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Justin Lee Tuck (born March 29, 1983, in Coosa County, Alabamamarker) is an American football defensive end for the National Football League's New York Giants. His parents are Jimmy Lee and Elaine Tuck and is married to Lauran Williamson of Bucks County, Pennsylvaniamarker.

A former standout defensive end for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Tuck currently plays in the National Football League for the New York Giants. His cousin Adalius Thomas also plays professional football for the New England Patriots. On January 17, 2008, Tuck was rewarded with a contract extension with the Giants.

In his personal life, Justin has participated in various philanthropic causes. Tuck and Giants teammate Michael Strahan teamed up with Nikemarker to design their own exclusive pair of sneakers for ID studio in New York Citymarker. All proceeds of the sneakers were donated to Nike’s Let Me Play global campaign.Tuck was also featured on the second season of "Cake Boss" when he ordered a cake shaped like a billiards table for the first annual celebrity billiards event for his charity "Tuck's Rush for Literacy."

Football career

Central-Coosa High School

Justin Tuck played high school football in Alabama at Central Coosa County. Growing up, Tuck's favorite football teams were the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys, but his favorite sport was basketball. Although he began playing football in the seventh grade, Justin only began to take it seriously in his freshman year of high school where he originally started out as a quarterback before changing positions to tight end and defensive end. His accolades include earning Alabama Class 4A Player of the Year as a senior in 2000, as well as lettering in football at both linebacker and tight end. For his career at Central-Coosa, Tuck recorded 492 tackles with 37 sacks, 26 forced fumbles, and 17 fumble recoveries. As a tight end, Tuck had 115 catches for 2,106 yards and 17 touchdowns. Subsequently, Tuck also won two state championships as a member of the high school basketball team.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

After redshirting his 2001 freshman year at the University of Notre Dame, Tuck played sparingly in his sophomore season. Playing only 180 minutes for the season, Tuck recorded his first collegiate sack against Michigan State. And despite his limited playing time and solo start (vs. Rutgers), Tuck was named a third-team freshman All-American by The Sporting News. Tuck increased his production in his final two season at Notre Dame. In 2003, he finished the season with 13.5 sacks, 19 tackles for a loss and three forced fumble before suffering a knee injury against Syracuse. Tuck frequently encountered double-team coverage in 2004. Despite a lingering knee problem from the previous season and not playing in Notre Dame's Insight.com Bowl loss to Oregon Statemarker, Tuck still finished the season will 47 tackles, six sacks and 14 stops for losses.

Nicknamed The Freak by his teammates for his raw athleticism, Tuck holds several defensive records at Notre Dame. Topping the previous record mark of 22.5 sacks by Kory Minor, Tuck finished his Notre Dame career with 24.5 sacks. His career 43 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks in a single season are also school records.

Pre-draft measureables

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20 ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6-5 * 265 lb * 4.71 ** X X 4.29 ** 7.33 ** 37½ in. ** 9’10” ** 24** 29 *


New York Giants

2005–2006

Although projected to be a mid-first round pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, Tuck was selected in the third round, 74th overall, by the New York Giants. His rookie season in the NFL found him behind Pro Bowl defensive ends Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora on the New York Giants depth chart, reducing his role to special teams and the first backup at each defensive end position. In total, Tuck played in 14 regular season games with one start and the NFC Wild Card Game. His first career sack came against the Giants' NFC East rival, the Dallas Cowboys.

Tuck finished the 2005 season with 33 total tackles one sack, two passes defended, one forced fumble and 18 special teams tackles.

During his sophomore season in 2006, Tuck was limited to just six games due to an injury suffered on October 23, 2006 in a New York Giants Monday night victory over the Dallas Cowboys. On November 17, Tuck underwent successful surgery to repair a Lisfranc injury. The procedure included inserting screws into Tuck’s foot. For the season, Tuck only recorded two solo tackles.

2007

Despite starting only two games in 2007 and playing behind two perennial Pro Bowl players in Umenyiora and Strahan, Tuck enjoyed his best season to date. Recording 65 tackles, 10 sacks, and forced two fumbles during the regular season, Tuck received a lucrative contract extension from the Giants. The five-year deal is worth an estimated $30 million, $16 million of which is guaranteed.

Super Bowl XLII
In front of a record-setting American television audience, Tuck had a spectacular game in Super Bowl XLII by repeatedly pressuring New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and recording two sacks and a forced fumble. According to Tuck, he and Brady exchanged playful trash talk during especially physical plays. Due to the game's low score, opinions were heavily waged that Tuck was more deserving of the MVP award than Eli Manning.


2008

On March 31, 2008, Tuck reported to voluntary off-season conditioning programs administered by the Giants. Prior to the start of Giants mini-camp in May, Tuck and the Giants were invited by President Bush to the White Housemarker to honor their victory in Super Bowl XLII. Tuck also took up boxing to improve his hand-eye coordination.

Due to Michael Strahan's retirement, Tuck was promoted to starting defensive end. When asked about the pressure of replacing Strahan, Tuck replied "Pressure? No, I'm smart enough to realize there's only one Strahan and there will always only be one Strahan. I'm not trying to replace Michael Strahan." But Tuck started his 2008 campaign in Michael Strahan-like fashion by sacking Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell in the first play of the season opener. The Giants went on to defeat their division rivals the Washington Redskins 16-7. Tuck followed his exceptional performance in week one with an outstanding performance against the St. Louis Rams. Tuck finished the game with 2.0 sacks and an interception return for a touchdown in a Giants victory in week two. The interception and touchdown down marked the first of Tuck's professional career. The touchdown was his first since his junior season at Notre Dame.

Tuck's stellar play in 2008 earned him a trip to the Pro Bowl as one of the NFC's starting defensive ends.Recently he's been named a 2008 First-Team All-Pro by The Associated Press.

2009

Tuck and the Giants entered the 2009 season as one of the favorites for the NFC to go the Super Bowl. With the return of teammate Osi Umenyiora Tuck hoped to see less double teams, than he did during the end of the 2008 season.

Tuck played very well in the season opener against the Washington Redskins on September 13, 2009. Tuck recorded two tackles for a loss, 1,5 sacks and a pass deflection, which caused the Giants to win 23-17. After the game, Tuck was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

Personal life

Jimmy Lee Tuck, Justin's father, built the home that has housed his eight children and spouse by hand in 1973. During his childhood, Justin was nicknamed "He-Man" due to his large stature. He would run through his home yelling catch phrases from Masters of the Universe such as "By the power of Grayskull!" or "I have the power!". During his youth, Tuck frequently attended Elam II Missionary Baptist Church in his native Kellyton, resulting in Justin becoming the congregation's youngest Sunday School instructor.

After the Giants Super Bowl victory, Tuck achieved a new level of celebrity in his native Alabama. "It was interesting when I went home (to Alabama)," Tuck said. "You couldn't go anywhere without people asking for your autograph or telling you congratulations or how proud they were of you and things like that." The newfound celebrity also extended to New York, where Tuck and Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer were honored by Congressman Charles Rangel at the ball field at Harlem River Park on February 20, 2008. The community celebration was in honor of the Giants' Super Bowl XLII victory. Three days later, he and several Giants players were honored as "special guests" during a historic title unification bout in Madison Square Gardenmarker between heavyweight boxers Wladimir Klitschko and Sultan Ibragimov. The following month, Tuck was again honored for his Super Bowl heroics. He exchanged a game-worn football jersey for a game-used hockey stick with New York Rangers captain Jaromír Jágr. After only his second ice hockey game, Tuck quipped "I am hooked. It's football on ice."

Justin tuck was also featured on the second season of ["Cake Boss"] when he ordered a cake shaped like a billiards table for the first annual celebrity billiards event for his charity "Tuck's Rush for Literacy."


References

  1. Jackson, Tom, SportsCenter (post-game analysis) from ESPN, 3 Feb 2008.
  2. Murphy, Dan "Who deserved to be MVP of Super Bowl XLII?: Justin Tuck" from The (Philadelphia) Bulletin, 5 Feb 2008.
  3. Croley, Timothy "Super Bowl XLII MVP: Not Eli Manning" from Bleacher Report, 4 Feb 2008.



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