Richard Vershaun Seymour is a National Football League defensive lineman for the New England Patriots. He was born on October 6, 1979 in Gadsden, South Carolina. He majored in housing and consumer economics at the University of Georgia.
High School Football
While attending Lower Richland High School (South Carolina) Seymour starred as a football player. In his senior year at the school he made 83 tackles and eight sacks and was named the team captain and best defensive lineman.
From 1997 through 2000, Seymour attended the University of Georgia and played on University of Georgia's college football team, the Georgia Bulldogs, defensive line. During his time there he played in 41 games and made 25 starts with 223 tackles (106 solo), 9.5 sacks and 35 quarterback pressures.
2001 - 2002
In 2001, the New England Patriots drafted Seymour in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2001 NFL Draft. In his rookie season with the Patriots he played in thirteen and started ten of the Patriots regular season games. He made 44 total tackles, three sacks, one blocked kick and was named to the Pro Football Weekly All-Rookie Team. In the Patriots 2001 postseason, Seymour played in all three of the Patriots games and started in the AFC Championship game victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He made his first career postseason sack in the Patriots Super Bowl 20 to 17 upset victory over the St. Louis Rams.
In 2002, Seymour became a full-time starter for the team as he played in and started every game for the Patriots at defensive tackle. He had a great season as he made a total of 56 tackles, 5.5 sacks, one interception and either blocked or tipped five field goal attempts in games vs the Pittsburgh Steelers (two blocked kicks), Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings and San Diego Chargers. For his great season he was voted to the AFC Pro Bowl team by fans, players and coach's. He was the first Patriots defensive tackle to ever be named to the Pro Bowl.
2003 - 2004
The 2003 season brought a new leadership position for Seymore as his teammates voted him a team defensive captain. Once again in 2003 he earned an AFC Pro Bowl roster spot and was also named an All-Pro player by ESPN.com, Sports Illustrated and the Associated Press. He had the greatest sack total of his career in 2003 with eight and also had a personal best eight knocked down pass attempts. In the Patriots October 19 victory over the Miami Dolphins, Seymore blocked a field goal attempt by Miami kicker Olindo Mare that could have won the game for the Dolphins. Due to his key block, the Patriots went on to later win the game in overtime and Seymour was name the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. In the 2003 postseason he was a key part in the Patriots once again becoming Super Bowl Champions. In the divisional playoff game vs the Tennessee Titans, Seymour blocked a field goal attempt and made seven tackles in a 17 to 14 Patriots victory. A few weeks later, in the Patriots 32-29 Super Bowl XXXVIII victory over the Carolina Panthers, he recovered a Panthers fumble which later led to a Patriots touchdown and the first points of the game.
In 2004, he played in and started fifteen of the Patriots regular season games and made 39 total tackles and five sacks. In the Patriots week four 31 to 17 victory over the Buffalo Bills, he returned a fumble 68 yards for a touchdown (the first of his pro career) in the forth quarter of the game. In recognition of his season, he was vote an AFC Pro Bowler for the third straight year. He was also named as a first team All- Pro by the Associated Press, Football Digest, College & Pro Football Weekly and the Sporting News. Although he was inactive for the first two games of the 2004 postseason due to injury, he returned to play in the Patriots Super Bowl XXXIX 24 to 21 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles and made a tackle, one sack, and batted down a pass attempt.
In 2005, Seymour struggled with injury's and actually missed a string of four straight games in the middle of the season. He did however, start in all twelve of the games he played in and made 46 total tackles and four sacks. Despite it being a down year for him, Seymour was named to the AFC Pro Bowl squad for the forth straight year. In the Patriots 2005 postseason (two games, ended in a loss to the Denver Broncos) he had 16 total tackles, half a sack and a fumble recovery.
In 2006, Seymour once again was named to the AFC Pro Bowl team and continued to be a dominate player on the field. Statically in 2006 he made 40 total tackles, four sacks, one interception and knocked down seven passes. In the 2006 postseason he made eight total tackles and one sack. He was injured in the Patriots 38 to 34 loss in the AFC Championship game vs the Indianapolis Colts and did not play in most of the second half of the game. In reward of his prduction, Seymore was the highest paid NFL player in 2006 with a $24.7 million salary.