Alstotts NFL career may be coming to an end
Mike Alstott left Purdue as the school's all-time leading rusher. Today it appears he'll leave the NFL as one of the greatest fullbacks to ever play the game.
This afternoon the Joliet, Ill., Catholic High School star announced that he would be put on injured reserve for the 2007 season after suffering another neck injury.
"I can't put on a jersey or a helmet this year," said an emotional Alstott a short time ago during a press conference. "When you make that decision, it's hard to grasp."
The 33-year-old Alstott has spent his 11-year NFL career with Tampa Bay, rushing for 5,088 yards (second in team history) and scoring 432 points (third).
The 6-foot-1, 248-pounder is the Buccaneers' all-time leader in touchdowns with 71 and rushing TDs with 58.
Alstott, who suffered a neck injury early in the 2003 season, will never forget Super Bowl XXXVII in January of 2003, when his Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Oakland Raiders 48-21. His two-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter made him the only Purdue player ever to score in a Super Bowl.
Many believe Alstott, a six-time Pro Bowler, will some day be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
At Purdue, Alstott rushed for 3,635 yards, including a school-best 1,436 yards in 1995.
He holds the Purdue record for most career rushing touchdowns with 39.
Alstott scored 12 touchdowns as a sophomore, 14 as a junior and 11 as a senior. He averaged 5.6 yards per career during his Purdue career.
Alstott was the epitome of a team player.
No game throughout his collegiate career demonstrated that more than the final time he donned the Old Gold and Black ï¿½ Nov. 24, 1995.
In the battle for the Old Oaken Bucket, the 6-foot-1, 241-pound Alstott, a fullback, who played running back in college, was easily on his way to becoming Purdue's all-time single-season rushing leader. After all, he amassed 264 yards in a little more than three quarters.
Instead of shattering Otis Armstrong's record of 276 yards, Alstott opted to remain on the sideline rather than go back into the game. The game was easily in hand (Purdue led 51-14) and Alstott knew he had already established an unforgettable legacy in West Lafayette.
When reflecting back on that memorable Bucket game, Alstott still believes he made the right decision about not re-entering the game.
"(Coach) Jim (Colletto) came up to me (on the sideline) and asked me if I wanted to go back out there for a couple more plays and break the single season rushing record, but there was no need," Alstott told GoldandBlack.com. "We won. It's a team game, it really is. I believe that. Especially after that day and over the past several years, I understand teamwork, unity, chemistry and camaraderie. I understand each of those words fully in sports and in life itself.
"Looking back, I'm glad I told him, 'No.' There was no need. But he did have the respect to come up to me and see if I wanted to go out there.
"I ended my career as a Boilermakers by going to Hoosierland and being part of something special by beating them 52-14 and doing it in style," he added. "We brought the Bucket back to where it's supposed to be."
As good as Alstott's final game in a Boilermaker uniform was, his game against Minnesota in 1993 might have been even better. Alstott pounded the Gophers, scoring five touchdowns (four on the ground), tying a school record. He rushed for a then career-high 171 yards on 21 carries and caught five passes for 84 yards.
MIKE ALSTOTT'S BOILERMAKER RECORDS
Career Rushing Yards 3,635
Career Rushing TDs 39
Career Points 256
Career 100-Yard Games 16
Single-Season Rushing TDs 14
Consecutive 100-Yard Games 8
Single-Season Rushing Yards 1,436
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