The Untold Truth Of Jimmy Garoppolo

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo may be one of the most buzzworthy players in the NFL since he got traded from the New England Patriots in 2017 — but success had already come for the Illinois native. Winning two Super Bowls as Tom Brady's understudy years prior, Garoppolo is no rookie.

Growing up, Jimmy and his three brothers were raised by their Italian American parents, Tony and Denise Garoppolo, in Arlington Heights, Ill. One could say their son has finally achieved the American dream when he became a starter in Super Bowl LIV. The quarterback has remained remarkably focused on his career, too, staying away from the vices that come with being an A-list sports star (yeah, we're looking at you, Johnny Manziel). "It will always be in me," Jimmy explained to Bleacher Report in 2018. "That drive that comes from my dad telling me that someone is always working harder, that I'm always in last place and I need to catch up to someone else."

While the 49ers star is in the midst of his career prime, there's a lot more to this Chicago suburbanite than his gunslinging abilities and charming smile. He's got what looks like a fantastic future ahead of him, and we're sure "it feels great, baby." Here's the untold truth of Jimmy Garoppolo.

Jimmy GQ's not-so-extravagant love life

Jimmy Garoppolo has earned himself a reputation as a Casanova, with fans even giving him the nickname Jimmy "GQ" for his handsome good looks. The quarterback has had quite the saucy dating portfolio, too, having been linked to both model Alexandra King and adult star Kiara Mia right after inking his 49ers deal in 2018. 

While his former ladies have been vocal about their experiences dating Garoppolo, the NFL star has, by and large, remained silent, even refraining from posting anything on his social media channels. "Life is different now," Garoppolo explained (via Mercury News). "My life, off the field — I've never really been big on being very public with things even on social media ... But my life's looked at differently."

It looks like Garoppolo's teammates are vouching for his almost-too-normal lifestyle, too. As 49ers tackle, Mike McGlinchey dished to Mercury News, "The position kind of glamorizes everything, and Jimmy doesn't want any of that. He just wants to be a great teammate, a good person and win games — and he's phenomenal at all three." Jimmy GQ's close pal, Neal Zeman, however, has a bit more of a cheeky outlook. "He's always been kind of single for the most part," Zeman told the outlet, adding, "My joke has always been, he doesn't have a girlfriend, he has all the girlfriends."

Family comes first for Jimmy Garoppolo

While Jimmy Garoppolo may not decorate his Instagram page with his dating pursuits, he definitely enjoys posting snaps of his entire family. As Jimmy's grandmother (or as he calls her, Nana), Jane Garoppolo, told Sauk Valley back in 2014, "We're really close, and we really care about one another."

Growing up with three brothers, you'd think the quarterback's upbringing would have been quite clamorous. Yet as his mother, Denise, told Bleacher Report, Jimmy was anything but. "[Jimmy] really just flowed with the way everything went," she revealed, adding, "On vacations, he really never caused any kind of a problem. My other sons were more boisterous. Jimmy wasn't."

Along with that calm demeanor, Jimmy's dad, Tony, also tried to enlist a hard work ethic, something that's definitely stuck with the 49ers star. As a Bleacher Report profile on Jimmy revealed, Tony would leave "for work as an electrician before 6:30 in the morning to put enough food on the table to feed his boys but clocked out at 4:30 to make sure he could coach their sports teams." Whenever Jimmy would tell his dad how hard he was working and training, Tony would simply retort with "There's always someone working harder than you," before walking away. "He'd just sneak it in," Jimmy recalled to the outlet. "I would just be like, 'What the f**k, man?'"

Jimmy Garoppolo's first choice wasn't becoming a quarterback

The story of Jimmy Garoppolo turning down his first chance at playing quarterback speaks volumes for the future NFL star's humble nature. A profile on Garoppolo done by Bleacher Report tells the tale of a teenage Jimmy G starting off as tight end and linebacker in the sixth grade, while his best friend, Dan Lowry (whom he grew up with), was a QB. Garoppolo's head coach, Bob Viti, one day began grilling the future 49ers athlete about a position change — thanks to his impeccable throwing abilities. Oddly enough, Garoppolo would only refuse. "He never told me why," Viti recalled. As it turned out, Garoppolo's reasoning was simple: he "did not want to take away his best friend's job." As he explained to the mag, "I didn't know about quarterbacking." 

So, how did Jimmy G end up with such a monster of a throwing arm? Tony Taibi, Garoppolo's high school wide receiver, shed some insight to The Athletic, revealing that his teammate was an "unbelievable" baseball player, too. "He always had a gunslinger mentality. Throwing came natural to him."

Finally, by Garoppolo's junior year in 2008, former NFL QB Jeff Christensen saw Jimmy G's potential and began training him as quarterback and point guard. As Bleacher Report noted, "By his senior year, Jimmy felt comfortable under center, finishing high school with 3,136 passing yards and 25 touchdowns in 19 games at quarterback."

Was there ever a rivalry with Tom Brady?

Jimmy Garoppolo has had respect for New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, for over a decade. According to Bleacher Report, when Jeff Christensen began training the future star in his junior year of high school, he would show him "tapes of other gunslingers." Of course, Garoppolo honed in on Tom Brady — who would naturally come up often in the recordings. "It wasn't even like I was a Patriots fan," mused Garoppolo to the mag. "But seeing him do that, it was flawless."

Sure enough, Garoppolo famously became Brady's understudy for the Patriots in 2014, and immediately began soaking up everything he could. "I was going to watch and literally absorb everything I could from him without being an annoyance," Garoppolo told Bleacher Report. "I didn't want to ask a ton of questions. I didn't want to ruffle any feathers."

So, was there ever a struggle between the two rugged-looking athletes? The media sure seemed to think so, but Garoppolo offered more of a logical explanation to Bleacher Report, detailing the duo's playful rivalry during after-practice games. "There would be days where one of us would win and you wouldn't talk to the other for a little while. We'd be fine the next day, but it was one of the best things for me ... We got along, but there were always times where we wanted to kill each other. It was a healthy, competitive relationship."

Joining the 49ers was almost fatal for Jimmy Garoppolo

New England Patriots head coach and general manager, Bill Belichick, traded Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers in 2017, believing that the opposing team would offer the young athlete "more possibilities," as revealed by Bleacher Report. Even Garoppolo himself dished to the outlet how thankful he was for his former coach's phone call alerting him of the trade. "I appreciated that Coach Belichick put me in the best situation — you hear those horror stories about guys finding out from ... Twitter."

With Jimmy G getting the sudden news on Halloween morning, he quickly packed up his things at the early hour of 5:30 AM and rushed into a limo en route to catch a flight on the 49er's private plane. Suddenly, as Bleacher Report retold, "Another car exited the highway, skidded off the side of the ramp, turned straight toward Jimmy's door," with Garoppolo's driver landing straight into a ditch.

Dealing with such a traumatic, almost-fatal accident would have left others in a state of shock, but not Garoppolo. According to the outlet, the athlete simply put on his headphones, "[turned] up the country music, and [studied his] new team's playbook." At the time, Garoppolo's driver mused, "Could you imagine that story, if we got hit leaving here?" Considering how far he's come in his career since then, we absolutely cannot.

Being a part of 'the biggest deal in NFL history' hasn't changed Jimmy G

Jimmy Garoppolo's deal with the 49ers shocked the public when it was revealed. The NFL Network's Mike Garafolo taking to tweeted the jaw-dropping details: "The 49ers and QB Jimmy Garoppolo have agreed to a five-year, $137.5 million contract, source says. The biggest deal in NFL history on a average-per-year basis." The contract also made Garoppolo the highest-paid athlete of Super Bowl LIV, "whose average annual salary is an astounding $27.5 million," as revealed by CNBC.

It's a large sum of money, and being center stage can quickly get to a celeb's head. As for Jimmy G? Not a chance. "The thing that probably surprised me most about Jimmy is how down to earth he is," teammate Daniel Helm told the San Francisco Chronicle. "People that are making a lot of money sometimes don't associate with the not-as-important guys on the team like myself. For him to genuinely care about me as a person is pretty cool."

As it turns out, Garoppolo can credit his upbringing for keeping him level-headed in his career. "Jimmy has zero entitlement in his body," Jeff Christensen, a Chicago-area quarterback specialist, explained to The Athletic of the former rookie. "His two older brothers beat on him like a rag doll for 10 years growing up, so he's just a worker. And that's what college coaches want: A guy who shows up and knows how to get to work."

A real-life Ferris Bueller ... without the days off

Touted as a humble star with immense talent, Jimmy Garoppolo doesn't make it easy to find his flaws. As Bleacher Report so perfectly summarized in 2018, his "only insecurity is the temporary absence of perfection." So, what was Garoppolo like before all the fame? As his roommates from Eastern Illinois University revealed to The Athletic, "Jimmy was kind of like Ferris Bueller. Everybody just loved Jimmy." However, even back then, Garoppolo was focused on his craft, spending "three-to-four hours a day 'stretching his hips'... eliminating one of his key weaknesses early in college."

While everyone loved Jimmy G, the athlete loved his roomies, too. In fact, he even invited all five of them to the 2014 NFL Draft in New York that would see the Patriots drafting him. Per The Athletic, "Everyone, including Garoppolo's brothers, crammed into a single hotel room. Many slept on the floor. Because only immediate family is allowed with potential draftees into the green room, Garoppolo also listed his housemates as siblings." As former roomie, John Wurm hilariously told the outlet, "One of us was Juice Williams. He's like a 6-6, 330 black dude ... he was 'Juice Garoppolo.' It was so funny."

Years later, Garoppolo still has tremendous respect for his roots. Even with all his millions of dollars and seemingly endless fame, the QB still carries the same Eastern Illinois book bag he had during his time at the university. 

'Beware the quiet man'

What makes Jimmy Garoppolo such a serious contender in the NFL is his disarming personality and lack of arrogance — qualities that have given him glowing reviews by way of his teammates, past and present. The quarterback is fully aware of his public persona, too, even taking to his Instagram in October of 2019, posting a photo with the caption, "Beware the quiet man."

Adam Gristick, former Eastern Illinois linebacker, offered up some more insight to The Athletic, detailing what Garoppolo was like as a freshman. "Jimmy wrote down every single passing record at the school in a notebook. He didn't tell anybody about that. He wrote those down freshman year and he broke every single one," adding that his "quiet confidence about him is a pretty cool dynamic to study."

Breaking all the passing records at Eastern Illinois University is definitely impressive — especially considering it involves beating one held by another one of the university's famous alums — retired Dallas Cowboys QB, Tony Romo. "Tony Romo is the claim to fame for Eastern — he still is," Garoppolo told The Blitz: Dallas Cowboys Report, adding, "It really opens your eyes when you're breaking records of people who are famous in the NFL. You know, it's a really humbling experience."

What's up with Jimmy G's mantra, baby?

Jimmy Garoppolo made waves in the tabs for something other than his football skills in October 2019: his post-game interview with Erin Andrews. Asked by the FOX Sports reporter how it felt to be undefeated so far, Jimmy G quipped, "Feels great, baby." Of course, the comment went viral, with viewers immediately analyzing whether or not the exchange was flirtatious. According to Daily Snark, one fan even went on Andrews' Wikipedia page and changed her spouse from pro hockey player Jarrett Stoll to Garoppolo himself.

During a press conference a few days later, Garoppolo was quizzed about the moment, finally offering some insight. "I didn't expect it to blow up like that. It is what it is ... I'm excited to be 8-0, baby ... I say 'baby' like 500 times throughout a game, just to my teammates and stuff. ... It wasn't like that."

As it turns out, Garoppolo has been saying "baby" since his college days — something his former housemates vouched for to The Athletic. "People are just recognizing who he is," explained Erik Lora, Garoppolo's leading receiver at Eastern Illinois University. "He's a funny guy. He knows what to say and when to say it." Sure enough, Garoppolo knows exactly what he's doing — as he's even cashing in on his now-famous catchphrase by filing for a trademark in 2020.

The Michael Jordan obsession

When Jimmy Garoppolo announced he signed a brand endorsement contract with Jordan in August 2018, it may have appeared like it was just another high-profile marketing sports deal. As it turns out, however, Jimmy G's love for the NBA superstar goes back to his childhood. "Since I got in the league, it was one of my dreams to be with Jordan and it came true, so I'm pretty excited about it," Garoppolo gushed to ESPN after the announcement.

Growing up in Chicago's suburbs, Garoppolo's whole family were huge fans of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, with "his basement full of tributes." As the 49ers QB revealed to ESPN, "Ever since I was a little kid, he's been my favorite athlete, so it's pretty cool to be part of his brand now."

Besides Garoppolo's obsession with "His Airness," the NFL star also marveled at Jordan's business savvy, too. In an interview with ESPN, Jimmy G revealed how much he "sucked" at speaking to the press in the early days of his career. Ultimately, he ended up taking his father's advice, who told him to go watch the NBA alum's news conferences on YouTube. "My dad told me, 'Jordan always takes a second, thinks about the question and then responds. Try doing that,' and he would show me things like that and it was just, he was very, very smooth with everything he did."

Jimmy GQ, the NFL's best-looking quarterback

While Jimmy Garoppolo has been getting a lot of attention for his football prowess, he's also attracted quite a bit of attention for his looks, too. From his teammates making clips gushing about the quarterback's "butt chin" to outlets bringing in professionals to discuss Garoppolo's zodiac sign and the type of partner he is, it's safe to say that fans are obsessed with the athlete's dazzling appearance.

Of course, not everyone is a supporter of the 49ers QB. With some observers doubting the entire team and viewing Garoppolo as the "weak link," the athlete has mainly stayed silent, refusing to give the naysayers anything else to discuss. His teammates, however? As cornerback Richard Sherman hilariously told reporters, "Every day they find something new to criticize Jimmy about. They never criticize his looks though. I understand why."

Throughout all the media attention, Garoppolo has, of course, shrugged it off. "I thank my parents for the good looks," he joked to Bleacher Report in 2018. "It's the Italian tan, I guess." According to NBC Sports, leading up to Super Bowl LIV, Garoppolo was asked "what it felt like to be the best-looking quarterback in the NFL." His answer? Keeping it short and sweet, the quarterback joked, "I got named that? You've got to check who's voting on that."