Lofa Tatupu

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Lofa Tatupu

Tatupu in the Seahawks' 2011 NFC Wild Card game.
No. --     Free agent
Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1982-11-15) November 15, 1982 (age 29)
Place of birth: San Diego, California
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)Weight: 250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
High school: King Philip Regional
College: Southern California
NFL Draft: 2005 / Round: 2 / Pick: 45
Debuted in 2005 for the Seattle Seahawks
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2010
Tackles543
Sacks8.5
INTs10
Stats at NFL.com
 
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Lofa Tatupu

Tatupu in the Seahawks' 2011 NFC Wild Card game.
No. --     Free agent
Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1982-11-15) November 15, 1982 (age 29)
Place of birth: San Diego, California
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)Weight: 250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
High school: King Philip Regional
College: Southern California
NFL Draft: 2005 / Round: 2 / Pick: 45
Debuted in 2005 for the Seattle Seahawks
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2010
Tackles543
Sacks8.5
INTs10
Stats at NFL.com

Mosiula Mea'alofa "Lofa" Tatupu (born November 15, 1982) is an American football linebacker who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played college football for Southern California.

Contents

High school and college career

Tatupu was born in San Diego, California[1] and graduated in 2001 from King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham, Massachusetts, where he played quarterback and linebacker in his senior year. His high school coach was his father Mosi Tatupu, a fullback and special teamer who played for the New England Patriots. As a quarterback, Lofa Tatupu threw for 800 yards and 10 touchdowns and rushed for 450 yards and five touchdowns. As a linebacker, Tatupu made 100 tackles. The Sun Chronicle named Tatupu a local high school All-Star in 1999 and 2000.[2]

Tatupu spent his freshman year of college at the University of Maine before transferring to the University of Southern California (USC). At USC, Tatupu majored in sociology.[2] He was an All-American for the USC Trojans where he wore the number 58, which was also worn by another USC linebacker of Samoan heritage, Rey Maualuga. Tatupu played for the USC Trojan football team (2005-2006 seasons) within the player development program managed by Head Coach Pete Carroll and Assistant Head Coach for Defense and Linebacker Coach Ken Norton Jr. The USC linebacker system ("USC Linebacker U") has developed many NFL stars, often touted as the most talented linebacker corps in college football.[3][4]

Tatupu started 25 games during his two years for the Trojans. He finished his USC career with 202 tackles, nine sacks, seven interceptions, three fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles, 18 pass deflections, and one touchdown.[2]

Professional career

2005 NFL Draft

Tatupu was selected 45th overall in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Some teams had him rated lower than the second round. Seahawks general manager Tim Ruskell, who used two fourth-round picks to move up nine spots in the draft to get him, took some criticism for trading up for Tatupu, who was considered slightly undersized and a little slow.[5] Upon joining the Seahawks Tatupu became a teammate of Matt Hasselbeck, whose father Don had been a teammate of Lofa's father Mosi during Mosi's career with the New England Patriots.

Pre-draft measureables

Pre-draft measureables
HtWt40-yd dash10-yd split20-yd split20-ss3-coneVertBroadBPWonderlic
6 ft 0 in238 lb4.73 s1.63 s2.78 s4.21 s7.32 s35 in9 ft 8 in23 reps29
40 (and splits), vertical, and broad jump from USC Pro Day. All others from NFL Combine.[6]

Seattle Seahawks

Tatupu quickly established himself as one of the top defensive players in the league as a rookie in 2005, in which he was named to the Pro Bowl, while leading the NFC Champion Seahawks in tackles, with 104, en route to their first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. He also had four sacks and three interceptions, returning one for a touchdown in Seattle's 42-0 Monday Night Football victory against the Philadelphia Eagles. On December 2, 2007, he continued his success against the Philadelphia Eagles, intercepting three passes and returning them for a total of 110 yards off of Eagles' Quarterback A.J. Feely. Interestingly, this meant that Feely had thrown for more yards to Tatupu than to any of his receivers.

In Tatupu's first three seasons, he led the Seahawks in tackles. He was voted to the Pro Bowl for the first three years of his NFL career: 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 2007, Tatupu was voted to the All-Pro team by the AP. In 2008, Tatupu was hampered by nagging injuries which resulted in him playing at a lower level than he has in the past, and as a result cost him a chance to play in four consecutive Pro Bowls.

Tatupu emerged as the Seahawks' young and fiery leader on defense, making his teammates more attentive to preparation by watching more game tape and calling defensive signals on the field.[5]

On March 21, 2008 the Seahawks signed Tatupu to a six-year contract extension through the year 2015. The deal is worth $42 million, with $18 million guaranteed alone in the years 2008 to 2010. The contract made Tatupu one of the six highest-paid linebackers in the league. Tatupu responded by stating, "I'm going to end my career with the Seahawks."[5]

On October 19, 2009, during a game versus the Arizona Cardinals, Tatupu tore his left pectoral muscle after a collision with teammate Deon Grant and was ruled out for the rest of the season, a huge loss to the already ailing Seahawks. This was the first major injury of Tatupu's professional career after missing only 1 game in his first 4 seasons in the NFL.

After suffering through his worst season in 2009, Tatupu was able to play in every game for the Seahawks in 2010, including their two playoff games. Tatupu was released by Seattle on July 31, 2011, after he and the Seattle Seahawks could not come to an agreement on a re-structured contract.[7]

Atlanta Falcons

On March 10, 2012, Tatupu signed a two-year, $5.75 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons.[8] On July 24, 2012, Tatupu suffered a torn pectoral and will miss the entire 2012 NFL season. The Falcons released him the next day.[9]

Personal

Tatupu is of Samoan descent; he is the son of the late former USC Trojan and New England Patriots fullback Mosi Tatupu. Lofa Tatupu was born in San Diego but raised in Plainville, Massachusetts.

References

External links