NFL Football 2012: Miami Dolphins LB/DE Jamaal Westerman Has Rutgers Pedigree

Mark BatorAnalyst IIJune 28, 2012

Rutgers graduate Jamaal Westerman is taking his talents to South Beach for 2012.
Rutgers graduate Jamaal Westerman is taking his talents to South Beach for 2012.Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

If anyone can be said to be an "East Coast Guy," it's Jamaal Westerman.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, the outside linebacker started at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and finished at Notre Dame Secondary School in Ontario, Canada.

His performance made him a two-star prospect coming out of high school. He was offered scholarships from Boise State and Central Michigan but accepted an offer from the Scarlet Knights.

While under Greg Schiano at Rutgers, Westerman lettered all four years and started for three seasons. During his college career he amassed 26 sacks (which placed him third-highest in school history), with 141 tackles in 50 games with the Scarlet Knights.

Following graduation from Rutgers University, Westerman was undrafted, but his talent did not escape the eyes of local teams, just a short ride from the campus in Piscataway, NJ.

He was signed by the New York Jets, where his defensive talents were honed and refined under Rex Ryan.

Now, the much-East-Coast-traveled Westerman has landed with the Dolphins, signing as an unrestricted free agent in March, 2012.

Heading into his fourth NFL season, Westerman has 49 tackles and 4.5 sacks for his career, having appeared in only 36 games. The ex-Scarlet Knight has battled injuries in his short time in the NFL, having suffered and Achilles injury in 2010 and groin injury that plagued him all through 2011.

His surgery following the season may be the reason the Jets chose not to re-sign him, and the money saved by that decision no doubt helped to facilitate the trade for Tim Tebow. Less than a week after Westerman signed with the Dolphins, the Jets pulled the trigger on the Tebow deal, which—in addition to sending two draft picks to Denver—also required the Jets to reimburse the Broncos $2.53 million of Tebow's contract.

Miami signed Westerman to a one-year contract as they search to find pass rushers and defensive leaders to fill the void left by the retired Jason Taylor, as well as the departures of defensive ends Ryan Baker, Kendall Langford, Phillip Merling and linebacker Marvin Mitchell.

Westerman, who has his own website, recently held his charity golf tournament, the Jamaal Westerman Golf Classic to benefit pediatric cancer for children in New Jersey.