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Rob Gronkowski
No. 87     New England Patriots
Tight end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1989-05-14) May 14, 1989 (age 30)
Place of birth: Amherst, New York, U.S.
High School: Woodland Hills High School (in Churchill, Pennsylvania)
Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) Weight: 265 lb (120 kg)
Career information
College: Arizona
NFL Draft: 2010 / Round: 2 / Pick: 42
Debuted in 2010 for the New England Patriots
Career history
* New England Patriots ( 2010–present)
Roster status: Injured Reserve
Career highlights and awards
* 2× Pro Bowl (2011, 2012)
  • All-Pro (2011, 2012)
  • AFC champion (2011)
  • Most TD receptions by a tight end, season (17 in 2011)
  • Most receiving yards by a tight end, season (1,327 in 2011)
Career NFL statistics as of 2012
Receptions     187
Receiving yards     2,663
Average     14.2
Receiving TDs     38
Rushing TDs     1
Stats at NFL.com

Robert James "Rob" Gronkowski (born May 14, 1989), nicknamed "The Gronk", is an American football tight end for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Arizona, and was selected by the New England Patriots in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. In 2011 Gronkowski, in just his second season in the NFL, set the single-season record for touchdowns by a tight end, with 17 receiving touchdowns, and 18 overall. In so doing, he became the first tight end in NFL history to lead the league in receiving touchdowns.

Family and early yearsEdit

Gronkowski is the second-youngest of five brothers. The eldest, Gordie Jr., played baseball at Jacksonville University, and was on the professional Canadian-American league Worcester Tornadoes' 2011 roster. Chris played football for two years at the University of Maryland before transferring to Arizona. Dan played as a tight end at Maryland and was selected in the 2009 NFL Draft. The youngest brother, Glenn, is attending Kansas State University.[1] The brothers' great-grandfather, Ignatius Gronkowski, was a member of the 1924 U.S. Olympic cycling team in Paris.[2]

Gronkowski was raised in Williamsville, New York and attended Williamsville North High School for three years. He played football, as a tight end, and basketball, as a center. As a junior playing football, he recorded 36 receptions for 648 yards and seven touchdowns on offense, and 73 tackles and six sacks on defense. He was named an All-Western New York first-team and All-State second-team player.[3]

In 2006 his family moved to Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, where he attended Woodland Hills High School (in Churchill) as a senior. Initially ruled ineligible by the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League,[4] that ruling was overturned, and he recorded eight receptions for 152 yards and four touchdowns at Woodland Hills. He was named a SuperPrep All-American, PrepStar All-American, Associated Press Class 4-A all-state, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Fabulous 22", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first-team all-conference, The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) "Platinum 33", and a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "Terrific 25" player.[3] He was recruited by Arizona, Clemson, Louisville, Maryland, Ohio State, and Syracuse.[5]

College careerEdit

Following high school, he attended the University of Arizona. As a freshman in 2007, he recorded 28 receptions for 525 yards and six touchdowns. His 18.8 yards per reception average was the best on the team and his receiving yards were a school record for a tight end. He was named a The Sporting News freshman All-American, Rivals.com freshman All-American, The Sporting News freshman Pac-10, and All-Pac-10 honorable mention player. [3]

Gronkowski missed the first three games of the 2008 season, but later recorded 47 receptions for 672 yards and a team-best ten touchdowns. Five of his touchdowns were scored in his first two games. He twice was named the John Mackey National Tight End of the Week, including his performance in a failed comeback bid against Oregon, when he caught 12 passes for 143 yards. He set the school records for a tight end for single-game, single-season, and career receptions, yards, and touchdowns. Gronkowski was named an Associated Press third-team All-American and All-Pac-10 first-team tight end.[3]

Prior to the 2009 season, he was named to the Lombardi Award watchlist for the most outstanding college football lineman or linebacker.[6]

Professional careerEdit

2010 NFL DraftEdit

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 6¼ in 258 lb 4.68 s 1.58 s 2.68 s 4.47 s 7.18 s 33½ in 9 ft 11 in 23 * rep

New England PatriotsEdit

Gronkowski was drafted by the New England Patriots in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. He signed a four-year contract on July 25, 2010.[9] The deal was worth $4.4 million, with a $1.76 million signing bonus.

2010 seasonEdit

During the preseason, Gronkowski was one of three NFL players to score four touchdowns, tying Victor Cruz, a rookie wide receiver for the New York Giants and Anthony Dixon, a running back for the San Francisco 49ers. On one of those touchdowns, a 14-yard pass from Tom Brady, Gronkowski dragged St. Louis Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis several yards before diving into the end zone. In the Week 1 game against Cincinnati, Gronkowski caught his first regular season touchdown in the fourth quarter on a one-yard pass from Brady.

In a Week 10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Gronkowski caught three touchdown passes from Brady, becoming the first rookie in Patriots history, and the youngest rookie in NFL history to accomplish the feat.[10] (In honor of the feat, Madden NFL 12 has a "Rob Gronkowski Award" for players who have a tight end catch three or more touchdowns in a single game.)

Returning to his home city of Buffalo in Week 16, Gronkowski caught two touchdowns against the Buffalo Bills, giving him nine touchdown catches on the season. He added a touchdown in the season finale, giving him 10 on the season, and making him the first rookie tight end since the NFL-AFL merger to score 10 touchdowns. In 16 games played (11 starts), Gronkowski caught 42 passes for 546 yards. Despite missing his entire 2009 college season following back surgery, Gronkowski did not miss a single game or practice all season.[11]

Gronkowski was nominated three times for Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week, in Weeks 10, 14, and 17, losing in Week 10 to Tim Tebow, and winning in Weeks 14 and 17. Gronkowski also finished fifth in fan balloting at tight end for the 2011 Pro Bowl, and fourth overall among rookies.[12] Gronkowski also received one writer's vote for the Associated Press 2010 All-Pro Team (writers only vote for one tight end).

2011 seasonEdit

Gronkowski caught his first touchdown of the 2011 season on a 10-yard pass from Tom Brady in the Patriots' Week 1 victory over the Miami Dolphins; Gronkowski's 6 catches accounted for 86 of Brady's franchise record 517 yards. In Week 11, Gronkowski caught two touchdown passes, including a career-long 52-yard catch and run, to equal his 2010 TD total in just ten games; he passed his reception and yardage totals from 2010 in only eight games.

Through Week 11, Gronkowski led all tight ends with 10 touchdowns; his 20 TDs were the most ever for a TE in his first two seasons. His reception and receiving yardage totals both ranked second among TEs (after Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints), and in the top ten among all receivers, though they only ranked second on the Patriots, behind Wes Welker.

Gronkowski broke the NFL record for touchdowns scored in a single season by a tight end when he had the second three-TD game of his career in the Patriots' Week 13 victory against the Indianapolis Colts. After scoring two TDs on receptions from Tom Brady, Gronkowski scored a third touchdown from 2 yards out. Initially declared a forward pass, the pass was later ruled a lateral pass,[13] which is recorded as a rushing attempt; it was the first rushing attempt of Gronkowski's career, and his first rushing touchdown. It was also the first rushing touchdown by a tight end since Bo Scaife did it in 2006,[13] and the first in Patriots history.[14] At game's end, Gronkowski had sole possession of the touchdown scoring record, with 14, and shared the record for receiving touchdowns, 13, with Antonio Gates and Vernon Davis.

Gronkowski took sole possession of the TE receiving record a week later against the Washington Redskins, in which he caught his 14th and 15th touchdown passes of the season; in total, he had six receptions for a career-high 160 yards. His performance also earned him his first AFC Offensive Player of the Week award,[15] and, for the second week in a row, NFL.com's "Hardest Working Man" award.[16] He ended the season with 1,327 receiving yards, breaking the previous NFL record for a tight end of 1,290 set by Kellen Winslow in 1980.[17] He also finished with 18 total touchdowns, 17 receiving—both NFL records for tight ends. Gronkowski's 18 touchdowns were the second-highest total in the NFL (after Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy, who had 20), and equaled the output of the entire St. Louis Rams team. His 17 receiving touchdowns were the most of any NFL player in 2011, marking the first time in NFL history a tight end had sole possession of the league lead.

Gronkowski was voted the starting tight end for the AFC at the 2012 Pro Bowl. One of eight Patriots players voted to the Pro Bowl, he finished fan voting with 936,886 votes, more than triple the number received by the number two tight end, Gronkowski's teammate Aaron Hernandez, and the third-highest total of any AFC player, behind teammates Tom Brady and Wes Welker. He was also voted the tight end for the AP All-Pro first team, receiving 44½ of the 50 votes (44 voters voted for Gronkowski; 5 voters voted for Jimmy Graham, and one voter split a vote between the two).[18]

2011 post-seasonEdit

In the Patriots' first playoff game, a 45–10 rout of the Denver Broncos in the Divisional round, Gronkowski tied an NFL post-season record, catching three touchdown passes as part of a 10-catch, 145-yard effort. Gronkowski alone had more catches than the entire Broncos offense, as quarterback Tim Tebow completed just 9 of 26 passes. For the second playoff game, a 23-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens. Gronkowski had 5 catches for 87 yards, with a long reception of 23 yards. In the second half, Gronkowski suffered a high ankle sprain on a tackle by Ravens safety Bernard Pollard; the status of his ankle was one of the major story lines in the runner-up to Super Bowl XLVI. With only a few seconds left in the 4th quarter in Super Bowl XLVI, Gronkowski ran into the endzone waiting for the last pass by Tom Brady but was incomplete. The Patriots lost the Super Bowl to the New York Giants 17-21. [19] A few days after the Super Bowl, Gronkowski had an MRI of his injured ankle that revealed strained ligaments and required surgery to repair.

2012Edit

On June 8, 2012, Gronkowski signed a six-year, $54 million contract extension, the largest ever for an NFL tight end. The contract included an $8 million signing bonus, but leaves the 2012 and 2013 seasons of his rookie contract intact.[20]

Gronkowski broke his left forearm late in the fourth quarter of the Patriots' 59-24 victory in Week 11 over the Indianapolis Colts with reports stating he would be out four to six weeks.[21] Before doing so, however, he became the third tight end in NFL history (after Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates) to achieve three seasons with at least 10 touchdown receptions, and the first ever to do it in consecutive seasons. Gronkowski returned to practice in Week 15, and participated in the Week 17 game against the Miami Dolphins, scoring a touchdown. He reinjured his left arm in the first quarter of the Patriots' first playoff game, against the Houston Texans. According to ESPN, he required another surgery, and would miss the rest of the 2012 season.[22]

NFL recordsEdit

  • Youngest player with 3 touchdown receptions in a game: 21 years, 214 days (2010, vs. Pittsburgh Steelers)
  • Youngest player with 3 touchdown receptions in a game, playoffs: 22 years, 275 days (2011 playoffs, vs. Denver Broncos)
  • Most touchdown receptions by a tight end, season: 17 (2011)
  • Most touchdowns by a tight end, season: 18 (2011)
  • First tight end to lead the league in receiving touchdowns (2011)
  • Most receiving yards by a tight end, season: 1,327 (2011)
  • Most offensive touchdowns in first two seasons: 28 (Tied with Randy Moss)
  • Consecutive seasons with 10+ touchdowns by a tight end, 3

Patriots franchise recordsEdit

  • Highest receiving yards per game average for a Tight end (season): 82.9 (2011)

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Player Bio: Dan Gronkowski". University of Maryland. http://umterps.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/gronkowski_dan00.html. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
  2. "Rob Gronkowski - Official New England Patriots Biography". http://www.patriots.com/team/index.cfm?ac=playerbio&bio=34181. Retrieved 2010-08-16.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Player Bio: Rob Gronkowski". University of Arizona. http://www.arizonaathletics.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/gronkowski_rob00.html. Retrieved 2009-04-30.
  4. "WPIAL benches high school football transfer". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 2006-08-26. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06234/715337-49.stm. Retrieved 2010-11-17.
  5. "Rob Gronkowski Profile". Scout.com. http://recruiting.scout.com/a.z?s=73&p=8&c=1&nid=2138007. Retrieved 2009-04-30.
  6. "Gronkowski on Early National Radar". University of Arizona. 2009-03-02. http://www.arizonaathletics.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/030209aaa.html. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Rob Gronkowski 2010 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile
  8. Rob Gronkowski Combine Profile at NFL.com
  9. Reiss, Mike (2010-07-25). "Gronkowski signs rookie deal". ESPNBoston.com. http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4680302/gronkowski-signs-rookie-deal. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
  10. "Player Game Finder Query Results". Pro Football Reference. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/play-index/pgl_finder.cgi?request=1&match=game&year_min=1960&year_max=2010&season_start=1&season_end=1&age_min=0&age_max=99&league_id=&team_id=&opp_id=&game_type=R&game_num_min=0&game_num_max=99&week_num_min=0&week_num_max=99&game_day_of_week=&game_location=&game_result=&is_active=&is_hof=&c1stat=rec_td&c1comp=gt&c1val=3&c2stat=&c2comp=gt&c2val=&c3stat=&c3comp=gt&c3val=&c4stat=&c4comp=gt&c4val=&order_by=age&order_by_asc=Y. Retrieved 2010-11-17.
  11. "Like Mark Bavaro, New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski fits coach Bill Belichick's mold - ESPN Boston". Sports.espn.go.com. 2011-02-03. http://sports.espn.go.com/boston/nfl/columns/story?columnist=reiss_mike&id=6085654. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
  12. Reiss, Mike (2010-12-22). "Where Pats rank in fan Pro Bowl voting". ESPNBoston.com. http://espn.go.com/blog/BostonNew-England-Patriots/post/_/id/4690273/where-pats-rank-in-fan-pro-bowl-voting. Retrieved 2010-12-22.
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Rob Gronkowski finds new way to reach end zone - ESPN Boston". Espn.go.com. 2011-12-04. http://espn.go.com/boston/nfl/story/_/id/7316751/rob-gronkowski-finds-new-way-reach-end-zone. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
  14. "Rob Gronkowski on track to be one of NFL's greatest". The Boston Globe. 2011-12-05. http://bostonglobe.com/sports/2011/12/05/rob-gronkowski-track-one-nfl-greatest/grjZASYeVzbnmJO7AGLs5O/story.html. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
  15. Reiss, Mike. "Gronk earns AFC player of week honor - New England Patriots Blog". Espn.go.com. http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4712242/gronk-earns-afc-player-of-week-honor. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
  16. 00:36 (2011-12-16). "NFL Videos: Week 14: Hardest Working Man winner". Nfl.com. http://www.nfl.com/videos/new-england-patriots/09000d5d8251eb9b/Week-14-Hardest-Working-Man-winner. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
  17. "Rob Gronkowski sets TE yardage mark". ESPNBoston.com. January 1, 2012. Archived from the original on January 3, 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/64Qmt2hNM.
  18. Kuharsky, Paul (2011-01-02). "All-Pro voting totals - AFC South Blog". Espn.go.com. http://espn.go.com/blog/afcsouth/post/_/id/32971/all-pro-voting-totals. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
  19. "Super Bowl XLVI as it happened". CNN. 2012-02-06. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/02/05/sport/super-bowl.
  20. Wilson, Aaron. "Rob Gronkowski gets six-year, $54 million contract extension". http://profootball.scout.com/a.z?s=127&p=9&c=2&cid=1193260&nid=6307354&fhn=1. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
  21. ESPN.com. Retrieved 2012-11-19.
  22. Rob Gronkowski to miss the rest of the 2012 season

External linksEdit

Records
Preceded by
Antonio Gates, Vernon Davis 2009 (13)
Record for NFL Tight End Receiving Touchdowns in a Single Season
2011 (17)
Succeeded by
incumbent
Preceded by
Antonio Gates, Vernon Davis 2009 (13)
Record for NFL Tight End Touchdowns in a Single Season
2011 (18)
Succeeded by
incumbent
Preceded by
Kellen Winslow 1980 (1,290)
Record for NFL Tight End Receiving Yards in a Single Season
2011 (1,327)
Succeeded by
incumbent
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