Born: June 1, 1986
Jeremy Kwasi Zuttah was born June 1, 1986 in Edison. Jeremy and his older brother, Jeff, were superb students and both were big, quick and powerful athletes. They starred in youth league baseball and football and played high-school ball for JP Stevens, one of two schools in Edison. Their parents, who emigrated from Ghana, knew nothing of football, but they learned fast. All five of their sns ended up playing. Jeff and Jeremy were dominant two-way linemen. Jeff was recruited by the University of Michigan but was diagnosed with sickle-cell anemia, which ended his athletic career. Jeremy was also a top recruit. He chose Rutgers over Maryland, Pitt and a handful of other schools.
Jeremy slowly worked his way into the starting lineup as a freshman in 2004 and won the left guard job outright as a sophomore. He and left tackle Pedro Sosa basically shutdown the blind side for the quarterback and helped freshman running back Ray Rice become a star. In 2006, Jeremy shifted to the right side of the line and he won All Big East honors. He was part of an offensive line that allowed the fewest sacks in Division-I football. The Rutgers line gave up the second-least in 2007. In both seasons, Jeremy did not personally allow a sack. The highlight of his college career was the 2006 victory over Louisville, which put the Scarlet Knights football program on the national radar.
In 2008, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Jeremy with their third-round pick. The Bucs used him primarily at left guard, but his intelligence and athleticism enabled him to make multiple starts at center and right guard. In 2012, Greg Schiano—Jeremy’s coach at Rutgers—was hired by Tampa Bay. The team’s fortunes appeared to brighten as they fell just short of a .500 season. Big things were expected in 2013, but injuries to key players and the benching of QB Josh Freeman resulted in a disappointing 4–12 record. Jeremy played well in his first year as a fulltime center.
The Bucs traded Jeremy to the Ravens in 2014. Baltimore won 10 games and nearly beat the Patriots in the playoffs. Jeremy was injured in 2015 but bounced back in 2016 and had a Pro Bowl season as the team’s center. After the season, Baltimore traded Jeremy to the 49ers. He did not perform well in training camp and was released in August. The Ravens quickly signed Jeremy, hoping to add depth to their banged-up offensive line. However, he was one of the last players cut. There was a chance he might be re-re-signed during the year but that didn’t happen and he called it a career at age 31. In nine NFL seasons, Jeremy made 117 starts and was on the field for all but a handful of his team’s snaps.