Three letters which unite three Westerman brothers: J. A. W.
Two of the Westerman boys are participating in the 2012 CFL Evaluation Camp, presented by Reebok. As for the third, Jamaal, the oldest, is a linebacker for the NFL’s New York Jets.
The pair in attendance at E-Camp are: Jawann a receiver out of Rutgers, is the middle child and Jabar, the youngest Westerman, is a defensive lineman who played his collegiate football at Eastern Michigan. Despite playing different positions, players within the same position groups normally room together, the two Brampton, Ontario natives are roommates for the weekend.
A treat for both because the playing schedule of an NFLer, and two division one football players doesn’t allow the brothers much quality time together — nothing like their childhood days.
Jamaal and Jawann were born in New York City, in 1985 and 1986 respectively. Soon after, the Westerman family moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida where Jabar was birthed in 1989. The three boys were linked at birth from their initials.
All three first names start with J, all three middle names start with A and of course they all share the same W, which starts their last name.
“It makes us feel like we’re one unit. Not only do we share the same last name, but each or our initials are the exact same, Jawann said.
“Having all our initials the same – we’ve thought about getting matching tattoos. We can all get the same exact thing to pay respect to each other.”
A respect that has grown from a bond the brothers share from their days as kids spent in the back yard.
“We used to play with all the kids on the street, they used to all come over to the house,” Jawann said. “We played touch football all the time in the back yard. It was a little competitive because we’re all athletic, each of us in different ways.”
The family moved from the sun-drenched state of Florida to snowy Canada in 1999. Brampton was their new home.
“When I came up to Canada my first day of 8th grade it snowed, the very first day I went to school,” Jawann said.
“I just came from Florida so I didn’t even own a winter coat. We had recess and I go outside in my hoodie and good thing the people in my class were so generous. I had about 13 kids in my class and all 13 of them gave me their jackets to put on. So I’m huddled in the corner with 13 jackets on trying to stay warm.”
From Brampton, each of the boys earned division one scholarships. Jamaal and Jawann to Rutgers and Jabar took a longer road to Eastern Michigan.
“I didn’t have the grades so I ended up going to junior college, graduated from there and I went to Eastern Michigan,” the youngest brother said.
All three Westerman’s, three Canadians, having played at a high-level of university football in the states, pretty good right? Not for the J. A. W. trio. Jawann and Jabar have pro aspirations, especially watching the rise of their brother Jamaal to the NFL.
“Every game at Rutgers stadium, on the jumbotron, they put up a video of all the Rutgers players that are in the NFL,” Jawann said. “Every time I saw his little portion of it come up, I would hear the whole crowd start cheering and bursting out, that makes me proud to see he made it.”
“Seeing that someone who shares my genes made it, that’s one of the greatest feelings I can feel.”
“I try to watch every game I can. A lot of times I miss the games because I have meetings or games myself. As soon as I can get on NFL network and check out his stats I do,” Jabar said.
“It’s inspiring because you know that your brother made it and it’s possible.”
Both younger Westerman’s are looking for the chance to take the professional road like their elder brother. And it seems like there is a high interest from the CFL scouts. Jawann will have met with four teams when the weekend is in the books, and brother Jabar will have interviewed with all eight Canadian clubs.
So it sounds like the final two J. A. W. brothers will continue to do the three letter synonym proud.