In 2005 at the age of 25, Justin Rosenbaum’s life was headed nowhere. He was in the midst of a divorce and had moved back to Michigan from Florida after his relational life had fallen apart. His son was still in Florida and the cold reality that he wouldn’t get to his son every day ate at his core. As USAToday.com put it, Justin found himself a 25-year-old college dropout, working as an electrician and living a two-day drive from anyone he’d ever known. Justin’s life was not even close to what he had planned.
That was seven years ago. The Justin Rosenbaum today hardly recognizes that one. He’s 185-lbs, fit, and using his powerful leg to drive 65-yard field goals. That same leg may even transform his life as the 32-year-old is preparing for the NFL Draft and 2013 training camps.
Justin was always a talented soccer player but never played football in high school. He attended Western Michigan University after high school but only lasted one semester. The same happened at his next stop at an Arizona community college. Another shot at a Lansing (MI) community college yielded the same results. So Justin moved home and began working with his dad in the family electric business. He moved to Florida with his new wife and their child but soon after the marriage dissolved and Justin had to move back home.
Back home, Justin did three things – worked, worked out, and kicked. Over and over and over again, until he could boot a field goal from almost any angle on the field. His first punt in a tryout for a local semi-pro team went 55 yards. The second – 60 yards. His first kickoff went out of the back of the endzone. The players played for free but Justin loved it. And he was good, man, was he good. One of his semi-pro coaches connected him with Ft. Valley State (GA) for a tryout. The 29-year-old earned a scholarship immediately. He spent the next four years booting for Ft. Valley State and made all-conference on both sides of the ball after averaging 44 yards per punt and 63 yards per kickoff.
Justin will tell anyone who listens that he isn’t about to waste this opportunity. Too much of his life he spent wasting his gifts and opportunities – no more. Time to compete.