Osi Umenyiora
refer to caption
Umenyiora in 2008
No. 72, 50
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born: (1981-11-16) November 16, 1981 (age 40)
London, England
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:255 lb (116 kg)
Career information
High school:Auburn (Auburn, Alabama)
College:Troy
NFL Draft:2003 / Round: 2 / Pick: 46
Career history
Career highlights and awards
NFL record
Career NFL statistics
Tackles:435
Sacks:85.0
Interceptions:1
Forced fumbles:35
Touchdowns:4
Player stats at NFL.com

Ositadimma "Osi" Umenyiora (born November 16, 1981) is a former American football defensive end. He played college football for Troy University and was drafted by the New York Giants in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft. Umenyiora was a two-time Pro Bowl selection and holds the Giants franchise record for most sacks in one game. He is one of five British-born players to have won a Super Bowl, joining Marvin Allen, Scott McCready, former Giants teammate Lawrence Tynes[1] and Jay Ajayi. He also played for the Atlanta Falcons.

Early years

Umenyiora was born in Golders Green, London to Nigerian parents.[2] He is of Igbo descent, a native of Ogbunike town in Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra state in Nigeria.[3] His full first name means in Igbo "from today on, things will be good."[4][5]

Umenyiora's family moved from London to Nigeria when he was seven years old. At fourteen years old, Umenyiora moved to Auburn, Alabama to live with his sister.[6] Umenyiora played only two years of high school football at Auburn High School where he was sixteen years old as a senior.[7] Umenyiora was high school friends and teammates with fellow future NFL defensive lineman DeMarcus Ware, who was two years behind him and would follow Umenyiora to Troy.[6]

He finished his high school football career with no scholarship offers. After the season, while Umenyiora was serving an in-school suspension, his team’s running back coach called his former college teammate Tracy Rocker, then the defensive line coach at Troy State, to tell him about Umenyiora. Rocker happened to be in town, stopped by the school, and offered Umenyiora a scholarship the same day.[8]

College career

Umenyiora played college football for the Troy State Trojans, the only program to offer him an athletic scholarship.[9] At Troy, Umenyiora was moved from nose guard to defensive end.[9] In 2002, he set school records in tackles for loss in a single season (20.5) and sacks in a single game (four against Florida A&M). He finished the 2002 season with 15 sacks, the second-most in NCAA Division I. He was inducted into the Troy University Sports Hall of Fame in 2014.[10]

Professional career

New York Giants

Despite not being invited to the 2003 NFL Draft Combine,[10] Umenyiora was drafted in the 2nd round (56th pick overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft by the New York Giants out of Troy University.[11]

Umenyiora established himself as a premier pass rusher in 2005, his first year as a starter.[2] His stellar play earned All-Pro recognition and a trip to the Pro Bowl. Umenyiora achieved 14.5 sacks and 70 tackles, second only to the sixteen sacks obtained by Derrick Burgess of the Oakland Raiders.[2]

On December 23, 2005, the Giants signed Umenyiora to a six-year contract extension for $41 million with $15 million guaranteed.[12]

In the fourth game of the 2007 season, he set a Giants franchise record by recording six sacks against the Philadelphia Eagles. At that point in the season, the Giants had 12 sacks, tying the NFL record.[13] He recorded his first career touchdown on October 21 against the San Francisco 49ers when he sacked Trent Dilfer, forced a fumble, recovered the fumble, and ran 75 yards for the score.[14]

By the end of the season, Umenyiora's 13 sacks helped the Giants to an NFL regular season-leading 53 sacks.[2] The Giants had a surprise victory in Super Bowl XLII over the New England Patriots, in part because of their strong pass rush performance. Umenyiora had four tackles in that game, three of which were solos.[2]

During a preseason game against the New York Jets, Umenyiora suffered cartilage damage in his left knee and was required to undergo season-ending surgery.[15] The finding by team physician Russell Warren was that Umenyiora suffered a torn lateral meniscus.[16]

Umenyiora joined ESPN's Monday Night Football crew on October 13, 2008.[17]

In week 1 of the 2009 season against the Washington Redskins, Umenyiora recorded his second and final career touchdown, also on a sack, forced fumble, and recovery.

On November 5, 2010, Umenyiora was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month after recording 18 tackles (10 solo), 7.0 sacks, and six forced fumbles in the Giants' four October wins.[18] Umenyiora and teammate Justin Tuck recorded 11.5 sacks for the year, and combined for 16 forced fumbles.

On July 29, 2011, Umenyiora did not report on the opening day of the Giants' training camp. As a result, the Giants placed him on Reserve/Did Not Report. He reported to camp late the following day. Umenyiora has claimed that general manager Jerry Reese promised to renegotiate his contract after the 2010 season, but failed to do so.[19][20]

Umenyiora began practicing with his teammates on August 15, but after three practices he had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. The team expected him to miss the season opener against the Washington Redskins on September 11.[21]

In June 2012 Umenyiora agreed to a one-year contract with the Giants, after terminating his working relationship with agent Tony Agnone.[11]

Atlanta Falcons

Umenyiora signed a two-year deal worth $8.55 million with the Atlanta Falcons on March 27, 2013.[22]

Retirement

On August 26, 2015, he announced his retirement. He signed a ceremonial one-day deal with the Giants to officially retire as a member of the team.[23]

Umenyiora in the Giants NFC divisional playoff game against the Green Bay Packers on January 15, 2012.
Umenyiora in the Giants NFC divisional playoff game against the Green Bay Packers on January 15, 2012.

NFL career statistics

Legend
Won the Super Bowl
NFL record
Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team Games Tackles Fumbles Interceptions
GP GS Cmb Solo Ast Sck Sfty FF FR Yds TD Int Yds Avg TD PD
2003 NYG 13 1 20 13 7 1.0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0
2004 NYG 16 7 58 40 18 7.0 0 3 4 88 1 0 0 0.0 0 3
2005 NYG 16 16 70 48 22 14.5 0 4 2 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 3
2006 NYG 11 11 31 24 7 6.0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 2
2007 NYG 16 16 52 40 12 13.0 0 5 2 75 1 0 0 0.0 0 0
2008 NYG 0 0 Did not play due to injury
2009 NYG 16 11 29 19 10 7.0 0 4 4 61 1 0 0 0.0 0 1
2010 NYG 16 16 48 33 15 11.5 0 10 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 2
2011 NYG 9 7 25 16 9 9.0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 1
2012 NYG 16 4 43 28 15 6.0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 1
2013 ATL 16 13 47 31 16 7.5 0 3 0 0 0 1 68 68.0 1 3
2014 ATL 16 0 12 9 3 2.5 0 0 1 86 1 0 0 0.0 0 1
Total[24] 129 92 376 261 115 85 0 35 13 310 4 1 68 68.0 1 17

Media career

After retiring in 2015, he joined BBC Sport as a pundit for their NFL coverage working on the NFL International Series matches from London and the Super Bowl. He has worked alongside Match of the Day 2 host Mark Chapman, Jason Bell, Nat Coombs, Mike Carlson and Dan Walker and their coverage has gained rave reviews from NFL fans in the UK.[25] He also works on the BBC's NFL weekly highlights shows (The NFL Show/NFL This Week) which are on every week of the season.

His pundit work has been recognized with two Royal Television Society Performance Awards for Best Sports Presenter, Commentator or Pundit in 2017[26] and 2019[27] (he was also on the three person shortlist in 2018[28]) and the 2018 Sports Journalists' Association British Sports Pundit of the Year award.[29]

Personal life

Umenyiora formerly resided in Cleveland, Georgia and Edgewater, New Jersey.[30] In 2008, he made a cameo appearance in the music video "I Luv Your Girl" by The-Dream.

In February 2013, he became engaged to Miss Universe 2011, Leila Lopes. They married May 29, 2015 in Luanda, Angola, the bride's home country.[31] In February 2018, they announced that Lopes was pregnant with their first child together.[32]

References

  1. ^ Ralston, Gary; Mcdonald, Craig (February 5, 2008). "Delight Of Super Bowl Hero Scot Lawrence Tynes". Daily Record.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Osi Umneyiora speakers bureau biography".
  3. ^ "Igbo-Nigerians bring global presence to NFL Super bowl". Retrieved February 28, 2015.
  4. ^ Altobelli, Lisa (February 18, 2008). "Osi Umenyiora". Time Warner Company. Retrieved January 26, 2009.
  5. ^ Jenkins, Lee (February 13, 2008). "Everywhere Man". Time Warner Company. Retrieved January 26, 2009.
  6. ^ a b Garber, Greg (January 13, 2008). "Garber: Friends and foes". ESPN. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  7. ^ Thomas, Ben. "Counting down Alabama's 10 most underrated former high school football stars". AL.com. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  8. ^ "Osi Umenyiora Crazy Story How He Got Into College! London Games and NFL Africa?! | Chalk Media | YouTube". Retrieved August 15, 2021 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ a b Piellucci, Mike (February 5, 2016). "How Troy University Became An Unlikely Breeding Ground For Super Bowl Rushers". VICE Sports. Vice Media. Archived from the original on January 8, 2017. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Hall of Fame - The Official Site of Troy Athletics". www.troytrojans.com. Troy University Athletics. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Rohan, Tim (August 4, 2012). "For Umenyiora, Contentment at Last". New York Times. Archived from the original on August 6, 2012.
  12. ^ "Giants DE Umenyiora gets six-year extension". ESPN.com. December 24, 2005.
  13. ^ "Umenyiora, Giants sack Eagles 16-3 - NFL- msnbc.com". November 16, 2007. Archived from the original on November 16, 2007.
  14. ^ Litsky, Frank (October 22, 2008). "Umenyiora Sets Mood, and Giants Join the Fun". Article. New York Times Company. Retrieved August 24, 2008.
  15. ^ Schwartz, Paul (August 24, 2008). "Umenyiora Out for Season;MRI Exam Reveals Serious Ligament Damage". New York Post. Retrieved August 24, 2008.
  16. ^ "Giants Headlines". Archived from the original on August 2, 2009. Retrieved August 24, 2008.
  17. ^ Page, Matt. "Umenyiora joins the MNF Crew". Retrieved October 13, 2008.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora named NFC Defensive Player of the Month for October", November 5, 2010. "Osi Umenyiora was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month after recording 18 tackles (10 solo), 7.0 sacks, and six forced fumbles in the Giants' four October wins."
  19. ^ "Giants transactions". Giants.com. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  20. ^ "Umenyiora reports to training camp". NFL.com. July 30, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  21. ^ "Knee surgery to keep Giants DE Umenyiora out up to a month". NFL.com. August 19, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  22. ^ "FALCONS ADD DE OSI UMENYIORA". Archived from the original on March 31, 2013. Retrieved March 28, 2013.
  23. ^ Darcy, Kieran (August 26, 2015). "Osi Umenyiora retires after signing 1-day deal with Giant". ESPN.com. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  24. ^ "Osi Umenyiora, DE for the New York Giants". NFL.com. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
  25. ^ "NFL on the BBC". Derby Telegraph. Derby Telegraph. Retrieved February 8, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ "RTS Programme Awards 2017". Royal Television Society. October 24, 2016.
  27. ^ "RTS Programme Awards 2019 in partnership with Audio Network". Royal Television Society. October 2, 2018.
  28. ^ "RTS Programme Awards 2018 in partnership with Audio Network". Royal Television Society. October 13, 2017.
  29. ^ "2018 British Sports Journalism Awards – Sports Journalists' Association".
  30. ^ Jenkins, Lee. "Global Warning: Born in Britain, nurtured in Nigeria and baptized for football in Alabama, Osi Umenyiora is ready to rock the Patriots' world", Sports Illustrated, January 28, 2008. Accessed March 7, 2008. "'I feel like I come from everywhere,' says Umenyiora, who now splits time between Atlanta and Edgewater, N.J."
  31. ^ "Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes & NFL Star Osi Umenyiora are Married!". May 31, 2015.
  32. ^ "Baby Loading… Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes and Husband Osi Umenyiora are Pregnant ??". Bella Naija. February 28, 2018.