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Craig Joseph Steltz (born May 7, 1986 in ) is an American football safety for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Bears in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He played college football at Louisiana State.

Early years

Steltz attended Archbishop Rummel High Schoolmarker, home of the Raiders, in Metairie, Louisianamarker and was an honors graduate. He was originally a running back, but switched to safety in eighth grade. Steltz excelled as a safety and started one game on the varsity team during his freshman year, before becoming a full-time starter his sophomore year. He is the first player in school history to have his jersey retired. He wore #10 in high school. On April 25, 2008, Steltz's jersey was officially retired during a school-wide assembly in the Archbishop Rummel High School gymnasium.

He was a first-team all-state safety in 2002 as a junior. Steltz has the reputation of a hard hitter who works diligently in the weight room. In his junior year of high school, he recorded 120 tackles and 9 interceptions.Craig was again named a first-team 5A all-state safety in 2003 as a senior. Steltz was also named Louisiana Class 5A Defensive Player of the Year in 2003. He finished his senior year with 30 tackles and two sacks, despite suffering from two nagging injuries. He was a team captain who led a ferocious defensive unit that spearheaded the Raiders to an 8-2 district championship season and regional round playoff berth. This defensive unit has had seven players play Division-I college football.

Craig showed his versatility by returning punts and kickoff and by playing running back.On October 31, 2003, against district rival Jesuit High Schoolmarker, Steltz rushed for 170 yards in the second half on seven carries and scored three touchdowns and a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter to lead the Raiders to a 38-27 victory.

Awards and honors

  • 2002 Louisiana All-State First Team
  • 2003 Louisiana All-State First team
  • 2004 Rufus Award- given to the school's top athlete

College career

Steltz was one of the top recruited safeties in the nation in 2004. During the 2004 season, Steltz saw limited playing time in only 4 games. After providing valuable depth and starting 6 games during the 2005 and 2006 seasons, Steltz finally became a starter for the 2007 season. He was named a Jim Thorpe Award finalist and a first-team All-American.

Career statistics

2004 4-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2005 13-3 28 12 40 0 0 1-22 2 3 1-0 0
2006 13-3 20 22 42 2-14 1-9 4-111 14 1 0 0
2007 14-14 66 35 101 5-20 1-8 6-153 7 0 1-0 3
Totals 44-20 114 70 184 7-34 2-17 11-286 23 4 2-0 3

Awards and honors

Professional career

General Manager Jerry Angelo, recently stated that Steltz would most likely be the starting free safety at the start of the 2009 NFL Season.


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