Nicky Sualua

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Nicky Sualua
No. 45
Position: Fullback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1975-04-16) April 16, 1975 (age 42)
Place of birth: Santa Ana, California
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight: 260 lb (118 kg)
Career information
High school: Mater Dei (CA)
College: Ohio State
NFL Draft: 1997 / Round: 4 / Pick: 129
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 26
Games started: 1
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Nicky Sualua (born April 16, 1975 in Santa Ana California) is a former American football fullback in the National Football League. He played two seasons for the Dallas Cowboys.

Early years[edit]

Sualua didn't start playing football until his freshman year at Santiago High School, where he was a guard and defensive tackle. The next year, he transferred to Mater Dei High School, where he played as a fullback and defensive lineman.[1] As a senior, he rushed for 562 yards and 9 touchdowns, despite missing five games with a sprained ankle he suffered in the opening game. He was voted the MVP of the South Coast League.[2] He also lettered in wrestling.

He moved on to play for the Ohio State Buckeyes, where he was named the starter at fullback as a redshirt freshman and blocked for Eddie George on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy in 1995. After missing the 1996 season because he was ruled academically ineligible to play, he declared as an early entrant to the NFL Draft.[3]

Professional career[edit]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

Sualua was selected in the fourth round (129th overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, to develop as the eventual successor to fullback Daryl Johnston. In his first two years he was mainly a backup and played on the special teams units.

On May 6, 1999, former Pro Bowl offensive tackle Mark Tuinei was found unconscious in his car after spending the previous evening with Sualua. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at a hospital in the Dallas suburb of Plano, with the autopsy revealing that he died of a lethal combination of heroin and a form of the drug ecstasy.[4] His death was ruled an accidental overdose and Sualua was never charged or suspended for the events surrounding Tuinei's death.

He was waived on June 15, 1999, with the team claiming it was for football reasons.[5]

Cincinnati Bengals[edit]

Sualua was claimed off the waivers by the Cincinnati Bengals.[6] He was released with an injury settlement on September 2, 1999.[7]

Personal life[edit]

His cousin Troy Polamalu was an All-Pro strong safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers.


External links[edit]