Shepherd University head football coach Monte Cater announced this week that 16 student-athletes have signed letters-of-intent to play football for the Rams in 2012. Among the group are 10 from Maryland, two each from Washington, D.C. and Virginia, and one each from Delaware and West Virginia.
Billy Brown (Gaithersburg, Md./Gaithersburg), a wide receiver, was a standout at Gaithersburg. Brown gained Washington Post First Team All-Met honors as he had had 40 receptions for 935 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. He also added 20 sacks and 75 tackles on defense.
Charles Brown (Baltimore, Md./Dunbar), a fullback/linebacker, was a four-year starter and also excelled on the baseball diamond at Dunbar. He was a First Team All-Metro choice in both sports. Brown was a member of three state champion football teams. He was ranked 12th in the nation as a fullback by ESPN.
Austin Browne (Arlington, Va./Yorktown), a linebacker/fullback, was a standout at Yorktown. He was a two-time Team MVP and was named Arlington Sun Gazette Defensive Player of the Year in 2011. Browne was a Second Team All-Northern Region selection. He helped lead Yorktown to a district championship last season.
LLynn Coffee (Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate Academy), a fullback, was rated the number one fullback in DC by Mdhigh.com. He earned training camp and Blue-Gold game MVP accolades. A team leadership award winner, Coffee helped lead Friendship Collegiate Academy to a 9-1 overall mark in 2011.
Allen Cross (Elkridge, Md./Long Reach), a running back, lettered three years in football and four years in track. Cross is a two-time All-County choice who gained First Team honors in 2011. He rushed for 1,401 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2011.
Austin Eagle (Odenton, Md./Arundel), an offensive/defensive lineman, was a standout at Arundel. He gained First Team All-County honors and was an Honorable Mention All-State and All-Met choice in 2011.
Karl Gall (Morgantown, WV/University), a linebacker, was a stadout at University. Gall gained Second Team TRAC All-Conference accolades and was a Special Mention All-State selection.
Jon Hammer (Jarrettsville, Md./North Harford), a fullback, was a standout at North Harford. He gained Honorable Mention All-State honors. Hammer was selected to play in the Crab Bowl for Maryland's senior all-stars. He also played in the Baltimore Touchdown Club All-Star Game.
Nelson Harris (Richmond, Va./James River), a wide receiver, was a three-year letterwinner in football at James River. A three-time All-District choice, Harris gained First Team honors as a senior. He was also an Honorable Mention All-Metro selection as he had 34 receptions for 701 yards. Harris was named Team Offensive Player of the Year honors.
Tre Henley (Hanover, Md./McDonogh School), a running back, earned five letters in football and track at McDonogh School.
Ahja Lancaster (Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate Academy), a linebacker, helped lead Friendship Collegiate Academy to a 9-1 mark in 2011. Lancaster is one of two Shepherd signees from the school.
Ryan Patrick (Woodbine, Md./South Carroll), a linebacker, was a four-year letterwinner in football at South Carroll. He also competed in wrestling and track. Patrick, who recorded 102 tackles in 2011, was selected to play in the Baltimore Touchdown Club Senior All-Star game and was named to the Baltimore All-Metro team. A two-time team captain, Patrick was a member of three conference champion teams.
Will Smith (Silver Spring, Md./Paint Branch), an offensive lineman, lettered three years in football at Paint Branch. He also gained four letters in both baseball and wrestling. Smith gained First Team All-County and All-Area honors and was an Honorable Mention All-State selection.
Michael Spahr (Ijamsville, Md./Urbana), a quarterback, lettered in football and lacrosse at Urbana. Spahr led Urbana to the state championship title in 2010. He was an Honorable Mention All-State choice in 2011. Spahr tossed three touchdown passes in the Baltimore Touchdown Club All-Star Game to gain the BTC MVP Award.
Jeff Ziemba (Newark, Del./St. Mark's), a quarterback, lettered in football, basketball, and baseball at St. Mark's. He led the St. Mark's football squad to a state championship title in 2010. Ziemba was an All-State selection in baseball.