Amani Toomer

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Amani Toomer
Kurt Warner and Amani Toomer-cropped.jpg
Toomer in February 2005.
No. 81
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1974-09-08) September 8, 1974 (age 39)
Place of birth: Berkeley, California
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Weight: 203 lb (92 kg)
Career information
High school: Concord (CA) De La Salle
College: Michigan
NFL Draft: 1996 / Round: 2 / Pick: 34
Debuted in 1996 for the New York Giants
Last played in 2008 for the New York Giants
Career history
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions 668
Receiving yards 9,497
Receiving TDs 54
Stats at NFL.com

Amani Toomer (born September 8, 1974) is a retired American football wide receiver who played in the National Football League. He played college football at Michigan, where he was a fan favorite. He was drafted in the second round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the New York Giants.

Toomer earned a Super Bowl ring with the Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

Early years[edit]

Toomer was an All-American at De La Salle High School in Concord, California. Amani attended Albany High School (Albany, California) his freshman year before transferring to De La Salle where he played the remaining three. After Freshman football, Amani played the next 3 years on Varsity. Several publications, including USA Today, Parade, and The Sporting News ranked him as one of the top high school wide receivers in the nation. Amani played with Quarterback Alli Abrew who would later play in the Arena Football League. His uncle is comedian George Wallace.

College career[edit]

Toomer attended the University of Michigan. As a junior in 1994, he became only the third player in school history, after Jack Clancy and Desmond Howard, to post 1,000 receiving yards in a season, finishing with 54 receptions for 1,096 yards and six touchdowns; he was named to the All-Big Ten Conference First Team. His senior year in 1995, Toomer caught 44 passes for 758 yards and seven scores and was voted to the All-Big Ten Second Team.

Professional career[edit]

New York Giants[edit]

Toomer was drafted in the second round (34th overall) of the 1996 NFL Draft by the Giants. His rookie season, he was primarily the punt and kick returner for the team, and set a record in his first game with an 87-yard punt return for a touchdown, the longest in team history, against the Buffalo Bills. He returned a second punt for a touchdown that season against the Philadelphia Eagles, before injuring his anterior cruciate ligament and spending the rest of the season on injured reserve. The next season, he scored another punt return touchdown, as well as his first receiving touchdown, a 56-yard reception from Danny Kanell against the Arizona Cardinals.

In 1998, the 5-8 Giants hosted the 13-0 Denver Broncos, hoping to pull an upset. Trailing 16-13 late in the game, Toomer caught a 37-yard touchdown pass from Kent Graham with only 48 seconds left in the game as the Giants ruined the Broncos' dream of a perfect season by winning 20-16.

Toomer finally became a starting wide receiver for the 1999 NFL season, and ended up setting at the time what was a team record for receptions in a season (79). He and Ike Hilliard combined to become the first Giants duo to post over 2,100 receiving yards. His six touchdowns led the team, and his 1,183 yards were the second highest in team history behind Homer Jones. The following season, he came one short of tying his own record for receptions, and increased his touchdown total to seven.

During the 2001 NFL season, with 72 catches, he became the first Giants wideout to have three consecutive 70-reception seasons . He broke several Giants records in 2002, when he caught 82 passes for 1,343 yards and eight touchdowns; the eight touchdowns set a career-high, while the passes and receiving yards were new team records. His 204 yards against the Indianapolis Colts were the highest total for any wide receiver for a 60-minute game (two players had higher receiving totals, but both of those games went to overtime).

In 2003, Toomer surpassed Frank Gifford as the team's all-time leading receiving yardage leader, and finished the season with 6,366 yards. His 418 catches were also second all-time to running back teammate Tiki Barber.

The 2004 NFL season marked the first time he did not score a touchdown since his rookie year, although he did finish the season with 51 catches for 747 yards, the sixth consecutive season he topped 50 catches and 700 yards.

Toomer entered the 2005 season in sole possession of the Giants' yardage record.

After a subpar 2004 campaign, Toomer rebounded to have a solid 2005 season. With new starting quarterback Eli Manning throwing for almost 3,800 yards, Toomer had 60 receptions for almost 800 yards. The highlights of his season included a last second touchdown reception against the Denver Broncos, a late game-tying touchdown at Seattle, and a terrific fourth and goal touchdown catch against the Rams.

Amani presenting George W. Bush with a personalized Giants jersey on April 30, 2008.[1]

Toomer expected to go into 2006 as the Giants number two receiver, but quickly showed signs of brilliance. In a week two matchup in Philadelphia, Toomer helped to spark a 17-point comeback by hauling in a career-high 12 receptions with two touchdowns. Physically exhausted by game's end, he had to be carried off the field by trainers. The media honored him for his work ethic and team dedication. Toomer's season came to an end after eight games when he suffered a partially torn ACL while playing against the Washington Redskins in RFK stadium.

During the 2007 season, he had 59 Receptions, 760 Yards, and 3 touchdowns. Toomer helped groom draft pick Steve Smith, whose style of play is often compared to Toomer's. That season he once again passed Barber's team record for catches, and passed Kyle Rote for the team touchdown record, which was currently at 51. On January 13, 2008, during the 2007 divisional playoff round, he caught a 52-yard touchdown pass, his longest since a 77-yard touchdown on November 30, 2003. This catch broke the club record for most postseason receptions. Toomer went on to have 4 receptions, 2 of them for touchdowns, in the New York Giants 21-17 upset over the Dallas Cowboys. His first touchdown gave the Giants a 7-0 lead after he caught an 11-yard pass, eluded three tacklers and ran 50 yards for the score. In the Giants Super Bowl victory against the previously undefeated Patriots, Toomer led the Giants with six receptions and 84 yards. Prior to the start of Giants mini-camp in May 2008, Toomer and the Giants were invited by President Bush to the White House to honor their victory in Super Bowl XLII.[1]

While playing with the Giants, Toomer was a resident of Weehawken, New Jersey.[2]

Kansas City Chiefs[edit]

Toomer was signed to a one-year contract by Kansas City Chiefs on August 4, 2009. He was released on September 1.[3] Head Coach Todd Haley said "the thing I have been trying to stress to these guys is that I am trying to find the right 53 and we are going to do it at all costs." [4]

Post-NFL life[edit]

Appearances[edit]

Toomer was invited to take part in designing his own shoe by NIKEiD bespoke.[citation needed]

Broadcasting career[edit]

In 2011 Toomer and fellow former New York Giant Roman Oben joined MSG Varsity's coverage of "Friday Night Football." [5]

Amani Toomer also appears regularly on NBC SportsTalk to discuss the latest stories in the NFL.

In 2012, Amani became a part of the launch lineup of the NBC Sports Radio Network as co-host of Amani & Eytan with Eytan Shander.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Office of the Press Secretary (April 30, 2008). "President Bush Welcomes Super Bowl XLII Champion New York Giants to White House". The White House. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  2. ^ Mullins, Michael D. "Was it the shoes? Local fan says he has secret of Giants' success, as city plans celebration", Hudson Reporter, February 19, 2008. Accessed February 6, 2013. "City officials said that besides quarterback Eli Manning, who lives in the Hudson Tea Building on 15th Street, linebackers Kawika Mitchell and Mathias Kiwanuka are Hoboken residents. Several Giants live in surrounding municipalities, including Amani Toomer and Derrick Ward, who both live in Weehawken."
  3. ^ "Chiefs release Amani Toomer". New York Post. 
  4. ^ NFL.com Wire Reports (August 5, 2009). "Veteran WR Toomer practices with Chiefs after signing one-year deal". NFL.com. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  5. ^ MSGVarsity.com (August 25, 2011). "MSG Varsity takes a 'Giant' step forward". MSG Varsity. 

External links[edit]