tackle for the Oakland Raiders. He previously played nine seasons for the New York Giants and ranks sixth on the franchise list for career sacks.
Tuck was born on March 29, 1983 in Kellyton, AL and starred on the football and basketball teams at Central-Coosa High School. He began his high school career as a quarterback, but quickly changed positions to tight end and defensive end. As a senior in 2000, he was named Alabama Class 4A Player of the Year and ended his high school career with 492 tackles, 37.0 sacks, and 26 forced fumbles. He also made 115 receptions and scored 17 touchdowns as a tight end and became a highly-regarded college prospect.
University of Notre Dame
After graduating from high school, Tuck played college football at the University of Notre Dame. He did not appear in any games in 2001 and only saw limited playing time as a sophomore in 2002. As a junior, he started 10 games for the Fighting Irish and produced a school-record 13.5 sacks that season before suffering a season-ending knee injury. The knee injury lingered into his senior season, but he still produced 47 tackles and 6.0 sacks and graduated as the school’s record holder for total tackles for loss and sacks in a career.
New York Giants
Despite being projected as a first round pick, Tuck dropped to the third round and was drafted with the 74th overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He appeared mainly on special teams as a rookie and played in 14 games. A Lisfranc fracture cost him all but six games in 2006, but he recorded 10.0 sacks as a reserve defensive end for the Giants the next season and earned a five-year extension for his performance. He made his first Pro Bowl in 2008 and was an All-Pro first team selection after making 67 tackles and recording 12.0 sacks.
After a down season in 2009, Tuck bounced back with 11.5 sacks and was an All-Pro first team selection for the second time in his career the next season. Despite missing five games in 2011 and only making 5.0 sacks, he nearly topped that total in four playoff games while helping New York win its second Super Bowl in a five-year span. He reached double-digit sacks for the fourth time in his career in 2013 and moved up to sixth on the team’s all-time career sack list.
Unhappy with the offer he received from the Giants, Tuck left as a free agent and signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the Oakland Raiders on March 13, 2014.
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