On the third and final day of rookie mini camp, a local duo connected for a 45-yard touchdown pass in the back of the end zone on the final play before the air horn sounded to end practice. Whether the pass from former Towson quarterback Grant Enders to his fellow Tiger wide receiver Gerrard Sheppard was actually a touchdown is a moot point – their offensive teammates celebrated like it was.
Enders’ pass appeared so far ahead of Sheppard that it looked to be way overthrown – that was when Sheppard somehow hauled the pass in for a touchdown (at least, good enough for college standards as he got one foot in bounds).
The efforts of the former Towson Tigers were good enough this past weekend to have Ravens head coach John Harbaugh call the Towson products, “NFL-quality guys.”
Sheppard, a who played his high school football at McDonough, was signed by the Ravens as one of their 14 undrafted free agents, whereas Enders, a former Old Mill quarterback, is participating on a tryout basis.
Harbaugh is happy to be able to pull local talent essentially out of his backyard.
“They have done such a good job over there,” Harbaugh said. ” Coach Ambrose has done such a great job, along with their staff, recruiting.I think their talent level is really at an all-time high. Enders and Sheppard looked really good in this camp.”
Under Coach Ambrose, Towson has turned from the doormat in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) into champions. In 2010, the program went from a 1-10 record to winning the CAA championship outright with a 9-2 regular season record. This past season, the Tigers went 7-4, but played superior teams extremely competitively and were even featured on an episode of CBS’s 60 Minutes.
“You can see the way they played LSU, and all the big teams, the way they play in that conference – which is a good conference – they have talented guys,” said Harbaugh.
Currently in the NFL, Towson’s biggest name to hang their hat on is left tackle Jermon Bushrod, a former 2007 4th-round pick of the New Orleans Saints who just signed a five-year, $35 million free agent deal with the Chicago Bears. Even though no one in the Ambrose-era has duplicated Bushrod’s success, it’s good to see that players like Enders and Sheppard are at least getting looks from professional teams, even though making the roster or even practice squad is a long shot.