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Tom Brady: From Sixth Round to Stardom

Tom Brady waves at the crowd.

Tom Brady waves at the crowd. Who is the greatest quarterback in NFL history? | Rob Carr/Getty Images

Thomas Brady Jr. was born on August 3rd, 1977, and grew up in San Mateo, California. His parents, Gaylnn Patricia and Thomas Brady Sr., also had three other children — all girls. Growing up, Brady was a three-sport athlete at Junipero High School in San Mateo, and he may have had a bright future in baseball had he not chosen to continue playing football. Brady was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 18th round of the 1995 draft.

Brady really did love football, but he struggled early on in his football life. Junipero’s varsity team didn’t place him in the starting quarterback role until his junior season. Even once he finished playing, a ton of colleges weren’t interested in him. That prompted him to send out highlight videos of his play to various schools, which lead to Brady ending up at the University of Michigan.

At Michigan, Brady once again found himself sitting on the bench as an underclassmen. Through the end of his sophomore season at college, Brady only got into six games for the Wolverines. He had yet to throw a touchdown, adding an interception and 15-for-20 passing to his ledger. He backed up future NFL starter Brian Griese, who led the team to a 12-0 record and a victory in the National Championship Game in 1997.

Beginning his junior season, Brady took over as the starter and started to draw attention to himself. That wasn’t always a good thing. Michigan fans weren’t all that enthusiastic about Brady, with a lot of them thinking that freshman QB Drew Henson would be better to lead the team on the field. That even led to fans booing Brady at times during the year. As a junior, Brady completed 61.9% of his passes with 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The Wolverines had a 10-3 record that year, winning the Citrus Bowl over Arkansas.

Brady returned again as a senior in 1999, leading the team to a 10-2 record and a win in the Orange Bowl over Alabama. Brady finished the year with 16 touchdowns to six interceptions, along with a 61% completion percentage. It wasn’t good enough to draw any real attention to himself in the NFL, with teams widely considering Brady to be a not-so-serious prospect. On draft day, he was finally taken 6th round — 199th overall — by the New England Patriots.

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