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Rob Gronkowski. Born May 14, 1989, in Amherst, New York, the son of Diane Walters and Gordon Gronkowski, Rob Gronkowski is the second youngest of five athletically gifted brothers. Raised in Williamsville, he attended Williamsville North High School for three years where he played football, as a tight end, and basketball, as a center. As a junior tight end, he recorded 36 receptions for 648 yards and seven touchdowns. On defense he was credited with 73 tackles and six sacks. He was named to the All-Western New York first-team and the All-State second-team.
In 2006 Rob and his family relocated to suburban Pittsburgh where he attended Woodland Hills High School in Churchill for his senior year. Initially ruled ineligible for football, that ruling was overturned and he went on to record eight receptions for 152 yards and four touchdowns. He receive numerous accolades for his offensive play. He was named a SuperPrep All-American, a PrepStar All-American, to the Associated Press Class 4-A All-State team, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Fabulous 22", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette first-team all-conference, The Patriot-News "Platinum 33" (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review "Terrific 25."
Recruited by Kentucky, Arizona, Clemson, Louisville, Maryland, Ohio State, and Syracuse, Rob opted for the University of Arizona and played for the Wildcats from 2007 to 2009. As a freshman in 2007, he recorded 28 receptions for 525 yards and six touchdowns. His 18.8 yards per reception average was the best on the team and his receiving yards were a school record for a tight end. He was named a The Sporting News freshman All-American and a Rivals.com freshman All-American.
He missed the first three games of the 2008 season, but later recorded 47 receptions for 672 yards and a team-best ten touchdowns. Five of his touchdowns were scored in his first two games. He twice was named the John Mackey National Tight End of the Week, including his performance in a failed comeback bid against Oregon, when he caught 12 passes for 143 yards. He set the school records for a tight end for single-game, single-season, and career receptions, yards and touchdowns. Rob was named an Associated Press third-team All-American and All-Pac-10 first-team tight end.
Rob missed his junior season in 2009 due to back surgery and his NFL draft stock fell. He was drafted in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He signed a four-year $4.4 million contract on July 25, 2010 with a $1.76 million signing bonus.
In 2011, Gronkowski's second season in the NFL, he set the single-season record for touchdowns by a tight end with 17 receiving touchdowns, and 18 overall, as well as the single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end, with 1,327. That season, he became the first tight end in NFL history to lead the league in receiving touchdowns. In his first 43 games, he caught 38 touchdowns. No other tight end had ever caught more than 25 in that time frame.
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