Notre Dame Great Justin Tuck Retires

Justin Tuck - Notre Dame Sack Leader

Notre Dame’s all-time sack leader (and UHND’s official favorite follower on Twitter) is officially hanging up his cleats after a brilliant 11 year NFL career that saw the Irish great win two Super Bowls with the New York Giants before finishing it off with the Oakland Raiders.

Tuck announced his retirement via social media on Monday.

After months of praying and careful consideration, I have decided to retire from the game of football. I’ve had 11 great years and honestly I leave with very few regrets.

I’m thankful to my family and close friends for their unwavering support. My beautiful wife and kids have dedicated their lives to being my closest support system and I’m eternally grateful.

I want to thank the New York Giants and the Oakland Raiders for giving me a place I could call home all of these years. The Mara, Tisch, and Davis families, I’m forever in your debt. To my coaches: thanks for having me ready at every stage – the Super Bowls, Pro Bowls, you name it – thank you for teaching me about professionalism, preparation, and the pursuit of perfection. To my teammates: thank you for always going to battle with me each and every gameday, but more importantly, thanks for being my brothers for life.

And lastly, the FANS. What an incredible environment you’ve created for me over the years to call a workplace. You all have been so supportive of me and my family, and without you I would have no game to play. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

This isn’t a good-bye, my family and I will continue our charitable work with Tuck’s R.U.S.H. for Literacy and we look forward to continuing to give back to communities that have given so much to us. God Bless.

Tuck enrolled at Notre Dame 15 years ago as an undersized, lanky linebacker with a lot of room to grow.  He left Notre Dame as its all-time career sack leader despite playing his senior season a year removed from an ACL injury he suffered in the finale of his junior season.

To this day, I still wonder what would have happened in 2005 had Tuck returned for a 5th year.  Would the school’s all-time leader in sacks have been the difference in narrow, three point losses to Michigan State and USC during the regular season?

Who knows.   What we do know is after leaving Notre Dame, Tuck went on to become a dominant pass rushing force in the NFL after falling all the way down to the 3rd round of the 2005 NFL Draft.  At the time of his selection, this writer had the following the say:

The Giants got the second best steal of the draft (after Aaron Rodgers fell into the Packers lap at #24) in my opinion. With Michael Strahan getting up there in years the Giants can use an end and Tuck was one of the most under rated ends in the Draft.

He leaves the NFL after collecting 66.5 career sacks including four season with 10+ sacks so that statement wasn’t too far off.  Even if Jared Allen did get selected a round after Tuck.

Tuck’s NFL legacy, however, is two dominating performances in both of the Giants’ recent Super Bowl victories.  In both games Tuck played well enough for MVP consideration.  In fact, Tuck probably should have been the MVP at least one of those times, but it’s tough to take home that hardware over the winning quarterback who engineered a game winning drive.   Still Tuck, is the only player in NFL history to have multiple sacks in multiple Super Bowls.

Notre Dame has not had a pass rusher like Tuck since he left Notre Dame over a decade again.  Stephon Tuitt looked like he could challenge Tuck’s career mark and for a brief moment in 2015, it looked like Romeo Okwara could challenge his single season record, but both players came up short leaving Tuck alone a top the record books in both cases.

 

 

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2 comments

  1. ndmikel 4 years ago

    A TRUE NOTRE DAME LEGEND! 2 SUPER BOWL DOMINATING PERFORMANCES! AND TRULY A NEW YORK GIANTS LEGEND AND HERO! NOTHING BUT THE BEST JUSTIN THANKS FOR ALL THE PROUD MEMORIES!!!

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  2. Damian 4 years ago

    A great linebacker for 2 of my teams, Notre Dame and the New York Giants. He was an elite linebacker for both teams and Tom Brady probably still has nightmares about Tuck. I still miss having him on defense for the Giants, but all good things must come to an end. He had a phenomenal career and maybe we’ll see him again as a TV analysis or commentator.

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