Busari Raji, Jr. (born July 11, 1986 in Washington Township, New Jersey), better known as B.J. Raji, is a defensive nose guard for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft (9th overall). He played college football at Boston College.
With his pick-6 against the Chicago Bears in the 2010 NFC Championship Game, Raji is the heaviest player to score a postseason touchdown in NFL history (previously held by Bears defensive tackle, William "The Fridge" Perry).
Considered a two-star recruit by Rivals.com, Raji picked Boston College over Rutgers and Wisconsin.
Raji made the Boston College football team as a true freshman. He made his college debut in the home opener against Penn State, making one tackle. He finished the year with 13 tackles (6 solos) and 1.5 tackles for loss.
Raji started all 12 contests in his sophomore season, registering 27 tackles (20 solos), 6.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and one pass breakup. He recorded one unassisted tackle against Boise State in the MPC Computers Bowl.
Raji started in 12 games his junior year, finishing with 63 career tackles (37 solos), 16.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and four pass breakup. He received All-ACC second-team honors. Raji missed the 2007 season due to academic reasons. He returned to the team in 2008 in excellent fashion, being named to All-ACC Team and AP Third Team All-American.
Green Bay PackersEdit
Raji was selected ninth overall by the Green Bay Packers in the 2009 NFL Draft. He was worked into defensive coordinator Dom Capers' 3–4 defensive scheme during the start of the Packers 2009 season, and was well known for being the new anchor of the future. Raji held out during the 2009 training camp and completed his deal on August 14th. Hampered by an ankle injury for the entire season, he appeared in 14 games, starting in only one. He accumulated 25 tackles and 1 sack, resulting in a mediocre season for a first round pick.
Expected to fully contribute for the 2010 season, Raji earned the starting position as nose tackle in Capers' defense, original prospect Ryan Pickett being moved to defensive end. 2010 resulted in a breakout season for the second-year first-rounder. Starting in all 16 games, Raji became the foundation that was desired out of the Packer defense, accumulating 39 tackles with 6.5 sacks, along with 3 passes defended. This was a more productive season than any other nose tackle in the league, which nearly earned Raji his first Pro Bowl berth, but was instead passed upon for more known players.
On January 23, 2011, in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship Game against the Chicago Bears, Raji intercepted a pass from Bears third-string quarterback Caleb Hanie and returned it 18 yards to the endzone, marking Raji's first career interception and touchdown. It also broke William Perry's NFL record for the heaviest player to score a touchdown at 337 pounds. Throughout the 2011 postseason, the Packers used Raji as a fullback in their goal-line offense, which led to Raji nicknaming himself "The Freezer" in reference to William Perry's "The Fridge."
- Career statistics and player information from NFL.com