College: Notre Dame
Birthday: March 29, 1983
Justin Tuck emerged seemingly out of nowhere in 2003, setting Notre Dame’s single-season sack record with 13.5 in his first year as a starter. He began his college career as an outside linebacker and initially saw action at rush end in the nickel and dime packages before becoming an every-down defensive end.
Tuck explodes off the snap and chases down plays all over the field. A former Alabama high school star in football, basketball, and baseball, Tuck is a standout athlete cut from the same mold as his cousin, Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Adalius Thomas.
Tuck is a work in progress and needs to continue to get bigger and stronger. Like many rush ends, his play against the run could improve. He also needs to be more durable, as a shoulder injury limited him in two games last season, and he missed spring practice while recovering from knee surgery. The Irish expect Tuck to be ready for the season.
Notre Dame classifies its players according to their academic year rather than by their NCAA eligibility status. Despite being listed as a senior, Tuck may stay in South Bend for the 2005 season if he so chooses because he redshirted in 2001. With his speed, athleticism, and playmaking ability, Tuck could develop into a fine right outside linebacker in the Texans’ defense.
(profile written by Warren DeLuca
Justin Tuck’s 2003 Stats G TCK TFL SKS FF FR 12 73 19 13.5 3 0 Justin Tuck Home
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