SOMERS, N.Y. -- Jimmy Kennedy, one of three Westchester natives playing in the National Football League, signed a contract with the New York Giants Tuesday to play defensive tackle, as reported by The Daily Westchester Sunday.
During his high school career, Kennedy was mentored by Tony DeMatteo, now the varsity football coach in Somers. Kennedy became a free agent earlier this month when he was released by the Minnesota Vikings after the NFL lockout ended.
"I love being close to home," Kennedy said. "It's amazing knowing I'm around people who are rooting for me to suceed. Although I'm extremely focused on my career, it's a blessing to know how close to home I am.”
Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said Kennedy reported healthy and ready to play. “He is a veteran player that two years ago played very well,” Coach Tom Coughlin said. “Last year, according to what he told us, he was really injured and didn’t play that well and he feels good and healthy now. He is a veteran player who we think can help us.”
Kennedy graduated from Roosevelt High in Yonkers. He was a Section 1 All-Star in the late 1990s, playing for Roosevelt’s 1996 Class A state champions. DeMatteo moved on to Somers in 2000 after three decades at the Yonkers high school, where he won more than 200 games.
Westchester's other representatives in the NFL are both from New Rochelle. Ray Rice is a running back for the Baltimore Ravens and Courtney Greene plays defensive back for the Jacksonville Jaguars.