|New York Giants|
|Position:||Director of Player Development|
|Born:||January 3, 1980|
Livingston, New Jersey
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||206 lb (93 kg)|
|High school:||Montclair (NJ)|
|NFL Draft:||2003 / Round: 6 / Pick: 211|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
David Mikel Tyree (born January 3, 1980) is a former American football wide receiver who played in the National Football League (NFL) for seven seasons. He is currently the Director of Player Development for the New York Giants. He played college football for Syracuse University. He was drafted by the New York Giants in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He has also played for the Baltimore Ravens. He earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2005 as a special teams player.
Tyree is best known for the Helmet Catch in 2008 on the Giants' final drive of Super Bowl XLII. The catch came at a crucial moment and was instrumental in continuing the drive that eventually resulted in the Giants scoring a last-minute touchdown, resulting in a 17-14 upset of the heavily-favoured New England Patriots.
Born in Livingston, New Jersey, Tyree grew up in a one-bedroom house in Montclair, New Jersey with his mother and two older sisters after his parents divorced. He played high school football and was a three-year varsity letterman at Montclair High School, where he was selected as a Blue Chip Illustrated All-American. He was also known for his performance in Montclair's annual modern pentathlon competition, where he broke numerous county records and made the cover of NJ Equestrian Weekly.
Over Tyree's career at Syracuse, he ranked 13th on the career receiving record list with 1,214 yards, including 229 yards against Virginia Tech in 2002. He also developed a reputation for being an excellent special teams player, amassing six blocked punts.
Tyree was selected in the sixth round (211th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. While with the Giants, he was primarily a backup, never catching more than 19 passes in a single season. However, he was best known for his special teams play, earning a Pro Bowl selection in 2005 as a special teams player.
Tyree made two key plays in Super Bowl XLII. First, he caught a five-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Eli Manning, Tyree's first of the season, that gave the Giants a 10-7 lead late in the game. Later, on a third-and-five with 1:15 remaining and trailing 14-10, Manning eluded a sack and threw 32 yards downfield toward Tyree. In Manning's words, the ball "floated" high.
Tyree leaped and caught the ball fully extended, bringing it down against his helmet with his right hand, while the New England Patriots' Rodney Harrison pulled violently downward on that arm, simultaneously wrenching Tyree arching backwards towards the turf. Tyree, who got a second hand on the ball during the descent, seemingly kept the ball only inches from the turf, thereafter struggling successfully for possession while Harrison tried to steal the ball away from him on the ground. The play became known as "The Helmet Catch". "I told you. He's a gamer," Manning commented to his brother, Peyton, regarding Tyree, after the game.ESPN SportsCenter named it the greatest play in Super Bowl history the following day. It was later voted for the 2008 ESPY Award for Play of the Year. The pass moved the Giants to the Patriots' 24-yard line with 59 seconds left. Four plays and 24 seconds later, Manning threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress for the winning touchdown. The final score of Super Bowl XLII was Giants 17, Patriots 14. Tyree dedicated this catch, which remains the last catch he has made in an NFL game, to his mother, Thelma, who died of a heart attack that year.
In 2008, Tyree was placed on injured reserve for a knee injury suffered during training camp after being on the physically-unable-to-perform list most of the season. He was released during the final cuts on September 5, 2009.
Tyree signed a one-day contract with the New York Giants to announce his retirement from the NFL as a Giant on July 29, 2010. On February 5, 2012, he watched from the Giants sideline as his former team beat the Patriots again in Super Bowl XLVI. On July 22, 2014, he was named Director of Player Development for the New York Giants.
Tyree battled with alcohol addiction beginning in middle school, and in March 2004, he was arrested by the Fort Lee Police Department for possession of marijuana. His then-girlfriend Leilah told him she was pregnant with their second child the day he was released from jail. Later that month, Leilah "presented Tyree with an ultimatum -- her lifestyle or his." He began reading a Bible on her bed, and "for the first time, the words on the page made sense" to him. Tyree said from that day he never drank again. He and Leilah were married in June 2004. Tyree and his wife Leilah have seven children.
He is a born-again Christian and has made appearances at the 2008 and 2009 Christian concert "BattleCry". In 2006, he and his wife started Next In Line, a project that counsels teenagers in his hometown.
In 2011, Tyree became an advocate against legalization of same-sex marriage in New York with the National Organization for Marriage. Tyree said in an interview that the passage of the Marriage Equality Act would "be the beginning of our country sliding toward...anarchy". He said he would trade his famous catch and the team's Super Bowl title to keep marriage between a man and a woman. In 2014, he said he was no longer in support of gay conversion therapy.