Junior Seau (PICTURES): Who is the NFL Star Who Drove Off Cliff?

Junior Seau (PICTURES): Who is the NFL Star who Drove Off Cliff?
Junior Seau (Getty Images/Elsa)

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) How did Junior Seau, go from retired NFL superstar to being arrested for domestic violence and driving his SUV off a seaside cliff in California?

PICTURES: Junior Seau Car Crash, Arrest

The former NFL star linebacker told investigators he fell asleep before driving his Cadillac SUV off a cliff in the San Diego area, less than nine hours after he was arrested on suspicion of beating his 25-year-old live-in girlfriend.

The girlfriend told cops that Seau assaulted her during an argument Sunday night at his Oceanside home. He was arrested around 2 a.m. Monday morning and released around 3:30 a.m. Five hours later, police say, the 12-time Pro Bowler's SUV was found on the beach about 100 feet below the roadside.

Seau was a star linebacker with the University of Southern California before going to the San Diego Chargers with the fifth pick overall in the 1990 draft.

He led the Chargers to the Super Bowl following the 1994 season and remained in San Diego until being traded to the Miami Dolphins in 2003.

In August 2006, Seau left football briefly after 13 seasons with San Diego and three with Miami. He signed with the New England Patriots four days later and started 14 of the 27 games he played for them over two seasons.

After the 2007 season, Seau retired, but came out of retirement for the final four games in 2008. Seau played seven regular-season games in 2009, all as a backup, and made 15 tackles.

Now, Seau is recovering from injuries sustained from the crash.

"He's weak, he's bruised, but I've seen him worse after football games," Longtime San Diego Chargers Chaplain Shawn Mitchell told CBS affiliate KFMB after visiting Seau in the hospital.

His family says he's in good spirits, but he's not out of the woods yet. A toxicology screening will be complete in six weeks to rule out alcohol or drugs during the crash.