D. J. Fluker

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D. J. Fluker
D.J. Fluker
Fluker in 2013.
No. 76     San Diego Chargers
Offensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1991-03-13) March 13, 1991 (age 23)
Place of birth: New Orleans, Louisiana
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) Weight: 339 lb (154 kg)
Career information
High school: Foley (AL)
College: Alabama
NFL Draft: 2013 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11
Debuted in 2013 for the San Diego Chargers
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2013
Games played 15
Games started 15
Stats at NFL.com

Daniel Lee Jesus "D. J." Fluker (born March 13, 1991) is an American football offensive tackle for the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Alabama, was recognized as an All-American and was a member of three BCS National Championship teams. Fluker was considered one of the best offensive tackles of his college class,[1] and was drafted by the Chargers in the first round (11th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft.

High school career[edit]

Born and raised in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana,[2] Fluker and his family left the city in the final hours before Hurricane Katrina roared ashore.[3] They moved to Biloxi, Mississippi, and later Mobile, Alabama, where Fluker attended McGill-Toolen Catholic High School. By eighth grade, he stood 6-3 and weighed 400 pounds, but later lost much of that weight.[4] At McGill-Toolen, Fluker was a dominating defensive lineman. Family issues took Fluker back to Biloxi, for his junior year, where he remained at defensive tackle, after almost giving up on his football career.[5]

Prior to his senior year, Fluker moved back to Alabama—this time to the city of Foley. At Foley High School, head coach Todd Watson convinced Fluker to play on the offensive line to exploit his full potential.[4] In his first year at offensive tackle, Fluker graded out at 92 percent with 60 pancake blocks and 28 knockdowns. Foley finished the season with a 7–3 record, including a 24–17 win over Fluker's old McGill-Toolen team. Fluker earned high school All-American honors from USA Today, Parade, EA Sports, and SuperPrep. He also received an invitation to the 2009 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Considered a five-star recruit by Rivals.com, Fluker ranked first among offensive tackle prospects in the nation,[6] in a class that also included Xavier Nixon, Morgan Moses, and Taylor Lewan. Despite growing up an LSU Tigers fan, Fluker committed to Alabama.[7]

College career[edit]

"The kid's a freak athlete. He probably outweighs me by 70 pounds and moves just as well."

Mike Johnson, Fluker's Alabama teammate.[8]

Fluker enrolled in the University of Alabama, where he was a member of coach Nick Saban's Alabama Crimson Tide football team from 2009 to 2012. Projected to play as true freshman at Alabama, he was a candidate to replace All-American Andre Smith at left tackle, although junior college transfer James Carpenter was considered to have better chances,[8] and eventually got the starting nod. Fluker started the season as third-string right tackle,[9] but eventually redshirted his first year. In 2010, Fluker started nine games at right tackle. He missed three games with an injury midseason.

As a sophomore, Fluker started all 13 games for the Crimson Tide at right tackle on their way to the BCS National Championship victory. As a junior, he started all 14 games at right tackle as Alabama repeated as BCS National Champions. He was selected Walter Camp and Associated Press second-team All-American and first-team All-SEC. He has graded out at 98.6 percent on blocking assignments.[10] Since he had graduated and was in his fourth year, Fluker was granted eligibity by the National Football League to participate in the 2013 Senior Bowl.[11]

Allegation of violations[edit]

On September 11, 2013, Yahoo Sports reported Fluker, along with four other players received benefits totaling in the thousands of dollars from former Alabama football player, Luther Davis.[12] According to the report, Davis acted as a "bag man" for agents looking to gain the business of Fluker and the other players. Subsequent to its reports, Yahoo Sports published various receipts and flight plans unequivocally showing the benefits and direct payments given to the players.[13] Fluker's involvement in this pay-for-play scheme is particularly significant because the benefits came in a period of time leading up to Alabama's participation in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game.[according to whom?]

Professional career[edit]

2013 NFL Draft[edit]

On April 25, 2013, Fluker was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the first round, with the 11th overall pick, of the 2013 NFL Draft.[14] He is the fourth Alabama offensive lineman selected in the first round within five years, after Andre Smith (2009), James Carpenter (2011), and Chance Warmack (2013).

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 4 12 in 339 lb 36 34 in 10 12 in 5.28 s 1.90 s 3.06 s 21 reps
All values from NFL Combine[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ NFL Draft - 2013 OT Draft Prospects, CBSSports.com 
  2. ^ "The house D.J. Fluker bought". San Diego Union-Tribune. August 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ Bean, Josh (January 31, 2009). "Taken by storm". The Mississippi Press. Archived from the original on August 16, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Staples, Andy (January 28, 2009). "Alabama commit D.J. Fluker prodigious size, skill". Sports Illustrated. 
  5. ^ "Alabama commitment D.J. Fluker of Foley nearly gave up his promising football career after moving back to Biloxi". Press-Register. February 1, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Rivals.com offensive tackles 2009". January 15, 2009. 
  7. ^ "2009 Recruiting: D.J. Fluker Commits". RollBamaRoll. November 6, 2007. 
  8. ^ a b Schmidt, Andrew (July 23, 2009), "Saban says offensive front 'critical area to develop'", Gadsden Times, archived from the original on August 1, 2009 
  9. ^ "No freshmen listed on Tide two-deep", Mobile Press-Register, September 1, 2009, archived from the original on September 3, 2009 
  10. ^ http://www.rolltide.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/fluker_dj00.html Fluker Bio
  11. ^ "First non-seniors to compete in Senior Bowl". CBS Sports. January 19, 2013. Retrieved January 19, 2013. 
  12. ^ https://sports.yahoo.com/news/ncaaf--documents--texts-reveal-impermissible-benefits-to-five-sec-players-202513237.html
  13. ^ https://sports.yahoo.com/photos/sec-investigation-slideshow/
  14. ^ Gehlken, Michael (April 25, 2013). "Chargers draft Alabama's D.J. Fluker". U-T San Diego. 
  15. ^ http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=89441&draftyear=2013&genpos=OT

External links[edit]