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Home Town Merriman Article

Discussion in 'American Football' started by When Lightning Strikes, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. When Lightning Strikes

    When Lightning Strikes Well-Known Member

    Sep 27, 2006

    BALTIMORE - San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman is a bad man.

    Since his days at Douglass High School in Prince George’s County, the Upper Marlboro native has been a notorious hard-hitter. Local folklore has it that the second-year pro, who will return to his home state Sunday to play the Ravens, knocked out four players in one high school game.

    Hence, the nickname “Lights Out” was born.

    “I play this game with emotion, play this game with passion,” Merriman said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday. “That’s the only way I know how to play.”

    His high school reputation accompanied him to the University of Maryland and the NFL, where he won defensive rookie of the year honors and was named a Pro Bowl starter last year.

    “He wants to be the best, and he believes that he can be,” San Diego head coach Marty Schottenheimer said.

    Merriman even knocked out one of the game’s top running backs, Priest Holmes, last season.

    “It’s all your mentality and how much you want to go out and dominate,” Merriman said of his instant stardom.

    Now, he’s being compared with some of the game’s most feared linebackers, like Ravens legend Ray Lewis.

    “I think first and foremost, the No. 1 similarity [between Merriman and Lewis] that I see is the great energy and playmaking that they bring to what they do,” Schottenheimer said. “While they both play different positions, inside [Lewis] and outside, they both have excellent instincts for football.”

    Ravens head coach Brian Billick said Merriman is a player to be reckoned with.

    “He is fast becoming one of those players that you have to account for on every play,” Billick said. “He will impact the game if you let him.”

    Merriman had 54 tackles and 10 sacks as a rookie, with two forced fumbles. His ability to deliver the big hit elevated him to household-name status.

    At Maryland, he was a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection as a junior and had a total of 189 tackles, 22 sacks, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries between 2002 and 2004.

    He remains a big fan of his alma mater, even as it struggled to beat lesser opponents.

    “I’m a Terp for life and that’s never going to change, but I hope they get back to dominance,” Merriman said.

    Merriman rose above his humble beginnings. He spent some of his childhood in homeless shelters in Maryland and D.C. Once he was empowered by his football career, he began a coat drive at Maryland basketball games. Since he started three years ago, Merriman has helped collect 10,000 coats and jackets for the Community for Creative Non-Violence Shelter in D.C.

    Many of the people he helped will see him play Sunday.

    “It’s a real good feeling,” Merriman said. “I did so much work in that area, and to be able to come back and do those things and give them a chance to watch me play is always a good thing.”

    Chargers (2-0) at Ravens (3-0)
  2. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2006
    Not exactly a lengthy article from his hometown about him. I guess all the Ravens fans would get upset if they spent too much time covering the other team.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. O'reilly

    O'reilly Well-Known Member

    Aug 29, 2005
    Nice read...
    What a "thug"...no wonder Parcells and the Cowgirls passed on him for DeMarcus Ware.....:icon_eek:

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