James 'Jimmy' Garoppolo is a quarterback with the vaunted San Francisco 49ers playing in the NFL. Born on November 2, 1991, it was Garoppolo who went on to break Tony Romo's longstanding school records for passing yards and touchdown passes within a single season while with the Panthers of Eastern Illinois, a season in which he won the coveted Football Championship Subdivision's best offensive player Walter Payton Award.
James 'Jimmy' Garoppolo QB #710
Ht / Wt: 6-2 / 225
College: Eastern Illinois
Drafted:2014 / Round: 2 / Pick: 62
Experience: 4th season
His sterling collegiate final season saw him tapped as the New England Patriot's second round 2014 NFL draft pick. He was a part of the Patriots outfit that won the Superbowl Bowl XLIX and LI, playing the role of backup to Tom Brady before finally joining up with the 49ers in 2017.
High School Career
Jimmy comes from a "big, tight-knit" Italian family, and spent his childhood years at the family's home in the environs of Arlington Heights, Illinois. Third, in a string of four sons born to Tony and Denise Garoppolo, Jimmy took his place inRolling Meadows High School situated in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.
Jimmy journey to quarterback status was a little roundabout. He started off by playing running back while in junior high, but his watchful coaches took notice of his throwing arm. He turned to baseball in high school as a pitcher, but he grew weary of that, although his desire to throw balls apparently stuck with him. He finally lined up as starting quarterback, where he managed a tally of 25 touchdowns and 3,136 yards from 19 games played - hardly prodigious statistics for prospects at that level of the game.
Fortune was on Jimmy's side, however, as Jeff Christensen, former NFL quarterback and also Jimmy's high school coach, recommended him to Roy Wittke, the Panthers' offensive coordinator. Eastern Illinois staff were initially hesitant about a player people knew little about, who was considered a fringe prospect across the board. The FCS offers for him were by no means overflowing.
Once with the Panthers, Jimmy found himself in the role of backup quarterback until the fourth game of his freshman season when he was given the chance to start. For the eight remaining games scheduled for the season, Garoppolo managed to rack up 1,639 yards and 14 touchdown passes, and although the Panthers' season ended 2-9, Jimmy had solidified his spot as starting quarterback.
The performance under coach Bob Spoo earned him All-Ohio Valley Conference Team Honors but that wasn't enough to bring his NFL ambitions closer to reality. He then went on to start fo Illinois at every remaining game while he was there (2010-2013), garnering 20 touchdowns and 2,644 yards in 2011, 31 touchdowns and 3,823 yards in 2012, and 53 touchdowns and 5,050 yards in 2013, the cumulative total of which shattered the career pass record previously held by Tony Romo, who had gone on to quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys.
Garappolo's tide had turned in his final freshman season overtime winning game against Tennessee State, where he successfully passed 331 yards coupled with 4 touchdowns. In addition to his senior season Walter Payton Award, his was the honor of being named 2013-14 Male Athlete of the Year (OVC) as well as the College Football Performance FCS (2013) National Quarterback of the Year.
New England Patriots: Draft and Early Career
Coming into the 2014 NFL Draft, Garoppolo was considered a healthy prospect, and the Patriots picked him up during the second round of drafts as the 62nd pick, making him the highest-drafted New England had picked up since Drew Bledsoe as the first overall pick in 1993. He was part of the Patriots when they won Superbowl XLIX, and although he didn't take any snaps himself, credit was attributed to him for helping organize the defense in anticipation of Seattle Seahawks' quarterback Russell Wilson's onslaught.
2016-17: Playing Time and Trade Rumours
On the heels of starting quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension over the 'Deflategate' fiasco, Garoppolo got his chance at the beginning of the 2016 season. He played two games, winning the first, before suffering an AC joint sprain after a hit from Kiko Alonso, a Dolphins linebacker, that saw him sit out two games before Brady was free to resume his role as the starter. Though he didn't play in their Superbowl LI championship game against the Atlanta Falcons, several trade rumors swirled around him in the 2017 offseason, centering mostly around the Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears. None of them bore fruit, however, and Garoppolo stayed on coming into the new season.
Trade rumors persisted around Jimmy up until October 30th, 2017, when the matter was finally settled. The Patriots agreed to trade Garoppolo away to San Francisco in exchange for the 49ers' 2018 NFL second-round draft pick.
Jimmy went ahead to make his first appearance for the 49ers during their Week 12 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Owing to an injury to the 49ers' starting quarterback, C. J. Beathard, it fell upon Garoppolo to step up to the line in the dying minutes of the game; and step up he did.
His very first play as a member of the 49ers saw him rush for six yards. As the game was winding down, the final play of the game fell upon him, and he held his nerves steady enough to throw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Louis Murphy, and thus saw the game end with him having thrown 2 for 2 for 19 yards with a touchdown in the mix.
Come November 28, Jimmy was called up to the line as the starting quarterback for the 49ers Week 13 matchup with the Chicago Bears. It would be his first starting game with the outfit. It was a good outing for Jimmy as he went ahead to steer the team to a well-deserved 15-14 victory, with Jimmy personally throwing for 293 yards as well as getting an interception.
He seemed to get into a groove, fitting effortlessly in the 49ers team that had been struggling somewhat, but which seemed to have got a second wind with the addition of Garoppolo in the starting line-up. A revitalized San Francisco side went o to win their Week 14 game against the Houston Texans before notching up another win against the Tennessee Titans. The wins saw Jimmy's starting game statistics go to 5-0, counting the New England starts as well. This makes him the first quarterback to manage a win in his first five starting games since Ben Roethlisberger managed to accomplish the rare feat in 2004.
Greatness recognize greatness https://t.co/2eoyO2uowW— Joey Arredondo (@JoeyArredondo) December 26, 2017