Meder Shines For Browns, Follows AU’s Playoff Push

Meder Shines For Browns, Follows AU’s Playoff Push

Quick – name the player who is second in tackles among defensive linemen for the National Football League's Cleveland Browns.

It isn't a first-round draft pick or a high-priced veteran free agent.

It's former Ashland University All-American and rookie free agent Jamie Meder.

In a little more than a year, Meder has gone from undrafted to practice squad player to a regular member of the Browns' defensive line rotation through the first 10 games of the 2015 season. He has made 21 total tackles (11 solo) and has a sack as a backup at both nose tackle and defensive end in Cleveland's 3-4 scheme.

Even with the Browns on a bye week, don't expect Meder to rest on what he has accomplished to date – or make the season just about himself.

"I'm not looking back at anything until the season's over," said Meder. "Obviously, it's not about me, it's about the team. We're still working to get where we want to be."

Meder, getting the chance to play for his hometown team, earned his first NFL sack in the Browns' 28-14 home win in Week 2 against the Tennessee Titans. He took down Titans prized rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota.

Ask Meder, however, about his personal highlight so far this season, and he says, "I thought it was pretty cool hitting (Denver Broncos future Hall of Fame quarterback) Peyton Manning."

The Browns are in the midst of a 2-8 season, something Meder, a Cleveland native, is doing his best to reverse. He said it is amazing to play in his hometown, and he is trying to help the team win by putting his best foot forward.

For Ashland University head football coach Lee Owens, however, it's not about how many tackles, sacks or wins Meder might compile in his NFL career.

"As proud as I am with what Jamie's accomplished on the field, how he's handled himself as a pro athlete off the field is no surprise to me, and we're awfully proud of what he's doing," Owens said. "The number of NFL athletes after five years leaving the league…and have nothing to show for their time, because they didn't play for the right reasons, they weren't smart when they were there. Jamie is doing everything right.

"He's playing for the right reasons. He loves to be in Cleveland. It's his hometown. He stayed in school. He got his degree. He didn't leave early. It's not about the money. What money he makes, he's going to be smart with. What opportunities he gets, he's going to be grateful for. And he's going to play hard every chance he gets."

Meder became the first former Eagle to play in a regular-season game for the Browns in Week 17 of the 2014 season at Baltimore, recording one solo tackle. He originally was an undrafted free agent with the Ravens last year, and spent more than two months on their practice squad before joining Cleveland.

In four 2015 preseason games (one start), Meder finished with 11 total tackles (eight solo), one sack and a forced fumble. According to, Meder graded out as the Browns' best player in the preseason.

Following in a long line for 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.

Meder is the eighth former Eagle to play in an NFL regular-season game.

Because he plays an hour up the road, Meder not only can follow his team via the Internet and social media, but he can get back to Jack Miller Stadium/Martinelli Field to see his alma mater in person, as he has this fall on occasion.

"Every Saturday, I'm online looking at them, and hopefully, I'll be able to make it to the playoff game," said Meder of Saturday's (Nov. 21) noon kickoff between the 10-0 Eagles and 9-2 Grand Valley State Lakers in an NCAA Division II Super Region 4 quarterfinal.

Meder looks back at his time with the Eagles, and Owens, with fondness. In his four seasons at AU, Meder was a part of 30 wins, a GLIAC title, an undefeated regular season and a postseason appearance.

"It's awesome that I helped build a foundation of greatness for them," he said. "He's been a huge part of my football career. He gave me a chance to play there and help me get to where I am now."