Muhammad Wilkerson, during his playing days, was one of the most popular professionals in the National Football League (NFL). The former American football player joined the NFL in 2011 after he was selected by the New York Jets in the first round of the 2011 draft. Prior to joining the NFL, he played for Temple University football team.
Wilkerson had an 8-year extensive run in the NFL, playing for the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers. Sadly, his career was cut short following an ankle injury he suffered on September 23, 2018. Despite his short spell in the National Football League, Muhammad was still able to record some major milestones in his football career which can be traced right to his early years as a high school student at Linden High.
Muhammad Wilkerson Won Several Notable Titles In His Budding Years
The prolific defensive end was born on October 22, 1989, in Linden, New Jersey. He attended Linden High School where he picked interest in football and basketball. Muhammad played a key role in helping Linden win state basketball titles during his junior and season years. The pro athlete then went on to play football as an amateur defensive tackle.
Wilkerson’s impressive stats during his junior season earned him a call-up to the All-Watchung Conference first-team. During that period, Muhammad registered 78 tackles, 5 sacks, a fumble recovery, and 1 forced fumble. He was also named to the Newark Star-Ledger All-Union County second-team and Home News Tribune all-area first-team.
After graduating from high school in 2007, the former NFL star was enrolled in Hargrave Military Academy where he spent just one year. In 2008, Wilkerson was admitted into Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and during his time there, he played for the Temple Owls football team.
In his freshman year, the defensive tackle recorded 13 tackles and 1 sack in 11 games. The following year, he featured in all of the 13 games and registered 56 tackles and 6 sacks. Wilkerson went on to record 68 tackles and 10 sacks in his junior season. Following his impressive stats, he was named the team defensive most valuable player and first-team All-MAC selection.
Moving On To His Professional Career In The NFL
Analysts got off to describing the talented defensive tackle as “a sleeper selection”. The former pro player proved them wrong by churning out some impressive results at the NFL Combine and at Temple’s Pro Day Session. This caused his draft stock to rise significantly. Also, veteran NFL Network analyst, Mike Mayock, described the player as a first-round prospect and went on to compare him to Trevor Pryce.
Muhammad Wilkerson’s NFL draft happened in 2011 when was picked in the first round (30th overall pick) by the New York Jets. He signed a four-year deal worth $7.4 million with the football franchise on July 31, 2011. In his debut season for the Jets during a pre-season game, Wilkerson and teammate Brandon Jacobs had an altercation that led into a fight. Both players were sent-off the game due to the fact that it was against sport’s rules.
Wilkerson Got Named To The All Pro-Team In The 2013 Season
He made his NFL debut on September 11, 2011, against the Dallas Cowboys. Muhammad ended the season having started all 16 games with 49 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 safety enforced, one forced fumble, and 2 passes defended. In the 2013 season, Wilkerson recorded an impressive 63 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 2 forced fumble, and an interception. Following his superb performance, Associated Press named him to the second All-Pro team.
He Ranked 39th On NFL Top 100 Players In 2015
In the 2015 NFL season, the star football player, despite suffering a broken leg, still managed to make 64 tackles, 12 sacks, 7 defended passes and 3 fumble recoveries at the end of the season. For his outstanding season stats, he was ranked 39th on the NFL Top 100 players of 2016 by his fellow football players. He also received his first Pro Bowl selection towards the end of the 2015/16 season but was unable to feature after fracturing his right fibula during the final game of the season.
Why The Jets Let Him Go And Subsequent Retirement
In 2017, Wilkerson’s unruly behaviour of missing or showing up late for team meetings came to light. The New York Jets management went on to sanction the player by scratching him out of NFL games. It was later revealed that Wilkerson had shown up late for meetings 4 times in a space of 3 years. This prompted the management to give him an ultimatum, stating that they would release him if he was inactive for one more game.
Unfortunately for the player, he was declared inactive for the final game of the 2017/18 season. He was subsequently released from his contract with the Jets on February 28, 2018.
Barely a month after he was released by the New York-based football team, Wilkerson signed a contract worth $5 million with the Green Bay Packers. He was later placed on reserve on September 29, 2018, after he picked up a serious ankle injury in week 3. He was a free agent all through 2019 and retired subsequently.
Altercations With Law Enforcement Agents
Wilkerson was arrested by law enforcement agents for DWI on June 1, 2019. He reportedly ran a stop sign at the early hours of the morning. Upon checking his alcohol level, it exceeded the legal limit of .08 by a .01 margin. His eyes were also watery and bloodshot and the stench of alcohol was all over him at the rime of his arrest.
After that incident, he was once again in trouble with the law on March 4, 2020, barely nine months after his first arrest. The former NFL star was picked up by officers of the New Jersey police department for charges related to DWI and possession of paraphernalia and marijuana.
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Muhammad Wilkerson Comes From A Muslim Family
Wilkerson was born into a predominantly Muslim family in Linden, New Jersey. His parents, Alvin and Janice Wilkerson divorced while Muhammad was still growing up.
Part of the reasons for the divorce was that Alvin was always in and out of Jail. This made him absent from his duties as a father which made Mohammed develop a strong bond with his mother over the years. The former Jets player reportedly bought his mom a car and sponsored her trip to Mecca. Their mother and son bond is so strong that she had lashed out at the reporter, Manish Mehta who taunted her son for having a problem with alcohol.
Apart from his mother, the former NFL player has 3 known surviving siblings- 2 brothers, Haseez Brown and La Quan Brown, and a sister, Zakkiyah Wilkerson. More so, Mohammed welcomed a baby girl named Heaven in March 2012 and he has a son named Mohammed – born in May 2014 but the identities of their baby mama(s) remain unknown.
His Brother Has Been Charged With First Degree Murder
Not much is known about his siblings except for his older brother, Haseez Brown who was charged by the New Jersey justice department with first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a firearm recently in June 2020. The authorities alleged that he fired multiple shots into one Roobino Philemon while he was inside his vehicle.
Police officers, while executing a search warrant at his home, discovered two firearms, ammunition and marijuana. It may interest you to know that Brown and Wilkerson played high school basketball at Linden High School but only one brother made it to the big league.