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Former Rutgers Defensive End Michael Dwumfour impresses in Jets debut before injury

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The New Jersey native made two big plays in his first preseason game.

NFL: New York Jets at New York Giants Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

​As an undrafted rookie coming out of Rutgers, Defensive End Michael Dwumfour wasn’t expected to make much of an impact for the New York Jets in their preseason opener at MetLife Stadium against the Giants. However, he did just that in the first half, as he had a crucial fumble recovery inside the Jets own five-yard line to squash what looked like a touchdown drive for the Giants. Dwumfour also recorded half a sack on another play before the leaving with a calf injury late in the first half. Dwumfour’s two big plays helped the Jets shut the Giants out in the first half on the way to a 12-7 victory.

​Dwumfour, who is listed at 6’1 and 296 lbs, and is a native of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, had a bit of a circuitous route to get to Rutgers. Dwumfour committed to playing at Penn State before his senior season at DePaul Catholic. However, as per Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press, he soon started training with his friend, former Michigan player Rashan Gary, and trainer Peter Kafaf. He ended up having a tremendous senior season, ultimately flipping from Penn State to Michigan. Dwumfour and Gary had met in middle school in Scotch Plains, but ended up playing for different catholic high schools. Now both are in the NFL with with Gary entering his third season with the Packers and Dwumfour attempting to make the Jets roster.

​Dwumfour played for Michigan from 2016-2019, appearing in 20 games, before transferring to Rutgers for the 2020 season, starting eight games and registering 25 tackles and half a sack, while being named a Big-Ten honorable mention selection.

Dwumfour and his two sisters are first generation Americans, as his parents are originally from Ghana, but met while living in Europe.

​“When you come from a family like that, my family values hard work and that’s all me and my sisters do,” Dwumfour told the Detroit Free Press’ Mark Snyder in 2016. “My oldest sister, she’s in the Army. My second-oldest sister, she’s a nurse. And my third oldest, she’s in college. So it’s only right for me to carry that tradition of being successful.”

​Dwumfour is one of two former Rutgers players who were signed as undrafted free agents for the Jets this year. The other is linebacker Brendon White (6’2, 220) and he did not register any stats on Saturday.

White was a transfer from Ohio State who was limited to five games for the Scarlet Knights in 2020, but earned All-Big Ten honorable mention as a safety. His stats for Rutgers last season included 40 tackles, 3 pass defenses, a fumble recovery, a forced fumble, and an interception. His father, William White, played 11 seasons in the NFL

Among the other Scarlet Knights on the current New York Jets roster are Tyler Kroft, who had one reception for 13 yards on two targets in the Giants game. In addition, cornerback Blessuan Austin is entering his third season after producing 63 tackles last year.