Lofa Tatupu

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Lofa Tatupu
Lofa Tatupu.jpg
Tatupu in the Seahawks' 2011 NFC Wild Card game.
No. 51
Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1982-11-15) November 15, 1982 (age 31)
Place of birth: San Diego, California
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) Weight: 250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
High school: Wrentham (MA) King Philip
College: USC
NFL Draft: 2005 / Round: 2 / Pick: 45
Debuted in 2005 for the Seattle Seahawks
Last played in 2010 for the Seattle Seahawks
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Tackles 543
Quarterback sacks 8.5
Interceptions 10
Stats at NFL.com

Mosiula Mea'alofa "Lofa" Tatupu (born November 15, 1982) is an American football linebacker. He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He played college football for USC.

High school and college career[edit]

Tatupu was born in San Diego, California[1] and graduated in 2001 from King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham, Massachusetts, where he played quarterback and linebacker in his senior year. His high school coach was his father Mosi Tatupu, a fullback and special teamer who played for the New England Patriots. As a quarterback, Lofa Tatupu threw for 800 yards and 10 touchdowns and rushed for 450 yards and five touchdowns. As a linebacker, Tatupu made 100 tackles. The Sun Chronicle named Tatupu a local high school All-Star in 1999 and 2000.[2]

Tatupu spent his freshman year of college at the University of Maine before transferring to the University of Southern California (USC). At USC, Tatupu majored in sociology.[2] He was an All-American for the USC Trojans where he wore the number 58, which was later worn by another USC linebacker of Samoan heritage, Rey Maualuga. Tatupu played for the USC Trojan football team (2003-2004 seasons) within the player development program managed by Head Coach Pete Carroll and Assistant Head Coach for Defense and Linebacker Coach Ken Norton Jr. The USC linebacker system ("USC Linebacker U") has developed many NFL stars, often touted as the most talented linebacker corps in college football.[3][4]

Tatupu started 25 games during his two years for the Trojans. He finished his USC career with 202 tackles, nine sacks, seven interceptions, three fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles, 18 pass deflections, and one touchdown.[2]

Professional career[edit]

2005 NFL Draft[edit]

Tatupu was selected 45th overall in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Some teams had him rated lower than the second round. Seahawks general manager Tim Ruskell, who used two fourth-round picks to move up nine spots in the draft to get him, took some criticism for trading up for Tatupu, who was considered slightly undersized and a little slow.[5] Upon joining the Seahawks Tatupu became a teammate of Matt Hasselbeck, who is from Norfolk MA and if he didn't go to Xaverian HS he would have played HS football with Lofa at King Philip Regional HS. Hasselbeck's father Don had been a teammate of Lofa's father Mosi during Mosi's career with the New England Patriots.

Pre-draft measureables[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 0 in 238 lb 4.83 s 1.63 s 2.78 s 4.21 s 7.32 s 35 in 9 ft 8 in 23 reps 29
40 (and splits), vertical, and broad jump from USC Pro Day. All others from NFL Combine.[6]

Seattle Seahawks[edit]

Tatupu quickly established himself as one of the top defensive players in the league as a rookie in 2005, in which he was named to the Pro Bowl, while leading the NFC Champion Seahawks in tackles, with 104, en route to their first Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. He also had four sacks and three interceptions, returning one for a touchdown in Seattle's 42-0 Monday Night Football victory against the Philadelphia Eagles. On December 2, 2007, he continued his success against the Philadelphia Eagles, intercepting three passes and returning them for a total of 100 yards off of Eagles' Quarterback A.J. Feely. Interestingly, this meant that Feely had thrown for more yards to Tatupu than to any of his receivers except Kevin Curtis who caught 6 passes for 111 yards. [1]

In Tatupu's first three seasons, he led the Seahawks in tackles. He was voted to the Pro Bowl for the first three years of his NFL career: 2005, 2006 and 2007. In 2007, Tatupu was voted to the All-Pro team by the AP. In 2008, Tatupu was hampered by nagging injuries which resulted in him playing at a lower level than he has in the past, and as a result cost him a chance to play in four consecutive Pro Bowls.

Tatupu emerged as the Seahawks' young and fiery leader on defense, making his teammates more attentive to preparation by watching more game tape and calling defensive signals on the field.[5]

On March 21, 2008 the Seahawks signed Tatupu to a six-year contract extension through the year 2015. The deal was worth $42 million, with $18 million guaranteed alone in the years 2008 to 2010. The contract made Tatupu one of the six highest-paid linebackers in the league. Tatupu responded by stating, "I'm going to end my career with the Seahawks."[5]

On October 19, 2009, during a game versus the Arizona Cardinals, Tatupu tore his left pectoral muscle after a collision with teammate Deon Grant and was ruled out for the rest of the season, a huge loss to the already ailing Seahawks. This was the first major injury of Tatupu's professional career after missing only 1 game in his first 4 seasons in the NFL.

After suffering through his worst season in 2009, Tatupu was able to play in every game for the Seahawks in 2010, including their two playoff games. Tatupu was released by Seattle on July 31, 2011, after he and the Seattle Seahawks could not come to an agreement on a re-structured contract.[7]

Atlanta Falcons[edit]

On March 10, 2012, Tatupu signed a two-year, $5.75 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons.[8] On July 24, 2012, Tatupu suffered a torn pectoral and would miss the entire 2012 NFL season. The Falcons released him the next day.[9]

NFL stats[edit]

Year Team Games Combined Tackles Tackles Assisted Tackles Sacks Forced Fumbles Fumble Recoveries Fumble Return Yards Interceptions Interception Return Yards Yards per Interception Return Longest Interception Return Interceptions Returned for Touchdown Passes Defended
2005 SEA 16 104 85 19 4.0 0 1 0 3 55 18 38 1 9
2006 SEA 16 123 92 31 1.5 2 1 0 1 19 19 19 0 7
2007 SEA 16 109 83 26 1.0 3 0 0 4 116 29 49 0 9
2008 SEA 15 94 69 25 0.0 1 0 0 1 16 16 16 0 4
2009 SEA 5 32 21 11 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
2010 SEA 16 88 58 30 1.0 1 0 0 1 26 26 26 1 8
Career 84 550 408 142 8.5 7 2 0 10 232 23 49 2 39

[10]

Personal[edit]

Tatupu is of Samoan descent; he is the son of the late former USC Trojan and New England Patriots fullback Mosi Tatupu. Lofa Tatupu was born in San Diego but raised in Plainville, Massachusetts.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lofa Tatupu". NFL. Retrieved July 29, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Lofa Tatupu". Seattle Seahawks. Retrieved July 29, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Who is ‘Linebacker U?’". The Red Zone Report. 2008-03-11. Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  4. ^ "2009 NFL Draft: Rey Maualuga Leads USC Linebacker Trio into NFL Draft". Bleacher Report. 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2010-12-28. [unreliable source?]
  5. ^ a b c John Clayton, Tatupu agrees to six-year extension worth more than $40 million, ESPN.com, March 21, 2008.
  6. ^ "Lofa Tatupu | Southern Cal, ILB : 2005 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". NFL Draft Scout. Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  7. ^ O'Neil, Danny (August 1, 2011). "Seahawks, Lofa Tatupu cut ties". The Seattle Times. 
  8. ^ "Falcons, Lofa Tatupu agree". ESPN. March 10, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Falcons release Lofa Tatupu". ESPN. July 25, 2012. Retrieved July 29, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Lofa Tatupu Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 

External links[edit]