He was born on October 12, 1981 in Port Arthur, TX where he attended Lincoln High. His brother Jordan plays defensive back for the Seattle Seahawks (2004). He began his career as a fullback at Iowa, starting 3 of 11 games as a freshman, rushing once for 4 yards and catching 2 passes for 12 (6.0 avg). He redshirted the next season due to a broken leg and moved to defensive end the following year. As a sophomore, he started 12 games, recording 53 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 9 quarterback pressures, 1 interception, and forced 2 fumbles. He missed the final 6 games of the season as a junior due to a fractured right tibia and torn ligaments in his ankle. He managed 7 starts at defensive tackle with 23 tackles, 5 for loss, 1 sack, 3 pressures, and 1 fumble recovery. As a senior he returned with 55 tackles, 25 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, 12 quarterback pressures, 3 fumble recoveries and 3 forced fumbles in 12 starts. His tackles for loss ranked 2nd in the nation. He earned 3rd team All-American honors and 1st team All-Big Ten honors as well. He was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2nd round (59th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft.
Signed by Atlanta Falcons on July 24, 2005 ... Signed a contract extension with the Falcons on November 24, 2008 ... Re-signed by Falcons on March 11, 2014
Signed by Falcons to a reported four-year contract. Terms of the contract were not released, but it was estimated to be worth about $2.4 million with a $1 million signing bonus. He is expected to have base salaries of: $230,000 (2005); $310,000 (2006); and $385,000 (2007) in the first three years of the deal ... Contract extension is a five-year deal worth $25 million. Contract includes base salaries of: $2 million (2009); $2.2 million (2010); $3.5 million (2011); $4.1 million (2012); and $4.7 million (2013) ... Signed a three-year deal worth $9 million in 2014. He received $4 million in guarantees as part of the deal, including a $2 million signing bonus. He will receive base salaries of: $2 million (2014, fully guaranteed); $2.25 million (2015); and $1.25 million (2016). He will also receive $46,875 in per-game roster bonuses in 2015 and 2016 for a potential total of $750,000 in each year. That gives him cap hits of (rounded to nearest thousand): $2.667 million (2014); $3.667 million (2015); and $2.667 million (2016).