|Date of birth||January 24, 1955|
|Place of birth||Weirton, West Virginia|
|NFL draft||1977 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5|
|1977-1982||New York Giants|
|1983-1988||Los Angeles Rams|
|1989||New England Patriots|
Pro Bowl Alternate (1980)
Gary Michael Jeter (born January 24, 1955) is a former professional American football defensive end in the National Football League. An All-American at the University of Southern California in 1976, Jeter was drafted by the New York Giants in the first round (fifth overall) in the 1977 NFL Draft.
After his graduation from Cathedral Latin School in Cleveland, Ohio, Jeter started every game at Defensive End for USC from his 3rd game in 1974 until his final game in the Rose Bowl in 1977 and was a member of 1974 National Championship team. In 1976 First-team All-American and while at USC he started in three Rose Bowls (1974, 1975, and 1977). He was a three-time All-Conference First-team (1974, 1975, 1976) and won USC’s Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1975.
Jeter played in 13 NFL seasons from 1977 to 1989 for the New York Giants, Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots. During his professional career, he amassed 79 sacks. He was a starter with the Giants through the 1981 season and was a back-up in 1982. As a rookie in 1977 he was an All-Rookie selection and recorded 3 sacks, a number he matched in 1978. In 1979 he had 4 sacks. In 1980 he led the Giants with 10 sacks and was an alternate to the Pro Bowl. In 1981 he had 7 sacks as the resurgent Giants defense led by Lawrence Taylor, made the play-offs for the first time in Jeter's career. In 1982, slowed by a left-knee injury and by the player's strike, Jeter played only four games and did not record a sack.
On April 9, 1983, Jeter was traded to the Los Angeles Rams for the 1983 season. Jeter spent that season as a backup and as a designated pass rusher——who would come in to rush the quarterback on likely passing downs. He recorded 6½ sacks in that role. In 1984 Jeter had back trouble and missed most of the season. In 1985 he came back healthy and resumed the "designated" role for the Rams totalling 11 sacks, which again was second on the team. Gary was voted Comeback Player of the Year after the 1985 season. In 1986 (8 sacks), 1987 (7 sacks), and 1988 Jeter performed exceptionally well in his role, getting a career-high 11½ sacks in 1988, including 5 in one game against the Los Angeles Raiders on September 18, 1988, for which he was awarded the NFC Player of the Week.
After the 1988 season the Rams left Jeter an unprotected "Plan B" free agent and the New England Patriots signed him to do the same job he'd been doing in Los Angeles—to come off the bench of third down and rush the quarterback. He ended the 1989 season with 7 sacks. Jeter was released by the Patriots August 29, 1990. The Los Angeles Rams agreed to terms with him, however, he failed the team physical due to a chronic back problem.
Jeter currently resides in Plainsboro, New Jersey. He is currently the Manager of Business Development for Motivated Security Services, INC. In Somerville, NJ. a certified WBENC Company. His daughter Kayla Jeter was a standout Volleyball player, earning All-American honors at the University of Tennessee. Upon graduation Kayla earned her Master's degree and played 2 years of Professional Volleyball in Helsinki Finland. Kayla is currently the assistant Volleyball Coach at The University of Cincinnati. Daughter Breana Jeter will be attending The University of Tennessee on a full Volleyball scholarship in the fall of 2015.
- Miami Herald April 14, 1983.
- PROFILING THE 1988 RAMS; Los Angeles Times - ProQuest Archiver - September 9, 1988.
- Los Angeles Times-ProQuest Archiver; September 19, 1988.
- Boston Globe - NewsBank - August 29, 1990
- Los Angeles Times - ProQuest Archiver - September 3, 1990
- Bartelt, Paul. "Where Are They Now, Randy Cross and Gary Jeter", International Press Association. Accessed September 21, 2015. "Jeter resides in Plainsboro, NJ."