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Brandon Meriweather
No. 31     New England Patriots
Safety
Personal information
Date of birth: January 14, 1984 (1984-01-14) (age 26)
Place of birth: Apopka, Florida
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) Weight: 200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
College: Miami (FL)
NFL Draft: 2007 / Round: 1 / Pick: 24
Debuted in 2007 for the New England Patriots
Career history
 As player:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2009
Tackles     193
Sacks     2.0
Interceptions     9
Forced fumbles     5
Pass deflections     21
Stats at NFL.com

Brandon Meriweather (born January 14, 1984 in Apopka, Florida) is an American football safety for the New England Patriots of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Patriots 24th overall in the 2007 NFL Draft. He played college football at Miami.

Contents

Early years

Meriweather's mother gave birth to him when she was 13 years old. Meriweather started living with his adopted parents at age 11.[1] Meriweather attended Apopka High School in Apopka, Florida where he helped lead his school to the Florida Class 6A state championship as a senior in 2001. He started as a kick returner, returning four kicks for touchdowns as a senior. He also lettered in track and basketball.

College career

Meriweather went on to play college football at the University of Miami. In 2002, Meriweather played in three games and had three total tackles before injuring his ankle. Per guidelines, he was given a medical redshirt by the NCAA. In 2003, Meriweather played the majority of the season on special teams and in different nickel and dime packages. He got his first start against West Virginia as a nickel back. He finished the year with 22 tackles, one interception and five pass break-ups.

Meriweather played in all 12 games of the 2004 season but only started seven because of a nagging shoulder injury. He contributed 62 tackles, a half sack, two forced fumbles, five pass break-ups and two interceptions. He received the team's 2004 Hard Hitter Award.

Meriweather was named to the All-America team as voted by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and was also selected first-team All-ACC in 2005. He was also a semi-finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award. He led the team with a career-high 115 tackles, seven pass break-ups, one sack, one fumble recovery, two forced fumbles and three interceptions. He received the team's Hard Hitter Award for the second consecutive season.

Meriweather was a member of the 2006 50th Anniversary Playboy Preseason All-America Team and was also on the Thorpe Award watch list for the second straight year. In 12 games, Meriweather registered 91 tackles, one sack, eight pass break-ups and one interception. He was also a semi-finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, and was voted first-team All-ACC and All-American. He left Miami with the record for most tackles by a defensive back with 293.[2]

Meriweather was invited to the Senior Bowl at the end of the season.

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University of Miami controversies

Shooting incident

On July 21, 2006 Meriweather was involved in a shooting incident when teammate Willie Cooper was shot in the buttocks. In self defense, Meriweather returned fire and shot at the unidentified shooters three times. Meriweather was not charged with a crime because his gun was owned legally.[3]

Miami-FIU Brawl

During the infamous Miami-FIU brawl on October 14, 2006, Meriweather was clearly seen stomping repeatedly on several Florida International players on the ground. Meriweather was ultimately suspended by the ACC and Miami for his role in the brawl.[4] It is believed that his actions during the brawl and the shooting incident may have caused his draft stock to slip.[5]

Professional career

New England Patriots

Meriweather was selected in the first round (24th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. During his rookie season most of his time was spent on special teams, and he finished the season with 28 tackles. He played in Super Bowl XLII as a third safety in the Patriots' defense behind Rodney Harrison and James Sanders.

During his second season in 2008, Meriweather recorded his first career interception in the second week of the season off of New York Jets quarterback Brett Favre. After starting strong safety Rodney Harrison suffered a season-ending injury against the Denver Broncos in Week 7, Meriweather started the final 11 games. He finished the season with 83 tackles, two sacks, and four interceptions.

In Week 7 of the 2009 season, Meriweather had two interceptions against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including one returned 39-yards for a touchdown, and was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week.[6] He started all 16 games and finished the 2009 season with 83 tackles and five interceptions, and was named to his first Pro Bowl as a replacement to the injured Jairus Byrd.

References

External links


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