Andrew Victor Sendejo (born September 9, 1987) is an American football strong safety for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Rice Owls. He was signed by the Sacramento Mountain Lions as a street free agent in 2010. He has also been a member of the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets.
Sendejo is a 2006 graduate of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, northeast of San Antonio, Texas. He was a two-time All-San Antonio area selection for coach Larry Hill. Also a two-time honorable mention All-State pick, and a two-time All-District 26-5A honoree. As a senior, he had 75 tackles (3 for loss), four interceptions, eight pass deflections, one forced and one fumble recovery, helping lead the Rangers to a 13-2 record and the Class 5A semifinals. He was named Comal County defensive player of the year for his senior season efforts. He was also a regional finalist and academic All-district. Sendejo selected Rice over Tulane, Army, North Texas, Northwestern and New Mexico.
In addition to football, Sendejo also lettered in soccer, where he was twice a second team All-district selection and academic All-district pick, helping Smithson Valley to the district and bi-district championships. He also participated in track & field for the Rangers; at the 2004 District 27-5A Championships, he placed third in the 400-meter dash (52.80 seconds), sixth in the triple jump (12.04m or 39'4") and fifth in the pole vault (3.53m or 11'6"). As a junior in 2005, he posted a personal-best time of 52.02 seconds in the 400-meter dash at the Texas State High School Invitational.
At Rice, Sendejo saw his senior season come to an early conclusion after suffering a severe high ankle sprain at East Carolina that required surgery. He was a Preseason All C-USA pick by conference coaches and a three-year starter who opened the season as the national leader among active players in solo tackles and also ranked in the top 10 among active players in career total tackles, career interceptions and interception returns for touchdowns. He was a Second team All C-USA preseason selection by the media in a poll conducted by the New Orleans Times-Picayune. He also earned an Honorable Mention All C-USA honors from league coaches even with a shortened senior season, and was named one of 12 finalist for the 2009 Wuerffel Trophy, which honors the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with outstanding academic and athletic achievement. He was a three-time ESPN The Magazine District VI academic honoree as well as a three-time C-USA All Academic Football team with a 3.55 GPA in sports management.
A starter from the first whistle of the season who went on to earn honorable mention freshman All-American recognition from The Sporting News and C-USA all-freshman honors from the media, Sendejo made 10 starts on the season in 11 played games, missing just the UAB game with an injury. He finished fifth on the team with 49 total tackles from the Spur position, tied for fourth on the squad with seven tackles for loss and was second on the team by forcing three fumbles. He forced one fumble and recovered a second to set up a touchdown for the Owls against Tulsa. He opened the season with a 13-yard sack of Kevin Kolb of Houston and closed it with a seven-yard sack of Justin Willis of SMU.
As a sophomore in 2007, Sendejo led the team with 107 tackles and five interceptions. His five interceptions were the most by an Owl since Dan Dawson tied the school record with seven in 2000 and match the third-best total by an Owl in a season. He earned honorable mention All C-USA honors by the coaches and third-team All conference mention by Phil Steele. Also named Academic All-Conference and All-District VI for his work in the classroom as well. He closed the season strongly, registering back-to-back double figure tackle efforts against Tulane (11) and Tulsa (13). He posted four double figure games on the season, including a career-best 18-tackle day at Marshall, the most by an Owl since Jeff Vanover was credited with 18 against SMU in 2001. He was named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week against Southern Miss after picking off a pair of passes, forcing a fumble, and registering seven tackles, becoming the first Owl to pick off more than one pass in a game since Dan Dawson picked off three vs. Hawaii back in 2000. He was credited with eight tackles, shared a tackle for loss, forced and recovered a fumble and broke up a pass at Houston. He returned his interception against SMU 31 yards for a score for his first career touchdown.
Sendejo was an honorable mention All C-USA pick by the coaches, second team pick by the Houston Chronicle, while Phil Steele placed him on his first-team, All-conference unit. He led the Owls with 94 total tackles despite missing nearly three full games with a high ankle sprain. He also totaled 89 yards in returns, bringing back an interception 55 yards for a touchdown and returning a fumble 34 yards to set up a second score. That interception return was his second of his career for a score, with both coming against SMU. He was fifth in C-USA stats with 8.55 tackles per game (51st nationally) and 22nd in NCAA stats with 5.4 solo tackles per game. He opened the year by earning C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors for his game vs. SMU. He had back-to-back 13-tackle efforts at Memphis and Vanderbilt, then was credited with a season-high 17 tackles at Texas, one shy of his career-high of 18 set in 2007 at Marshall. He saw his streak of double-figure tackle games end at three when he was credited for three stops against North Texas. In that game, he made his debut as the Owls' punt returner, fielding a pair for no gain, then returned his third for a gain of 21- He got injured early in the Tulsa game and did not record a tackle. He missed the Southern Miss game, breaking a streak of 24 consecutive games played (23 starts). He also missed the Tulane game, and then returned to action against UTEP and led the Owls with eight tackles. He closed out the regular season by recording his fifth double-figure tackle game of the year with 13 vs. Houston. It was his ninth career double-figure tackle game.
As a senior, Sendejo was named to Phil Steele's Midseason All C-USA Third team. He was able to play in only 7 games, after his season was cut short by a high ankle injury that required surgery. He was tied for sixth in the nation with 6.4 unassisted tackles per game at the time of his injury. He moved into a tie for second on the Owls' career tackle chart with nine stops at ECU, and jumped four spots on the tackling chart with 17 tackles vs. Navy, matching the second highest game total of his career. It was his 11th career double-figure tackle game. He was the NCAA career active leader with 216 career solo tackles (Sean Weatherspoon of Missouri was second with 199) before he got hurt. He ranked fourth in C-USA and 14th in the nation with an 14.3 yard average per punt return before his injury. He returned two punts for 65 yards vs. Vanderbilt, including a career best 47 yarder, the longest by an Owl since 1998 when LaDouphyous McCalla returned one 51 yards against Colorado State. He missed part of the Texas Tech game after injuring a wrist, but returned to finish the game. He recorded his 10th career double-digit tackle total in the opener at UAB with 15 stops. He finished his college career with 318 tackles (second in school history), 9 interceptions (seventh in school history), 2 sacks and 7 forced fumbles.
|Ht||Wt||40‑yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20‑ss||3‑cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|6 ft 1 in|
|4.65 s||1.56 s||2.62 s||4.04 s||6.87 s||34 in|
|10 ft 1 in|
|All values from Pro Day|
Sacramento Mountain Lions
On November 24, 2010, Sendejo was signed to the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad as an undrafted free agent. On November 29, 2010, Sendejo was promoted to the active roster. He played in a pair of games, making his NFL debut against the Philadelphia Eagles (12/12). He notched a special teams tackle against the Washington Redskins (12/19). He was waived on September 3, 2011. Sendejo was one of three Hispanics on the Cowboys' training camp roster. The other two are quarterback Tony Romo and offensive lineman Jose Acuna, who played at Nevada-Reno.
New York Jets
Sendejo was claimed by the New York Jets off waivers on September 4, 2011. He was cut by the Jets on September 13. The Jets re-signed Sendejo to their practice squad on September 14, after he cleared waivers. He was released on September 27.
In 2013, he started 10 games at strong safety in place of an injured Harrison Smith. He finished third on team with 104 tackles and on December 8, he picked off Joe Flacco, getting the first interception of his career. He was third on the team with 13 special teams tackles.
In 2014, he led the team with 13 special teams tackles and started the last 3 games in place of an injured Robert Blanton.
In 2015, he started 13 games at strong safety, registering 74 tackles, 3 passes defensed and one interception. In the season opener, he blocked a field goal, which was returned by Marcus Sherels into San Francisco 49ers territory. He had one interception of Eli Manning against the New York Giants.
On March 5, 2016, Sendejo agreed to a four-year, $16 million contract extension with the Vikings.
In 2016, Sendejo started 14 games recording 72 tackles, four pass breakups and two interceptions. He was placed on injured reserve on December 31, 2016 with a knee injury.
In Week 7 of the 2017 season, Sendejo made helmet contact with Ravens' receiver Mike Wallace, forcing Wallace to leave with a concussion. The next day, Sendejo was suspended one game for violating league player safety rules.
Sendejo is of Mexican descent and his favorite animal is a german shorthaired pointer. and earned a degree in sports management from Rice. He plays guitar in his free time and has an extensive background in martial arts as his father was an instructor.