Ashland University's alums in the National Football League will begin the path toward the 2017 regular season in July.
Former Eagle All-American defensive lineman Jamie Meder (Cleveland Browns) and former AU All-American tight end Adam Shaheen (Chicago Bears) will start their respective 2017 training camps in a couple short weeks.
Meder will be in his fourth NFL training camp starting on July 26 in Berea, Ohio, after re-signing with the Browns on March 28. In his first season as an NFL starter in 2016, Meder finished with 48 total tackles (26 solo) and one sack. He earned Week 16 AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors following a blocked field goal which helped Cleveland to its only win of the season on Dec. 24 at home against the San Diego Chargers.
In his first full NFL season in 2015, Meder came off the bench in all 16 regular-season games for the Browns as a key member of the defensive line rotation as both a nose tackle and a defensive end. He finished 2015 with 33 total tackles (16 solo) and a sack of Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota on Sept. 20.
Meder became the first former Eagle to play in a regular-season game for the Browns in Week 17 of the 2014 campaign at Baltimore, recording one solo tackle. He originally was an undrafted free agent with the Ravens three years ago, and spent more than two months on their practice squad before joining Cleveland.
Following in a long line of highly-decorated AU defensive linemen, Meder was a two-time All-American, Ashland's first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year (2010), a two-time GLIAC Defensive Lineman of the Year (2012-13) and a four-time All-GLIAC first-teamer.
His collegiate career totals include 247 total tackles (96 solo), 35 tackles for loss, 14 sacks and three forced fumbles.
Shaheen will take part in his first NFL training camp beginning on July 19 in Bourbonnais, Ill., after being drafted in the second round (No. 45 overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Bears. He is coming off a record-setting junior season at Ashland in 2016, one in which he caught a school-record and NCAA Division II single-season tight end-record 16 touchdown passes.
Shaheen garnered many prestigious honors following and during the 2016 campaign - 2016-17 GLIAC Student-Athlete of the Year, 2016-17 AU Male Student-Athlete of the Year, fall 2016 GLIAC Commissioner's Award, first-team American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), D2CCA and D2Football.com first-team All-American; D2CCA and Don Hansen first-team All-Super Region 4, CoSIDA first-team Academic All-America, CoSIDA first-team Academic All-District, All-GLIAC first-team and a Harlon Hill Trophy (D-II Player of the Year) nomination.
On Oct. 10, 2016, Shaheen was the first tight end in GLIAC history to win the conference's Offensive Player of the Week award.
Shaheen grabbed a school tight end-record 70 passes as a sophomore in 2015. After starting just two seasons for the Eagles, Shaheen is No. 5 all-time in program history with 129 career catches, No. 10 in career receiving yards with 1,755 and was two receiving touchdowns away from tying the school's all-time record in that category.
Meder and Shaheen are slated to face each other twice in 2017 – once in the preseason and once in the regular season. On Aug. 31, the Browns will travel to Soldier Field to take on the Bears in the final preseason game for both teams. On Dec. 24, Cleveland will play again at Chicago in Week 16 of the regular season.