LB / LB
Class of 2015
Junior Seau began his pro career in 1990 after being selected as the fifth player overall in that year’s draft by the San Diego Chargers. Over the next 20 seasons, he exemplified perseverance, leadership, and a level of excellence that made him one of the finest linebackers to have ever played in the National Football League.
Seau started 15 games in his rookie campaign and finished as the team’s second-leading tackler. The following season, he earned league-wide acclaim when he was named All-Pro for the first of six straight seasons. Seau was named All-Pro two more times (1998 and 2000). An intense competitor and team leader, Seau was also voted to 12 Pro Bowls.
In 1994, he led the Chargers to their first and only Super Bowl appearance. He played an integral role San Diego’s success that season as the team finished 11-5 and won the AFC Western Division. He recorded 155 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries, forced a fumble and had three passes defensed to pace the Chargers that season. Seau registered 10 or more tackles in a game 10 times that year (eight in the regular season and two in postseason). In the playoffs, Seau led the Chargers as they knocked off the Miami Dolphins in the division playoffs before defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers, 17-13, in the AFC championship to earn a trip to Super Bowl XXIX. Seau recorded 12 tackles, four assists and one pass defensed in the conference championship win. Then, despite falling to the 49ers in the Super Bowl, Seau had a strong showing and finished with 9 solo tackles, 2 assisted tackles and sacked Steve Young once for a loss of four yards. Later in his career, Seau played in the 2007 AFC championship game and Super Bowl XLII while a member of the New England Patriots.
In all, Seau played 268 career games with the Chargers (1990-2002), Miami Dolphins (2004-05), and Patriots (2007-09). He recorded 10 or more tackles in a regular season game 64 times amassed 56.5 career sacks and intercepted 18 passes which he returned for 238 yards. He also recovered a fumble for a touchdown and had two pass receptions during his career. Seau led the Chargers in sacks twice (1996 and 1997) and was the club’s top tackler eight times.
He was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1992 by UPI and Football Digest and was the Chargers Most Valuable Player six times.
Seau was also named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s.
Additional Career Statistics: Fumbles Recovered for TD: 1; Receptions: 2-8
1994 AFC – San Diego Chargers 17, Pittsburgh Steelers 13
Seau started at inside linebacker. He had 12 tackles, four assists and one pass defensed.
2006 AFC – Indianapolis Colts 38, New England Patriots 34
Seau was not active for this game.
2007 AFC – New England Patriots 21, San Diego Chargers 12
Seau started at inside linebacker. He had three tackles, three assists one sack and two quarterback hurries.
Super Bowl XXIX – San Francisco 49ers 49, San Diego Chargers 26
Seau started at inside linebacker. He had nine tackles, two assists and one sack.
Super Bowl XLII – New York Giants 17, New England Patriots 14
Seau played at inside linebacker. He had two tackles in the game.
All-Pro: 1991 (NEA) • 1992 (AP, PFWA, SN, NEA) • 1993 (AP, PFWA, SN) • 1994 (AP, PFWA, SN) • 1995 (PFWA, SN) • 1996 (AP, SN) • 1998 (AP, PFWA) • 2000 (AP, PFWA, SN)
All-Pro Second Team: 1995 (AP) • 1997 (AP) • 1999 (AP)
All-AFC: 1992 (UPI, PW) • 1993 (UPI, PW) • 1994 (UPI, PW) • 1995 (UPI, PW) • 1996 (UPI) • 1997 (PW) • 2000 (PW)
(12) – 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003*
* Did not play
Pro Bowl Records
• [Tied for 1st] Most Interceptions Returned for Touchdown, Game – 1 (1993)
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Games Played, Career – 11
Chargers records held by Seau
(Records through the 2002 season, Seau's final season with San Diego)
• [Tied for 1st] Most Games, Career – 200
• [3rd] Most Seasons, Career – 13
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Interceptions, Game – 1 (vs. Indianapolis, Dec. 31, 1995)
• [Tied for 3rd] Most Interceptions, Career – 1
Team Statistical Championships
Sack Titles: 1996, 1997
Tackle Titles: 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999
• NFL All-Decade Team of 1990s
• 1992 NFL Defensive Player of the Year (UPI, Football Digest)
• 1993 Chargers Most Valuable Player
• 1994 Walter Payton/NFL Man of the Year
• 1994 AFC Defensive Player of the Week (Week 1)
• 1996 AFC Defensive Player of the Week (Weeks 5, 10)
• 1997 Chargers Most Valuable Player
• 1997 Chargers Most Inspirational Player
• 1998 Chargers Most Valuable Player
• 1998 Chargers Defensive Player of the Year
• 1998 NFL Defensive Player of the Year (Football Digest)
• 1999 Chargers Most Valuable Player
• 1999 Chargers Defensive Player of the Year
• 2000 Chargers Most Valuable Player
• 2001 Chargers Most Valuable Player
• 2002 Chargers Most Inspirational Player
• 2002 AFC Defensive Player of the Month (September)
• 2003 Don Shula Leadership Award
• 2004 Don Shula Leadership Award
Full Name: Tiaina Seau, Jr.
Birthdate: January 19, 1969
Birthplace: San Diego, California
Died: May 2, 2012
High School: Oceanside (CA)
Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: January 31, 2015
Other Members of the Class of 2015: Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Charles Haley, Bill Polian, Will Shields, Mick Tingelhoff, Ron Wolf
Pro Career: 20 seasons, 268 games
Drafted: 1st round (5th player overall) of 1990 draft by the San Diego Chargers
Uniform Number: 55
Sydney Seau’s comments following the Enshrinement of her father
THE MODERATOR: Sydney, players play to get to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. What would your father say at a time like this?
SYDNEY SEAU: I think my father would be completely overwhelmed and honored to be inducted into a class with the most elite athletes and professionals. First and foremost, he would thank the seven buddies out on stage with him tonight. I know this isn't my speech to give. This is his. He spent 20 years with them in the league, and he deserves this moment. All I can do is humbly attempt the people within his life and career that made this induction possible.
First and foremost, that's my Nana and Papa, my grandparents. His parents. They were everything to him [Applause]. They taught him the true meaning of love, family, how to present one's self, how to respect one's culture and selflessness. And I know for a fact that he would say that this honor is also yours along with the rest of our Seau family. I'm sorry. I'm just emotional. I know he would thank every team, teammate, fan, the community of San Diego and the Chargers for the career of a lifetime. You guys are everything to him. Without you, he wouldn't have become the player that he was, and I thank you as well.
He is the first Polynesian and Samoan to make it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and that is an accomplishment in itself. He is proof that even a young boy from Oceanside can make his dreams a reality. Although he is the first to make it into the Hall, I know for a fact that he won't be the last. And that says something. One of his biggest accomplishments in my mind was being able to give back to the community through the Junior Seau Foundation, that is where his true legacy lies is in that foundation, giving back to the community that gave him everything.
Dad, you gave us your time, your presence, your love, but most of all you gave us your heart, and I know at times it seemed as if everything you accomplished in life wasn't enough, but today and every day since you've held me in your arms for the first time, you were more than just enough. You were everything.
And I hope this induction can exemplify the fact that you are more than just Junior Seau, number 55 and a buddy. You are a light, and I want nothing more than to see you come on stage, give the speech you were meant to give, give me a hug and tell me you love me one last time; but that isn't our reality. And I know that his athleticism and talent made him extraordinary enough to make it into the Hall, but it is his passion and heart that make him truly legendary and deserving of this tremendous honor, and I would just like to thank my family and everyone else for all their support through this process. Dad, I love you, and I miss you, congratulations. You made it.
THE MODERATOR: Sydney Seau, thank you very much.