J. D. Maarleveld
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Date of birth: (1961-10-24) October 24, 1961 (age 58)
Place of birth: Jersey City, New Jersey
Career information
Status: Retired
Position(s): Offensive tackle
Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
College: Maryland
Notre Dame
High school: St. Joseph of the Palisades High School (West New York, New Jersey)
NFL Draft: 1986 / Round: 5 / Pick: 119
 As player:
1986–1987 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Career highlights and awards
Playing stats at

John David "J. D." Maarleveld (born October 24, 1961 in Jersey City, New Jersey) is a former American football player. He played offensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which selected him in the fifth round of the 1986 NFL Draft (112th overall).[1] He played college football at the University of Maryland and the University of Notre Dame, where he survived a bout with cancer.[2]

College careerEdit

Maarleveld enrolled at the University of Notre Dame where he played football as an offensive tackle. Shortly after his sophomore year in 1982, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, one of the more curable types of cancer when discovered in its early stages. Notre Dame head coach Gerry Faust assured him that he had a position on the team after he recovered. Maarleveld forced himself to eat and maintained a vigorous workout routine throughout the duration of his chemotherapy, and he lost only 35 pounds as a result.[2]

A year later, doctors assessed that he was free of cancer. However, Faust informed his parents that there was no longer a place for him on the Notre Dame team and was unsure whether he was still in football condition. Faust recommended that Maarleveld transfer to a Division II school.[2]

He instead transferred to Maryland to play under head coach Bobby Ross and offensive line coach Ralph Friedgen. In 1984, he was the recipient of the Brian Piccolo Award, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) award for overcoming adversity. In 1985, he was named a consensus first-team All-American.[2][3]

Professional careerEdit

Maarleveld entered the 1986 NFL Draft and expected himself to be a first-round pick.[2] Instead, he was selected in the fifth round (119th overall) by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[4] He expressed the belief that his placement in the draft was due to his earlier battle with cancer.[2]

Maarleveld played for the Buccaneers for two years. In 1986, he played in 14 games and, in 1987, he played in 11 games including three starts.[4] In 1988, the Buccaneers waived his contract before the start of the season.[5]

Later lifeEdit

Maarleveld was inducted into the University of Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004.[6] His nephew, Andrew Gonnella, also attended Maryland as a walk-on offensive lineman.[7]


  1. J.D. Maarleveld Past Stats, Database Football, retrieved 5 January 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Jack Friedman, Cancer Couldn't Whip Tampa Bay's J.D. Maarleveld; Now He's Making Sure That the NFL Gets the Message, People Magazine, 11 August 1986, retrieved 5 January 2009.
  3. All-Time Honors (PDF), 2002 Maryland Terrapins Football Media Guide, 2002, retrieved 5 January 2009.
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.D. Maarleveld Statistics, Pro Football Reference, retrieved 5 January 2009.
  5. Transactions, The New York Times, 29 August 1988, retrieved 6 January 2009.
  6. Maryland Athletics Walk of Fame and History, University of Maryland Terrapins Athletics official website, retrieved 5 January 2009.
  7. For Gonnella, it's all in the family, The Washington Times, August 25, 2009.

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