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Story HighlightsIn 2007, Rosenbaum joined the semipro Miami Magic City Bulls, his first organized football teamIn 2009, at age 29, Rosenbaum accepted a scholarship to play football at Ft. Valley StateNext month he will attend a regional combine in Los Angeles with the hope of being drafted in April
College dropout finds unlikely new life as a kicker
Rosenbaum's parents divorced when he was a toddler. He was raised in Owosso by his mother, Chris Rosenbaum, and stepfather, Bob Rosenbaum. His stepfather later adopted him.
and lake houses.
So he focused on soccer, traveling for matches, spending his weekends on the road. It was fun. It also was a grind.
The early years
But he was little, too little for junior high football, at least as far as she was concerned. So Justin played soccer. He was quick and could anticipate, and a natural in goal. His leg was so strong that he got called up for free kicks and penalty kicks. And set a school record for goals scored by a goalie.
Errant throws and kicks aside, Justin was "good at anything he tried," said his mother.
By the time he was a sophomore in high school, Justin decided he wanted to give football a try as a kicker. He asked the varsity coach who doubled as a math teacher if he could kick for him. The coach told him he already had a kicker.
So here was Justin Rosenbaum in the summer of 2005, 25 years old, a college dropout, working as an electrician, living in an apartment a two day drive from just about everyone he had ever known.
He moved to Arizona where his mom had moved and attended a community college. That lasted a few months. He returned to Michigan and enrolled in a community college in Lansing. Again, it didn't work.
Rosenbaum graduated from Owosso High School in 1999. In the fall, he moved to Kalamazoo to attend Western Michigan University. He barely got C's and lasted one semester.
Rosenbaum is 32. And if he makes an NFL roster this fall, what a story he will have to tell. He could begin in 2005, although his journey begins much earlier.
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Now look at him: 185 pounds of fast twitch muscle, punting footballs on the beach, capable of booting 65 yard field goals, five months from a college degree.
"Of his first two words," said Chris, "ball was one of them. He broke almost every window in the house."
At least not yet.
"cushy, stable life" with vacations Omega Seamaster Black And Orange
He was getting a divorce, which was miserable enough, but the worst part was that he wasn't going to see his son every day. This was especially difficult to accept because he had moved to Ft. Myers, Fla. some 1,300 miles away from his home and family near Lansing to save his marriage and stay with his son. He left Michigan in June, and by August divorce papers were filed.
Justin Rosenbaum (Via OlyDrop)(Photo: Courtesy of Steve Cole)
At least it was warm and sunny.
Once, Rosenbaum was such a good goalie that he traveled with an Olympic development soccer team during his high Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Casino Royale Limited Edition
Who could imagine that seven years later, Rosenbaum would be a month from a spot in a regional NFL Combine in Los Angeles and four months from a likely invite to an NFL training camp?
school days in Owosso. After high school and a semester of college, he started in the family business Omega Seamaster Blue Or Black a booming electrical contracting company. If he had stayed, said his biological father, Steve Cole, he was looking at a Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Brown
"It wasn't for me," he said.
Instead, his choices led him to Florida and the summer of 2005, mostly alone, occasionally tagging along with co workers to knock back a few post shift beers, wondering what to do with his life.
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