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D. J. Fluker

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D.J. Fluker
Fluker in 2013.
No. 76 San Diego Chargers
Position: Offensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1991-03-13) March 13, 1991 (age 24)
Place of birth: New Orleans, Louisiana
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Weight: Script error: No such module "convert".
Career information
High school: Foley (AL)
College: Alabama
NFL draft: 2013 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career Template:If empty statistics as of Week 17, 2014
Games played: 31
Games started: 31
Stats at NFL.com

Danny Lee Jesus "D. J." Fluker (born March 13, 1991) is an American football offensive tackle for the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League (NFL). He was considered one of the best offensive tackles of his college class,[1] and was drafted by the Chargers in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played college football at Alabama, where he was recognized as an All-American. The Chargers plan to move Fluker to the Offensive Guard position for the 2015 NFL Season.

High school career

Born and raised in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana,[2] Fluker and his family left the city in the final hours before Hurricane Katrina roared ashore.[3] They moved to Biloxi, Mississippi, and later Mobile, Alabama, where Fluker attended McGill-Toolen Catholic High School. By eighth grade, he stood 6-3 and weighed 400 pounds, but later lost much of that weight.[4] At McGill-Toolen, Fluker was a dominating defensive lineman. Family issues took Fluker back to Biloxi, for his junior year, where he remained at defensive tackle, after almost giving up on his football career.[5]

Prior to his senior year, Fluker moved back to Alabama—this time to the city of Foley. At Foley High School, head coach Todd Watson convinced Fluker to play on the offensive line to exploit his full potential.[4] In his first year at offensive tackle, Fluker graded out at 92 percent with 60 pancake blocks and 28 knockdowns. Foley finished the season with a 7–3 record, including a 24–17 win over Fluker's old McGill-Toolen team. Fluker earned high school All-American honors from USA Today, Parade, EA Sports, and SuperPrep. He also received an invitation to the 2009 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

In addition to football, Fluker was also a member of the Foley track & field team, where he threw the shot put, recording a top-throw of 16.27 meters (53 ft 1 in) at the 2009 Mobile Challenge, where he took 4th.[6]

Considered a five-star recruit by Rivals.com, Fluker was ranked No. 1 among offensive tackle prospects in the nation,[7] Despite growing up an LSU Tigers fan, Fluker committed to Alabama.[8]

College career

"The kid's a freak athlete. He probably outweighs me by 70 pounds and moves just as well."

Mike Johnson, Fluker's Alabama teammate.[9]

Fluker enrolled in the University of Alabama, where he was a member of coach Nick Saban's Alabama Crimson Tide football team from 2009 to 2012. Projected to play as true freshman at Alabama, he was a candidate to replace All-American Andre Smith at left tackle, although junior college transfer James Carpenter was considered to have better chances,[9] and eventually got the starting nod. Fluker started the season as third-string right tackle,[10] but eventually redshirted his first year. In 2010, Fluker started nine games at right tackle. He missed three games with an injury midseason.

As a sophomore, Fluker started all 13 games for the Crimson Tide at right tackle on their way to the BCS National Championship victory. As a junior, he started all 14 games at right tackle as Alabama repeated as BCS National Champions. He was selected Walter Camp and Associated Press second-team All-American and first-team All-SEC. He has graded out at 98.6 percent on blocking assignments.[11] Since he had graduated and was in his fourth year, Fluker was granted eligibity by the National Football League to participate in the 2013 Senior Bowl.[12]

Allegation of violations

On September 11, 2013, Yahoo Sports reported Fluker, along with four other players received benefits totaling in the thousands of dollars from former Alabama football player, Luther Davis.[13] According to the report, Davis acted as a "bag man" for agents looking to gain the business of Fluker and the other players. Subsequent to its reports, Yahoo Sports published various receipts and flight plans unequivocally showing the benefits and direct payments given to the players.[14] Fluker's involvement in this pay-for-play scheme is particularly significant because the benefits came in a period of time leading up to Alabama's participation in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game.[according to whom?]

Professional career

2013 NFL Draft

On April 25, 2013, Fluker was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the first round, with the 11th overall pick, of the 2013 NFL draft.[15] He is the fourth Alabama offensive lineman selected in the first round within five years, after Andre Smith (2009), James Carpenter (2011), and Chance Warmack (2013).

<td colspan="20" align="center">All values from NFL Combine[16]</td>
Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt<th>Arm length</th><th>Hand size</th> 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 4⅝ in 339 lb<td align="center">36¾ in</td><td align="center">10½ in</td> 5.28 s 1.90 s 3.06 s 21 reps

References

  1. ^ NFL Draft - 2013 OT Draft Prospects, CBSSports.com 
  2. ^ "The house D.J. Fluker bought". San Diego Union-Tribune. August 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ Bean, Josh (January 31, 2009). "Taken by storm". The Mississippi Press. Archived from the original on August 16, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Staples, Andy (January 28, 2009). "Alabama commit D.J. Fluker prodigious size, skill". Sports Illustrated. 
  5. ^ "Alabama commitment D.J. Fluker of Foley nearly gave up his promising football career after moving back to Biloxi". Press-Register. February 1, 2009. 
  6. ^ "2009 Results - Mobile Challenge 2009-04-04 AL - DyeStat.com TFX - The Internet Home of High School Track, Field and Cross Country". Parser.dyestat.com. 2009-04-04. Retrieved 2015-02-03. 
  7. ^ "Rivals.com offensive tackles 2009". January 15, 2009. 
  8. ^ "2009 Recruiting: D.J. Fluker Commits". RollBamaRoll. November 6, 2007. 
  9. ^ a b Schmidt, Andrew (July 23, 2009), "Saban says offensive front 'critical area to develop'", Gadsden Times, archived from the original on August 1, 2009 
  10. ^ "No freshmen listed on Tide two-deep", Mobile Press-Register, September 1, 2009, archived from the original on September 3, 2009 
  11. ^ "Fluker Bio". Rolltide.com. Retrieved 2015-02-03. 
  12. ^ "First non-seniors to compete in Senior Bowl". CBS Sports. January 19, 2013. Retrieved January 19, 2013. 
  13. ^ Getlin, Rand (2013-09-11). "Documents, text messages reveal impermissible benefits to five SEC players - Yahoo Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2015-02-03. 
  14. ^ September 10, 2013 10:00 PM (2013-09-10). "SEC investigation". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2015-02-03. 
  15. ^ Gehlken, Michael (April 25, 2013). "Chargers draft Alabama's D.J. Fluker". U-T San Diego. 
  16. ^ "*D.J. Fluker | Alabama, OT : 2013 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". Nfldraftscout.com. 2006-09-21. Retrieved 2015-02-03. 

External links

Template:2013 NFL Draft