Following in your dad’s footsteps in never an easy thing to do, in or out of sports. When your dad is widely considered to be the greatest player in the history of a sports franchise, the level of difficulty is un-quantifiable, however, Atlanta native Grady Jarrett has managed to make a name for himself in just his first four years wearing the black and red.
Grady’s dad is Falcons Ring of Honor member LB Jessie Tuggle, Grady’s brother is former NFL Safety Justin Tuggle and he calls Hall of Fame LB Ray Lewis “uncle”. Football is a family affair for Grady and he has been able to make his own path to NFL stardom. The Falcons were able to draft the hometown kid when they traded up in the 5th round of the 2015 NFL draft to take Grady with the 137th overall pick out of Clemson.
As a Clemson alum, I had the pleasure of watching Grady during his four years at Clemson. I said then on my local radio show on the Atlanta CBS affiliate that Grady was the steal of the draft. I still maintain to this day that ha Grady been 6’5 instead of 5’11, he would have been a top 5 pick and not a 5th round pick.
Grady made a name for himself in Super Bowl 51. He is one of just a handful of players to ever have three or more sacks in the big game. Since then, Grady has graded out as one of the top 5 DT’s in the NFL and has developed into such a force that Dimitroff was forced to franchise tag Grady for 2019 to keep him from walking.