NAME: Junior Seau
A.K.A: Tiaina Baul Junior Seau
BIRTH DATE: January 19, 1969
PLACE OF BIRTH: Oceanside, California
EDUCATION: University of Southern California (USC)
KNOWN FOR: NFL player, businessman and philanthropist
VILLAGES IN SAMOA: Both his parents come from the Island of Aunu’u, American Samoa.
SHORT BIO / CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
- Junior was chosen in the first round of the 1990 NFL Draft by Bobby Beathard’s San Diego Chargers as the fifth overall draft selection. Seau quickly became one of the most popular players on the Chargers, playing 15 of the 16 games he played in during his rookie season. In 1991, he picked up 129 tackles and seven sacks.
- 1992 – Junior started an organization developed to help out kids who, like Seau, didn’t always have the best opportunities growing up. The foundation’s purpose is “to educate and empower young people through the support of child abuse prevention, drug and alcohol awareness, recreational opportunities, anti-juvenile delinquency efforts and complimentary educational programs.”
- 1994 – Junior started no fewer than 13 games for the Chargers over each of the ensuing 11 seasons, registering a career high with 155 tackles. That year, Seau assisted his team to a championship appearance in Super Bowl XXIX and logged 19 tackles in the AFC Championship Game. In 2002, his final year with the Chargers, he logged a then-career low 84 tackles and missed his final Pro Bowl with an ankle injury.
- 2003 – April 16, he was traded to the Miami Dolphins for a conditional draft choice. He started 15 games that season for the Dolphins, making 133 tackles on the year. However, in 2004, a torn pectoral muscle limited Junior to eight games, 68 tackles, and one sack. He started five of the first seven games he played in with the Dolphins in 2005, but was placed on injured reserve on November 24 with an achilles tendon injury. On March 6, 2006, Junior was released by the Dolphins. Junior announced his retirement at an emotional press conference on August 14 that year. Just four days later after making his announcement for retirement, he signed with the New England Patriots. He started 10 of the first 11 games for the Patriots, recording 69 tackles before breaking his right arm while making a tackle in a game against the Chicago Bears. He was placed on injured reserve on November 27.
- 2007 – May 21, Junior re-signed with the New England Patriots for the 2007 season. In September 2007, he was named one of the Patriots’ seven captains. He would go on to start four of the 16 games he played in for the Patriots in 2007, and then started the Patriots’ two playoff games before Super Bowl XLII against the New York Giants. The Patriots, who had not lost a game in the season to that point, fell to the Giants in the game, with Junior’s first Super Bowl ring still eluding him. Junior re-signed with the Patriots on December 5, 2008, replacing linebacker Adalius Thomas, who was placed on injured reserve earlier in the season. On December 22, 2008, a fan was arrested for trespassing and assault and battery for tackling Junior as he stood on the New England sideline during a home game against the Arizona Cardinals. He has stated that he did not feel threatened by the fan; he thought that the fan was happy and excited and got carried away
- 2010 – January 13, Junior announced his retirement for a second time on the television program Inside the NFL
- 2011 – November 27, Seau was inducted into the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame as part of Alumni Day ceremonies in Sunday’s sold-out game against the Denver Broncos at Qualcomm Stadium. In front of a crowd of nearly 71,000 fellow Chargers, he was introduced by Hall of Famer – Dan Fouts.
- 1989 – Voted unanimous first-team All-America at University of Southern California
- 1992 – Voted AFC and NFL Defensive Player of the Year
- 1993 – Named Chargers “Edge Man of the Year”
- 1994 – NFL Linebacker of the Year
- 1994 – NFL True Value Hardware Man of the Year
- 2000 – Named to Pro Football Hall of Fame’s All-Decade team for the 1990s; named NFL Alumni Association’s Linebacker of the year
- One of the first NFL players to have his own apparel line, Say-Ow Gear
- Owner of Seau’s the Restaurant in San Diego
- 2011- Junior was inducted into the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame
- Junior is a ten-time All-Pro and 12-time Pro Bowl selection