Gabriel Andrew Carimi (/kəˈriːmi/ kə-REE-mee; born June 13, 1988)
is a former
American football guard and tackle. Carimi had 49 starts
at left tackle in his four-year Wisconsin Badgers college career,
which culminated at the 2011 Rose Bowl. He was awarded the 2010
Outland Trophy, as the nation's top collegiate interior lineman. He
was also a unanimous All-American, and the
Big Ten Offensive Lineman
of the Year.
Carimi was drafted by the
Chicago Bears in the first round, 29th
overall pick, of the 2011 NFL Draft. He began the 2011 season as the
Bears' starting right tackle. Carimi was traded to the Tampa Bay
Buccaneers on June 9, 2013, for the Buccaneers' 2014 6th round
pick. He signed with the
Atlanta Falcons in 2014, and played in all
16 games for them that season, making 7 starts.
1 Early years
2 College career
3 Professional career
3.1 2011 NFL Draft
Chicago Bears (2011–13)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2013)
Atlanta Falcons (2014)
4 Personal life
5 See also
7 External links
Carimi was born in Lake Forest, Illinois. He attended Monona Grove
High School in Monona, Wisconsin. He started there as a 6 ft
5 in (1.96 m), 220-pound (100 kg) freshman. He grew
into his body, worked on his flexibility, and developed his
athleticism by becoming a karate black belt. He credits his karate
training with laying a foundation for his later discipline, improving
his flexibility, and helping him develop the hand coordination and
hand placement he uses as a football player.
He was on the high school's track team. Seeded 15th in the state in
discus as a senior, he placed 5th in the 2006 Wisconsin
Interscholastic Athletic Association track and field Division 1 discus
championships, at 157 ft 8 in (48.1 m). He earned four
letters in track, and was team captain in his senior year.
Carimi also played football for the high school's Silver Eagles.
Playing both offensive and defensive tackle, he lettered for four
years. In 2005, the Silver Eagles ran behind him 70% of the time when
he was at offensive tackle, while as a defensive end he had five
He was voted a football Parade
as a senior, while he captained the team. He was also the
Capital Times and
Wisconsin State Journal
Wisconsin State Journal Player of the Year,
first-team all-state in 2005, a first-team selection by the Associated
Press and the
Wisconsin Football Coaches Association
Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (as a two-way
player), and was twice first-team all-conference. Regarded as a
three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Carimi was rated the No. 3 football
player in Wisconsin and the No. 30 offensive tackle prospect in the
class of 2006. His coach Mike Stassi predicted: "He's going to
be the new wave of offensive linemen, that can run and move. And this
guy's got it all."
Carimi elected to attend his hometown University of Wisconsin-Madison.
He chose it because of its academic and football reputations, a
scholarship that he was offered, and its proximity to his home. He
majored in civil engineering, and played football for the Wisconsin
Badgers football team.
He had played right tackle and defensive end in high school. But in
his freshman year in 2006, during which time he was redshirted, he
began practicing at left tackle, because it was the next open
spot. He was described that season as running very well, and
having tenacity, athletic ability, and impressive lateral movement
Carimi started all 13 games as a freshman at left tackle for the
Badgers in 2007, replacing
All-American Joe Thomas, who was drafted by
Cleveland Browns at No. 3 in the first round of the 2007 NFL
Draft. He was a second-team Freshman
All-American selection by
Rivals.com and The Sporting News, and a first-team Freshman
All-Big-Ten selection by The Sporting News, as well as an Academic
Carimi in 2009
As a sophomore in 2008, he started all 10 games he played in. That
year, he was second-team Pre-season All-
Big Ten by Lindy's and Athlon
Sports, honorable mention Sophomore
All-American by College Football
News, and Academic All-Big Ten.
As a junior in 2009, he started all 13 games. He was a first-team
Big Ten selection by Phil Steele, a first-team All-Big
Ten selection by media, a fourth-team
All-American by Phil Steele, and
Academic All-Big Ten. Commenting in
Sports Illustrated in October
2009, Tony Pauline wrote: "Carimi is the next great offensive lineman
to come from the Badger program. He's a terrific pass-protecting left
tackle, with the size necessary to grow into a dominant run
During his senior year in 2010, when he was co-Captain of the Big Ten
Phil Steele made him a mid-season first-team
All-American selection. He contributed to an offense that was
ranked 5th in the nation in scoring (at 41.5 ppg), and 12th in rushing
(at 245.7 yards per game).
As a senior, Carimi won the 2010 Outland Trophy, awarded to the
nation's top collegiate interior lineman. He was the
Outland Trophy winner in school history, joining Joe Thomas,
and the 14th
Big Ten awardee. Seven of the prior ten
Outland Trophy winners were top-10 NFL draft picks.
He also was named the
Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year, and was
recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American, having received
first-team honors from the Associated Press, American Football Coaches
Association, Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News,
and Walter Camp Football Foundation. In addition, he was a
consensus first-team All-
Big Ten selection, and Academic All-Big Ten,
and won the Wayne Souza Coaches Appreciation Award (Offense).
He helped Wisconsin to an 11–2 record for the season, and a Rose
Bowl appearance. At the start of his senior year he had been named
a pre-season first-team
All-American by Lindy's and Consensus Draft
Services, a first-team
All-American and All-
Big Ten by Athlon Sports,
All-American and first-team All-
Big Ten by Phil Steele,
All-American by The Kickoff, first-team All-
Big Ten by
Blue Ribbon, and named to the
Rotary Lombardi Award
Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List. He
was named a mid-season first-team
All-American and first-team
Big Ten by Phil Steele, and second-team
Sports Illustrated. In March 2011, the National Jewish Sports Hall
of Fame awarded him the
Marty Glickman Award, as the male Jewish
Athlete of the Year.
In college, he started 49 of a possible 52 games, all at left
tackle. In an April 2011 interview, he indicated that he had
still never been to a professional football game in his life.
2011 NFL Draft
Carimi was drafted in the first round of the
2011 NFL Draft
2011 NFL Draft by the
Chicago Bears, with the 29th pick on April 28, 2011. The Bears had
actually sought to "trade up", and pick Carimi even earlier in the
draft. They tried to make a trade with the Baltimore Ravens, to use
Baltimore's earlier slot to select Carimi at No. 26, but the trade
fell through at the last moment due to a miscommunication. In the
year prior to drafting Carimi, the Bears had allowed a league-high 56
sacks, and ranked 22nd in running the ball.
Bears Head Coach
Lovie Smith said Carimi would come in as a left
tackle. General Manager
Jerry Angelo said he is versatile enough to
play both left and right tackle, while Smith said the Bears would keep
all options open, including potentially that of guard. He was
nicknamed "The Bear Jew" after the Bears drafted him, a reference to a
character in the movie Inglourious Basterds, by Chicago radio
personality Dan Bernstein, of 670 "The Score." Carimi tweeted that he
was considering adopting the nickname.
At the January
2011 Senior Bowl weigh-in, Carimi was the
second-tallest player at 6 feet 7⅛ inches (2.01 m), had the
second-longest arms (35¼ inches), and had the second-longest
wingspan (83¼ inches; second to Mississippi State’s Derek
Sherrod). His hand size was 10⅜ inches, and he weighed
in at 315 pounds, 10 pounds lighter than his playing weight in
ESPN analysts rated him the third-best player
at the Senior Bowl.
"On the field it is a grimy sport, and you have to be tough and
— Gabe Carimi
NFL Network analyst
Mike Mayock observed that Carimi is "a little bit
like a Jon Runyan. He's kind of got a little nasty to him."
Mayock also described him as "a thug, which I mean in a positive
sense", and commented on his ability as a run blocker. He added:
"I think he’s the kind of guy ... you try ... at left tackle, and if
he can’t handle the speed out there, you’ve got an all-pro right
Matt Bowen of the National Football Post said that Carimi was his
favorite prospect in the draft, and was one of the five players who
most impressed him at Senior Bowl activities. Bowen
thought his pass protection was at NFL standards, noting that he had
"good enough feet to get back and attack speed off of the edge because
of his reach. There is no doubt Carimi can win up front in the run
game," while adding that he "is the type of player you want in the
locker room." Wes Bunting of the National Football Post said:
he understands angles, and he's a real velcro player. I mean, once he
gets those big paws on you and he has these long arms, it's really
tough to disengage from... No one gets after the run game as well as
Neil Hayes of the
Chicago Sun-Times wrote: "Many consider Carimi to be
the best offensive-tackle prospect in the class ... Carimi played well
against top competition and his feet are quick enough to play left
CBS Sports lauded "his prototypical size" and "excellent
athleticism". As to his pass blocking, it noted that he has "the
elite agility and nimble feet to protect the quarterback's blindside.
Very difficult to turn the corner against because of his lateral
movement and solid footwork. Also protects the inside lane well.
Delivers a strong hand punch capable of knocking back an opponent ....
Uses his length to block his man with one hand and knock an edge
blitzer off his path with the other." With regard to his run
blocking, it said he is "known as an athletic pass protector, but is a
strong blocker". While he exclusively played left tackle in
college, he was projected by some as a left tackle and by others as a
right tackle. At the February 2011
NFL combine pre-draft
workouts, he completed 29 repetitions on the 225-pound bench press, a
"solid number", according to Sports Illustrated's Tony
Pauline. He also ran the 40-yard dash in under 5.2, which was
faster than expected and considered very good. Pauline
reported that "his footwork was smooth in pass protection, and he
looked strong in run blocking drills." At the March Wisconsin Pro
Bucky Brooks of
NFL.com reported that Carimi:
showed good footwork and lateral quickness in drills, and his body
control is surprising given his frame. Although he might experience
some problems against speed rushers, teams will certainly start him
out as a left tackle and move him to the right if he falters.
Asked what his agent had advised him, relative to a possible NFL
lockout, Carimi answered: "Don't spend money."
Chicago Bears (2011–13)
On July 29, 2011, the Bears signed Carimi to a $7.056 million
four-year contract. He began his rookie 2011 season as the
Bears' starting right tackle. In Week 2 against the New Orleans
Saints, Carimi suffered a season-ending injury to his right knee, that
included the dislocation of his kneecap and which required multiple
surgeries, including one in December to repair connective tissue
around his patella and medial collateral ligament. He
played two games for the season, starting both of them at right
tackle. In 2012, controversy ensued when the Saints were found
working with a bounty program, which led to questions over whether
Carimi was among the players targeted.
In 2012–13, Carimi played in 16 games, starting 14 of them (11 at
right tackle, and 3 at right guard). After 11 starts at right
tackle Carimi was moved from right tackle, where he was replaced by
Jonathan Scott, to guard, though he came back to start the last game
of the season at right tackle. Due to injuries to Lance
Louis and Chris Spencer in Week 12 against the Minnesota Vikings,
Carimi played at guard for the first time in his career.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2013)
On June 9, 2013, Carimi was traded to the
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a
2014 sixth-round selection. The Bucs offensive line coach Bob
Bostad coached Carimi at Wisconsin.
Carimi was expected to compete with
Demar Dotson for the starting
right tackle position on Tampa Bay. He started the first two games
of the season at left guard.
Carimi had two years left on his contract, and was scheduled to earn a
guaranteed base salary of $1,016,000 in 2013. On February 10,
2014, the Buccaneers cut Carimi. His release came after a few
weeks of his former Bears head coach, Lovie Smith, being hired as the
Buccaneer's new year coach.
Atlanta Falcons (2014)
On February 17, 2014, Carimi signed with the
Atlanta Falcons for one
year. Their offensive line coach was Mike Tice, who Carimi had
worked with when he played for the Bears.
During the season, Carimi played in all 16 games, making 7 starts.
He played left and right tackle, right guard, and tight end, playing
597 snaps (215 as a run-blocker; 382 as a pass-blocker).
Carimi, born in Lake Forest, Illinois, is the son of Sanford Carimi, a
physician in the
Janesville, Wisconsin area, and Alayne
Gardner-Carimi, a businesswoman. He weighed 24 pounds by
the time he was four months old. He grew up on the Northeast Side
of Madison, and then in the nearby town of Cottage Grove when he was a
freshman in high school. His sister Hannah, who is two years
older than he is, was a kick fighter when she was younger and later
rowed for the University of Wisconsin, on its women's openweight crew
team. The two of them lived together in college, along with
one of his football team teammates.
Carimi's Italian surname comes from his paternal step-grandfather.
His parents are Jewish. His mother, originally Catholic, converted to
Judaism, and has had an active role in the religious education of her
children. Carimi is a practicing Jew and very committed to his
religion, and found time as a youth to both go to his football
practices and to attend Madison's Temple Beth-El, a Reform
synagogue. By the time of his Bar Mitzvah, he was
already so tall that while blessing him, and even with Carimi bending
down, the synagogue’s education director had to put his hands on
Carimi’s shoulders rather than atop his head. For his Bar
Mitzvah project, he helped build a house for Habitat for Humanity
while he was in seventh grade. Carimi continued his Jewish studies
after his Bar Mitzvah.
In his freshman year of college in 2007, when
Yom Kippur (the holiest
day of the year in Judaism; a fast day that is the "Day of Atonement")
fell on a Saturday, he fasted until an hour before the Big Ten
Conference opener against Iowa started that night. Carimi
said, "Religion is a part of me, and I don't want to just say I'm
Jewish. I actually do make sacrifices that I know are hard
choices.” At the 2011 NFL combine, when asked whether he would
Yom Kippur in the NFL, he responded: "I already looked out
over the next 15 years, and
Yom Kippur doesn't fall on a
As a college player he took the nickname "The Jewish Hammer" or "The
Hammer". He explains that as The Hebrew Hammer was taken "they had to
come up with something else", and that the "hammer" aspect refers to
his penchant for throwing opposing players down on the field. A
more recent nickname, following his being picked by the Chicago Bears,
is "The Bear Jew", a reference to a character in the 2009 film
"Inglourious Basterds". One of his favorite Jewish football
players was a former Badger, Matt Bernstein, and he looks to 49ers
former offensive linesman
Harris Barton as a role model.
His uncle suffered from leukemia as a child, underwent chemotherapy
while he was in second grade, and lost his hair in the process. At
nine years old, he died. He was mentioned often in family
discussions. Carimi thought he would do something "that wouldn't
take a lot of my time but would help other people." He grew his hair
out for 20 months, until it was long enough in 2010 to donate to Locks
of Love—a charity that makes wigs out of donated hair to help poor
children suffering from illnesses that cause long-term hair
loss. Carimi is married to former UW-Milwaukee basketball
player/model Danielle Jorgenson. The couple have two children: a son
and a daughter.
List of select Jewish football players
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gabe Carimi.
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Outland Trophy winners
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1960: T. Brown
1978: G. Roberts
1984: B. Smith
2004: J. Brown
2008: A. Smith
2011: B. Jones
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2010 College Football All-America Team consensus selections
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G Rodney Hudson
C Chase Beeler
TE Michael Egnew
TE Lance Kendricks
DE Da'Quan Bowers
DE Ryan Kerrigan
DE Adrian Clayborn
DT Nick Fairley
DT Stephen Paea
LB Greg Jones
LB Luke Kuechly
LB Von Miller
CB Prince Amukamara
CB Patrick Peterson
S Quinton Carter
S Tejay Johnson
P Chas Henry
PK Josh Jasper
KR/ST Cliff Harris
KR/ST Eric Page
2011 NFL draft
2011 NFL draft first-round selections
A. J. Green
J. J. Watt
Mark Ingram Jr.
Chicago Bears first-round draft picks
2011 NFL draft
2011 NFL draft selections