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Vincent Lamar Wilfork (born November 4, 1981 in ) is an American football nose tackle for the New England Patriots of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Patriots in the first round (21st overall) in the 2004 NFL Draft. He played college football at Miami.

Wilfork is considered to be one of the best nose tackles in the NFL, and was named both to the Pro Bowl and the All-Pro team in 2007.

Early years

Wilfork attended Santaluces High School in Palm Beach County, Floridamarker and was a letter winner in both football and track and field. In football, he won USA Today's second team All-American honors. In track and field, Wilfork was the Florida Class 4A state champion in the shot put and the discus in 2000. He also holds the Florida state high school record in the shot put with a throw of 68 feet.

College career

Wilfork attended the University of Miamimarker where he participated in both football and track and field; he holds the Miami indoor school record in the shot put. In his freshman season, Wilfork did not start but played in every game as a defensive tackle, finishing tenth in the team on tackles with 41 while also recording a sack and forcing three fumbles. Wilfork did not start a game in his 2002 sophomore season either, but still recorded 43 tackles and seven sacks. Before the 2003 season, Wilfork was rated the second best defensive tackle in the country by The Sporting News and went on to start all 13 games for Miami. He finished the year with a career high 64 tackles and led the team with 20 quarterback hurries. He was named to the All-Big East Conference first-team following the season, which would prove to be his last in Miami as he decided to forgo his senior season and enter the 2004 NFL Draft.

Professional career

Pre-draft

Pre-draft measureables
Height Weight 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20 ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6-1⅜ * 323 * 5.08 ** 4.50 ** 7.62 ** 26½″ ** 8′5″ ** 36 *
* represents NFL Combine **represents Miami Pro Day


New England Patriots

2004–06 seasons

The Patriots drafted Wilfork with the 21st overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. In his rookie 2004 season with the Patriots, he compiled two sacks, 42 tackles, and three deflected passes. Wilfork saw considerable playing time during his rookie season, sharing the nose tackle position with veteran Keith Traylor and started Super Bowl XXXIX against the Philadelphia Eagles, a Patriots victory.

Following Traylor's release, Wilfork had a career-high 54 tackles in 2005; however, the defending champions were eliminated in the second round of playoffs by the Denver Broncos. In 2006, Wilfork finished the season with 50 tackles.

2007–09 seasons

In the 2007 season, Wilfork notched 7 solo tackles and a big 8-yard sack of Ben Roethlisberger in Week 13 in a 34-13 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He finished the season with 48 tackles and two sacks, was selected to the 2008 Pro Bowl, and was named as a second-team All-Pro selection.

Wilfork was fined a total of four times by the NFL in the 2007 season. In the third game of the season he was fined $12,500 by the NFL for his hit on Buffalo Bills quarterback J. P. Losman. This was appealed to the NFL and reduced to $2,500. In an October 14 game against the Dallas Cowboys, Wilfork was fined $5,000 for drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct foul when he tangled with Cowboys tight end Jason Witten. In the last game of the regular 2007 season, Wilfork placed his finger in the facemask of New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs after a play in the second quarter. He was fined $15,000. He was also fined $5,000 for a 15-yard face-mask penalty called in the AFC Championship Game against the San Diego Chargers, while attempting to tackle running back Michael Turner.

Wilfork's string of fines continued into the 2008 season, when in an October 20 game against the Denver Broncos Wilfork appeared to elbow Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler in the head after a play. Wilfork met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in the days following the game and reportedly faced a one-game suspension, but after Wilfork explained his manner of playing to Goodell only a fine was imposed. Wilfork finished the 2008 season with a career-high 66 tackles, while tying his career high mark of two sacks.

Wilfork entered the final season of his contract in 2009. Reportedly unhappy with not receiving a contract extension, Wilfork did not attend the team's voluntary organized team activities in the spring, but reported to the team's mandatory sessions later in the summer.

Family

Late in his college career, both of Wilfork's parents, Barbara and David Wilfork, died in their late forties of natural causes within a few months of each other.

References

  1. New England Patriots bio


External links




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