Former Redskin Byron Westbrook Returns to DMV Gridiron

WASHINGTON — As a player, Byron Westbrook played at powerhouse DeMatha Catholic High School, dominated at Division-III Salisbury University, and had an improbable five-year run with the Washington Redskins after going undrafted in 2007.

In his return to the gridiron this year, he’ll find himself in far less glamorous circumstances, trying to rebuild the football program as head coach at Bladensburg High School in Maryland.

“I took this job because I felt that with all the experience and success I’ve had in high school, college and even professionally, that it would be right to give all that I learned back to the community,” Westbrook told The Montgomery County Sentinel. “With me coming into coaching, it gives the community the belief that there are people in (Prince George’s) County who still believe in this school and take great pride in being a part of the school, which I do as well in my limited time being the head coach.

“We all want the neighborhood school to achieve success academically and athletically, and the community is willing and ready to help make sure Bladensburg High School does attain that success.”

The move was initially announced in January, and Westbrook has hit the ground running to get his team up to speed. The squad went 3-7 last season, a low water mark:

Westbrook intends to turn the program with a focus on fundamentals on the field, and academics off of it.

According to NCAA research, 5.8 percent of high school football players will play collegiately. Of those, only 2 percent of college players will make it to the NFL in any capacity. That means that high school players have a 0.09 percent chance of ever seeing an NFL gridiron.

“My kids must maintain good grades in school. I will not allow any player to play without getting good grades,” he explained. “I took this job because I felt that with all the experience and success I’ve had in high school, college and even professionally, that it would be right to give all that I learned back to the community.”

But just like any football program, Westbrook’s success will depend on his record at the end of the season.

“My kids will work hard in practices and show determination and effort and will be very disciplined, but ultimately we are here to win games,” he said. “We all want the neighborhood school to achieve success academically and athletically, and the community is willing and ready to help make sure Bladensburg High School does attain that success.”

 

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