Timothy John Dwight, Jr. (born July 13, 1975 in Iowa City, Iowa) is an American football wide receiver and return specialist who is currently a free agent. He was originally drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth round of the 1998 NFL Draft. He played college football at Iowa.
Dwight is perhaps best known for his 94-yard touchdown return on a kickoff in Super Bowl XXXIII against the Denver Broncos. He has also played for the San Diego Chargers, New England Patriots, New York Jets and Oakland Raiders in his career.
Dwight (aka "White Lightning") finished his college career with Big Ten
records for punt return yardage (1,102) and punts returned for touchdowns
(5); his yardage mark has since been eclipsed by three others and Ohio State
's Ted Ginn Jr.
has surpassed his touchdown mark. Dwight also holds University of Iowa
football records for career receiving yards (2,271) and career receiving touchdowns (21). In 1997, was a consensus All-American and finished seventh for the Heisman Trophy. He also competed in track
events; in 1999, he was Big Ten Champion in the 100 meter dash
, and he also was part of the 1999 Big Ten Champion 4 x 400 meter relay
, the 1999 Big Ten Champion 4 x 100 meter relay
, and the 1998 Big Ten Champion 4 x 100 meter relay.
Dwight was drafted in the fourth round (114th overall) of 1998 NFL Draft
by the Atlanta Falcons
. In Super Bowl XXXIII
, he returned five kickoffs, including one for 46 yards and another for 94 yards and a touchdown. He is second all-time in Super Bowl
kick return yardage for a single game (210). His 42.0 yards per return average in the game was a Super Bowl career record.
San Diego Chargers
After spending three years with Atlanta, he was traded on April 20
to the San Diego Chargers
as part of the deal that enabled the Falcons to select quarterback Michael Vick
with the 2001 draft's top selection, which the Chargers originally held pursuant to their 1-15 final record in 2000.
New England Patriots
Dwight became a free agent following the 2004 season, and on March 11
he signed with the New England Patriots
. As a New England Patriot, Dwight caught 19 passes for 332 yards and 3 touchdowns and also gained 523 yards returning punts and kickoffs.
New York Jets
After the 2005-06 season
, Dwight signed a 4-year, $4.2 million contract to play for the New York Jets
where he is expected to play as the fourth wide receiver and to take over return duties. On Monday August 27th Dwight was released by the NY Jets after spending all summer on the unable to perform list.
He signed a one year contract with the Oakland Raiders
in October. He had one kickoff return and caught 2 touchdowns and received 98 yards during his time with Oakland. He became a free agent in the 2008 offseason.
Accomplishments and reputation
Despite being only 5'8" tall, and weighing 185 pounds, Dwight has been a prolific punt and kick returner during his career. He has been labeled "injury-prone" because he rarely plays a whole season without missing a significant number of games. The 2005-06 season was the first in which Dwight appeared in all 16 games. Dwight's most productive seasons as a wide receiver have been 1999
, when he caught 32 passes for 669 yards (a 20.9-yard average per catch) with seven touchdowns, and 2002
, when he had 50 receptions for 623 yards. He also has five NFL career touchdowns on kick returns — three on punts and two on kickoffs. Although his speed has declined somewhat with advancing age and injuries, he is still thought to be among the fastest players currently in the NFL.
In addition to a revived career with the New York Jets in 2006, Dwight has a number of interests outside football. Dwight founded the Tim Dwight Foundation to help needy kids through scholarships and assistance to the Children's Hospital of Iowa. He also owns his own yoga studio in Iowa.
In 2007, The Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette sports staff voted Dwight the all-time greatest athlete from that newspaper's circulation area, topping other notables such as NFL and Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner and 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson.
- On July 9, 2001 ESPN The Magazine published a photograph of him in the act of shaving his entire body with a razor. He explained that he does this on a regular basis (he also shaves his head completely).
- He also holds an annual football camp in Iowa City, Iowa called The Tim Dwight Football Camp.