Born: December 3, 1997
Rashan Gary was born December 3, 1997 in Plainfield. His mother, Jennifer Coney, raised him as a single parent along with his sister, Nafeesa. Soft-spoken, humble and respectful, Rashan raise eyebrows whenever he stepped on a football field. He was big, fast and mean. In youth football, he overwhelmed opponents with his physical prowess, but impressed his coaches by absorbing many of the technical fine points that young players ignore. In other words, he was a student of a game he had already mastered. At the age of 11 Rashan was six feet tall and 240 pounds. He was forced to play with older boys. Jennifer invested in private instruction to make sure he was developing at the fastest possible rate and made sure college scouts were keeping an eye on his progress. Rutgers offered him a scholarship in 8th grade.
Rashan played varsity football as a freshman and sophomore for Jon Stack at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School. In 2014, a controversy erupted when Rashan agreed to attend Paramus Catholic High School amidst charges that he had been recruited, which is against NJSIAA rules. The school was near his mom’s place of work, so it made sense from a transportation standpoint. The recruiting allegation was never proved and he went on to become just the third consensus #1 high school player in the country. He recorded 13.5 sacks as a defensive lineman in 2015 was named NJ.com Defensive Player of the Year. Under coach Chris Partridge, the Paladins rose to the top team in the state.
Rashan stood over 6’4” and tipped the scales at 275-plus pounds. He was heavily recruited by three dozen top NCAA programs, including USC, Auburn and Clemson. But Michigan had the inside track. Following Rashan’s junior year, the Wolverines hired Coach Partridge and added him to their staff. After earning MVP honors in the Under Armor All-America Game in January, Rashan declared for Michigan, joining friend and on-field foe Jabrill Peppers in Ann Arbor.
Rashan saw regular action in 2016 and became a standout in 2017 as a defensive end. His speed and agility also enabled him to drop back and function as an outside linebacker. The Wolverines started strong, going 8–2 in their first 1 games , but then dropped their final three, to Big Ten rivals Wisconsin and Ohio State, as well as South Carolina in the Outback Bowl. For his part, Rashan was named first-team all-conference and won the Katcher Award as the team’s top front-line defender.
As a junior in 2018, Rashan played with a torn labrum that kept him off the field for much of the fall. Nevertheless, he was named All-Big Ten once again. Michigan lost its final regular season game to Ohio State to finish 8–2 and earn a berth in the Peach Bowl. Rashan decided to skip his senior season and declared he would enter the NFL draft. As a precaution he sat out the bowl game, which the Wolverines lost to Florida, 41–15.
Prior to the 2019 draft, Rashan formed his own sports agency to represent himself and other pro athletes. He went at #12 overall to the Green Bay Packers. The Packers liked Rashan as a linebacker. Their run defense has a search-and-destroy philosophy, while their pass defense is very complex. The coaching staff believes Rashan has the body and mind to thrive in his new position.