Joplo Bartu

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Joplo Bartu
Joplo Bartu 2013.jpg
Bartu in 2013
No. 59     Atlanta Falcons
Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1989-10-03) October 3, 1989 (age 24)
Place of birth: Seattle, Washington
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Career information
College: Texas State
Undrafted in 2013
Debuted in 2013 for the Atlanta Falcons
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career NFL statistics
Tackles 85
Sacks 3.5
Stats at NFL.com

Joplo Bartu (born October 3, 1989) is an American football linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for Texas State. He was signed by the Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2013.[1]

Early life[edit]

Bartu was born in Seattle, Washington on October 3, 1989. His mother, Esther Sando, was seven months pregnant with him when she immigrated from Monrovia, Liberia, to get a better education for herself and family. The name "Joplo" comes from a Liberian warrior, meaning "strength". At the age of one, Joplo moved from Seattle, Washington to Prairie View, Texas, located just outside the Houston area.

He grew up in a low-income neighborhood with his two brothers and three sisters: Precious (oldest sister), Wellington (older brother), Bindu (younger sister), Lawrence (younger brother) and Lula (youngest sister). Joplo's mother signed up eight-year-old Joplo and Wellington for Pop Warner Football to keep them occupied. Joplo did not attend a single game. Instead, he went to all of Wellington's games and watched as his older brother became a local star of the league. The next year, his brother moved up to Jr. High, and Joplo, now understanding football, became one of the most talented little league players in Waller County.

High school[edit]

As a freshman in high school, at 5'6" and 135 lbs, Bartu started off on freshmen B-Team for Waller High School. After a couple games, he moved up and started as a running back on the freshmen A-Team. During the summer of his freshmen year, Joplo grew over six inches, becoming a standout a hybrid wide receiver while playing free safety for the Waller Bulldogs varsity squad. His senior year, he helped lead his team to the Texas State Playoffs where they made Waller History by advancing past the 3rd round, previously set by his brother's 2004 class. Eventually, they lost a heart breaker in the State-Quarterfinals with a 10-4 record under Jim Phillips. Being recruited by many Division I schools across the U.S, Bartu opted to follow his brother footsteps by committing to Texas State University.[2] [3]

College career[edit]

At Texas State, Bartu was a four-year starter that was recruited as a free safety out of high school. However, Bartu was switched to linebacker after he gained over 20 pounds during his redshirt year. He was moved to defensive end for half of his senior year. When Bartu moved back to linebacker halfway through the season, he posted 62 tackles in four games. In his final collegiate game, Bartu finished with 17 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 4 sacks and a forced fumble for a touchdown against New Mexico State. His performance earned him National Player of the Week by collegefootballperformance.com and he received All-WAC honors..[4] [5]

Professional career[edit]

In his rookie season, Bartu and fellow undrafted rookie Paul Worrilow started at linebacker due to the injuries of Sean Weatherspoon and Kroy Biermann. He recorded 85 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He was nicknamed "High Top Jop" by Sean Weatherspoon on the 1st episode of "D-Block" in 2013, because of his Kid 'n Play style haircut.[6]

References[edit]

External links[edit]