Green Bay Packers’ BJ Raji – The Early Days All Green Bay Packers All the Time

The Green Bay Packers’ BJ Raji hails from the unexciting Bergen County, New Jersey town of Washington Township. It was at Westwood High School there, where Raji saw his first taste of organized football. Before showing up for the first day of freshman football practice, Raji had only played football with his friends in the street. He had no idea how to even get into a proper 3-point stance.

But Raji quickly opened some eyes at the very first practice. Almost 300 lbs at that time, Raji was beating the teams’ running backs in foot races. The coaches didn’t really know what they had, but they knew he was going to be playing. the photo on the right is BJ Raji as a senior in High School.

There are more such insights into the pre – “Do the Raji” Busari in an article written in the local NJ newspaper here, the Bergen Record. Record reporter Art Stapelton does a fine job looking back at the early days, even talking to his high school football coach, Joe Gambardella, who coincidentally, I played High School football with in the early 70s.

Here is the link to the article.

Definitely a worthwhile read.


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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for


5 thoughts on “Green Bay Packers’ BJ Raji – The Early Days

  1. Geez Al,thank you so much for bringing up the past with high school football in the early 70’s.I went to Dickerson High in Jersey City for three years(70-72) before moving away.We had a terrible team then, but always boasted the title”King of the Hill” for it’s location and history of the cannons that protected the Hudson River on the campus.
    These flashbacks may force a tighter hold of a pillow tonight as I relive some of the slaughters we endured.LOL
    Amazing is the talent that comes from a small state like ours.

    1. Wow – Dickinson High. My first varsity experience was as a sophomore against Dickinson at Roosevelt Stadium. the starting left tackle broke his leg completely (bone sticking out) and I got some playing time. Remember that scene like it was yesterday, especially the guy giving the thumbs up as he was taken away on a stretcher.

      1. Thinking back,Al did you ever go to any of those concerts held at Roosevelt Stadium?I worked the concession stands and may have served you a hot dog or pretzel.Great times.
        Well,back to football.

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