Grady Jarrett Stars on the Big Stage
By BJ Bennett
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No player has recorded more sacks in a Super Bowl, ever, than former Clemson Tiger Grady Jarrett.
Though the finish to the Super Bowl LI was one to forget for the Atlanta Falcons, Grady Jarrett's performance was one for the history books. The second-year defensive tackle tied a Super Bowl record with a trio of sacks, bringing down Tom Brady three times, only the second player all-time to do so, with a ferocious interior pass rush. Had the contest ended differently, Jarrett could have potentially become the first pure defensive lineman since Richard Dent in 1986 to be named Super Bowl MVP.
The final stat line, for Jarrett, was a remarkable one: five tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and four quarterback hits.
Following a standout career at Clemson, where he recorded 29 tackles for loss over his final three seasons, Jarrett was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft. In addition to joining college teammate Vic Beasley in Atlanta, the Falcons were a fitting destination for Jarrett; a metro-native from nearby Conyers, Jarrett's father Jessie Tuggle is one of the greatest players in franchise history as he is in the Atlanta Falcons Ring of Honor and his #58 is retired. Tuggle helped the organization reach Super Bowl XXXIII.
As a rookie, Jarrett emerged as a key rotational contributor for Atlanta, compiling 24 total tackles and earning a handful of first-team appearances. Year two saw Jarrett move into a leading role on the Falcons' front line, with 14 starts, 48 total stops and three sacks in the regular season. He then burst onto the national scene with a timeless showcase on football's grandest stage. Simply put, Jarrett had the best game of his career in the biggest game of his career.
Jarrett's profile is now at an all-time high entering the spring. Even with the disappointment of the final game, he has unprecedented momentum as one of Atlanta's foundational pieces moving forward. The Falcons boast a young, talented defensive unit with the likes of Beasley, De'Vondre Campbell, Jalen Collins, Deion Jones, Keanu Neal and Brian Poole; Jarrett is one of the group's most exciting players. At 6'0'', 305 pounds, he plays with a relentless athleticism and leverage that is difficult to contain.
Still developing and fine-tuning his skills, Jarrett is just now coming into his own at the next level. Remarkably, Beasley led the NFL in sacks in 2016; another former Tiger is fresh off a major statement as well.
No player has recorded more sacks in a Super Bowl, ever, than Jarrett. Even in defeat, both his potential and prowess was on clear display.