Scott Fujita

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Scott Fujita
No. 51, 50, 55, 99
Position:Linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1979-04-28) April 28, 1979 (age 41)
Ventura, California
Height:6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Weight:250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
High school:Oxnard (CA) Rio Mesa
College:California
NFL Draft:2002 / Round: 5 / Pick: 143
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:143
Tackles:767
Sacks:23.5
Interceptions:7
Forced fumbles:11
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Scott Anthony Fujita (/fˈtə/;[1] born April 28, 1979) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League (NFL), and current Head of School at All Saints' Day School. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2002 NFL Draft. He played 11 seasons for the Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns. He was a member of the 2009 Saints team that won Super Bowl XLIV, defeating the Indianapolis Colts. He played college football at California.

Early years[edit]

Scott Fujita was adopted as an infant by Rodney Fujita, who is a third-generation Japanese-American, and his wife Helen, who is white.[2][3] Rodney was born at the Gila River War Relocation Center in Phoenix, Arizona where his father Nagao, a 442nd Infantry Regiment combat veteran who later became an attorney, was one of many Japanese-Americans whose family was interned during World War II.[4] Fujita grew up in a traditional Japanese household, celebrating Japanese festivals and holidays, and considers himself "half-Japanese at heart".[5]

He attended Rio Mesa High School in Oxnard, California.[6] In football, he was a two-way player at safety and tight end. As a senior, he tallied 188 tackles, 4 sacks, 5 interceptions, 15 receptions for 350 yards and 6 touchdowns.

In basketball, he averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds per game as a senior. He received first-team Channel League and Ventura County honors in both sports as a senior. He also competed in the long jump, triple jump and high jump.

College career[edit]

Fujita walked on at the University of California, Berkeley. As a redshirt freshman, he was converted from a safety into an outside linebacker. He played mostly on special teams, while collecting 8 defensive tackles as a backup.

As a sophomore, he made his first 2 starts. He had 15 tackles at the end of the season, but needed to have offseason neck surgery in the spring of 2000. As a junior, he started 11 games, making 41 tackles (13 for loss) and 4 sacks.

As a senior, he started 11 games at weakside linebacker, posting 60 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. He fisnihed his college career after appearing in 39 games with 24 starts, while registering 124 tackles, 7 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Professional career[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 5 12 in
(1.97 m)
248 lb
(112 kg)
4.61 s 1.57 s 2.65 s 4.21 s 7.09 s 42 in
(1.07 m)
10 ft 2 in
(3.10 m)
20 reps
All values from NFL Combine[7]

Kansas City Chiefs[edit]

Fujita was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round (143th) of the 2002 NFL Draft. As a rookie, he started 9 of 16 games, recording 63 tackles, 6 passes defensed, one sack and 15 special teams tackles (tied for second on the team). He made 9 tackles against the Buffalo Bills. He had 8 tackles and 2 passes defensed against the Seattle Seahawks.

In 2003, he started all 16 games and led the team with 151 tackles (fifth most in club history), while also registering 4 sacks, 6 passes defensed, one forced fumble and one interception. He had 15 tackles against the Houston Texans.

In 2004, he posted 112 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 3 passes defensed. His devastating hit against LaDainian Tomlinson, is remembered as a turning point in the game, when Fujita also recovered the ball before it went out of bounds.

In 2005, after the Chiefs selected linebacker Derrick Johnson with its first-round pick and also signed linebacker Kendrell Bell, Fujita asked to be traded. On September 3, he was sent to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for a 2006 sixth round selection (#186-Tre' Stallings) and a 2007 conditional selection (not exercised). In three seasons, he registered 326 tackles and 9 1/2 sacks.

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

In the 2005 season, he played in 16 games and became the strongside linebacker starter for the last 8 contests, after Al Singleton was placed on the injured reserve list. He recorded 58 tackles, 2 sacks, one pass defensed, 2 forced fumbles and 9 special teams tackles. He was declared a free agent at the end of the season.

New Orleans Saints[edit]

On March 13, 2006, he signed with the New Orleans Saints, reuniting with former Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator, now head coach Sean Payton. He was the first free agent to join the Saints when they returned to New Orleans after their year-long absence in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.[8]

Fujita was named defensive captain of the 2007 Saints. In Week 1 of the 2008 season, Fujita caught a crucial game-winning interception in the very end against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In the 2009 season, he earned a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Saints team that won Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010, defeating the Indianapolis Colts 31-17 to win the team's first league championship.

Cleveland Browns[edit]

Fujita with the Browns

Fujita was a free agent after the 2009 season, and on March 7, 2010, he signed a contract worth $14 million over three years, including $8 million in guaranteed money with the Cleveland Browns, who coveted his leadership qualities.[9] In September, he was elected one of the Browns' defensive captains for the 2010 season.[10] Through nine games, Fujita was second on the team in tackles and sacks, but he was injured in a November 14 game against the New York Jets and was expected to be out of action for an extended period.[11] On November 29, 2011, he was placed in the injured reserve list with a fractured hand he suffered in the eleventh game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Fujita was suspended by the NFL for the first 3 games of the 2012 season because of his alleged participation in the Saints' bounty scandal. On September 7, his suspension was lifted.[12] On October 9, 2012, four weeks and three days after an internal appeals panel vacated suspensions imposed on Fujita, Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, Saints defensive end Will Smith, and free-agent defensive end Anthony Hargrove, the league re-issued the discipline, with reductions to the suspensions of Fujita and Hargrove. Vilma's suspension remained a full season, and Smith's remained four games. Fujita's suspension was reduced from three games to one, and Hargrove's reduced from eight games to seven.[13] After the Week 6 game against the New York Giants, Fujita was placed on injured reserve with a potentital career-ending neck injury on October 24.[14] He finished with 14 tackles and one sack in four games.

On December 11, 2012, it was announced in the media that former commissioner Paul Tagliabue exonerated Fujita of all culpability and wrongdoing in the Saints pay-for-play scandal, vacating his suspension and clearing his record. On April 22, 2013, he announced his retirement.

NFL statistics[edit]

Year Team Games Combined Tackles Tackles Assisted Tackles Sacks Forced Fumbles Fumble Recoveries Interceptions
2002 KC 16 68 61 7 1.0 0 1 0
2003 KC 16 111 97 14 4.0 1 0 1
2004 KC 16 90 67 23 4.5 0 0 0
2005 DAL 16 53 43 10 2.0 2 0 0
2006 NO 16 96 64 32 3.5 1 0 2
2007 NO 15 95 77 18 3.0 2 2 0
2008 NO 14 81 63 18 0.0 1 0 2
2009 NO 11 58 43 15 1.0 2 0 0
2010 CLE 9 51 36 15 3.5 2 0 1
2011 CLE 10 50 37 13 0.0 0 0 1
2012 CLE 4 14 10 4 1.0 0 0 0
Career 143 767 598 169 23.5 11 3 7

[15]

Retirement from football[edit]

On April 22, 2013, Fujita signed a one-day contract with the New Orleans Saints while in Machu Picchu with his former teammate Steve Gleason, announcing his retirement immediately after.[16] In August 2013, Fujita joined the new Fox Sports 1 sports network as an analyst on its Fox Football Daily program.[17]

Career as educator[edit]

In 2018 Fujita became the Athletic Director of All Saints Day School, in Carmel, California, where he had been a parent for years.[18] In 2019 he was selected and currently serves as Head of School after entering the vetting process with 38 candidates from across the United States.[19]

On January 30, 2019, All Saints' Day School announced Fujita as its Head of School. Fujita holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Business Administration, and a Master of Arts in Education from the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated with honors.[20][21]

Personal life[edit]

Fujita is married with three children; he and his family have a home in Carmel Valley, California.[8] He is politically liberal, and has gone on record as a supporter of women's rights and gay rights as well as an advocate for adoption, wetlands preservation, and other causes; he was named the Saints "Man of the Year" in 2009 for his charitable activities.[22][23][24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2004 Kansas City Chiefs Rosters and Depth Chart[permanent dead link]". p. 6.
  2. ^ "Tackling adoption not issue for Fujita". The Dallas Morning News. December 17, 2005.
  3. ^ Silver, Michael (February 3, 2010). "Saints' Fujita defies stereotypes". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  4. ^ "A linebacker with a conscience". ESPN, Page 2 section. November 10, 2006.
  5. ^ "Fujita proud to discuss family's Japanese heritage". The Japan Times. February 6, 2010.
  6. ^ Youngmisuk, Ohm (February 6, 2010). "Raised Japanese, New Orleans Saints linebacker Scott Fujita's tale is the American dream". Daily News (New York).
  7. ^ "Scott Fujita - 2002 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile", NFLDraftScout.com
  8. ^ a b Anderson, Mark C. (September 23, 2009). "Fujita's Warrior Heart: New county resident Scott Fujita uses the game to attack everything from quarterbacks to social injustice". Monterey County Weekly. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  9. ^ Grossi, Tony (March 7, 2010). "Cleveland Browns sign first two free agents, linebacker Scott Fujita and lineman Tony Pashos". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  10. ^ Florjancic, Matt (September 8, 2010). "Browns name 2010 captains". ClevelandBrowns.com. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
  11. ^ Cabot, Mary Kay (November 15, 2010). "Scott Fujita 'could be a little while' with knee injury, guard Billy Yates on IR: Browns Insider". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
  12. ^ "Saints player bounty suspensions overturned on appeal". NFL.com. Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  13. ^ Brooks, Matt. "Report: NFL re-issues bounty suspensions for Saints players". The Washington Times. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
  14. ^ "Season, maybe career, over for Browns' Fujita". Yahoo! Sports. October 24, 2012. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
  15. ^ "Scott Fujita Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  16. ^ Jeff Duncan, "Scott Fujita retires from NFL as a New Orleans Saint", Times-Picayune, April 22, 2013.
  17. ^ Tim Baysinger, "Fox Sports 1 Sets Roster for Pair of Studio Shows", Broadcasting & Cable, August 12, 2013.
  18. ^ Fairies, Dave. "Scott Fujita". Monterey County Weekly. Milestone Communications, Inc. Retrieved January 4, 2020.
  19. ^ Juan, Reyes (February 2, 2019). "Former NFL linebacker to head Carmel Valley school". Monterey Herald. Retrieved January 4, 2020. “I feel fortunate to join that team,” Fujita said. “And to be able to go outside on that beautiful campus and experience the physical surroundings with those kids, it’s a dream job.”
  20. ^ Green, Dan. "Anchor". www.ksbw.com. Hearst. Retrieved February 2, 2019. Fujita comes from a family of teachers and he's ready for this next big role.
  21. ^ Templeman, Kristin (January 30, 2019). "Communications Director". asds.org. All Saints' Day School. Retrieved February 2, 2019. Scott Fujita has been an integral part of the school for the past 7 years, first as a parent, then Board member, and most recently as part of the faculty.
  22. ^ Lapointe, Joe (February 2, 2010). "The Saints Linebacker Who Speaks His Mind". The New York Times.
  23. ^ Zirin, Dave (March 18, 2010). "Why I Support the National Equality March": NFL's Scott Fujita Speaks Out for Gay Rights". Huffington Post.com.
  24. ^ Withers, Tom (August 25, 2010). "Browns LB Fujita wants to save Louisiana wetlands". AP in The Washington Post. Retrieved September 24, 2010.

External links[edit]