Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, Gary Brackett always had to hustle in life. His childhood began in Camden, NJ before the family moved to Glassboro, NJ when he was five, seeking a better life. And while the sleepy Philadelphia suburb certainly offered much more in terms of opportunity, the streets were still troubled with obstacles such as drugs and gangs.
As he grew older, Gary found a sanctuary in football taking the talent he developed playing alongside his brothers on the streets and transferring it to the field at Glassboro High School. Football often served as an escape from a home life where his father, who suffered from PTSD (Vietnam) and schizophrenia, grappled with life often feeling overwhelming. This resulted in severe corporal punishment on behalf of his father who believed that this treatment reflected the deep love he had for his family.
Shining as a rising varsity star on the football field by the time he was a sophomore, Division-I universities began sending recruiting letters in his junior year. Miraculously Gary had avoided the drugs and temptations of the streets by always relying on his athletic abilities. However, not realizing he had to engage to those recruitment offers, his opportunities all but dried up by the time his senior season had eclipsed.