By Matt Bracken
The Baltimore Sun
10:12 AM EST, December 1, 2011
Eleanor Roosevelt football coach Tom Green has a simple philosophy when it comes to his future Division I players.
“I don’t think it’s asking too much for a kid playing in the ACC to play both ways on the high school level,” Green said.
Case in point: the high school career of Shawn Petty, a Maryland commitment who started at quarterback and linebacker for Green’s Raiders. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound senior was the ultimate leader for Eleanor Roosevelt on offense and defense.
“Overall, he had an excellent year,” Green said. “He missed two-and-a-half games due to injury. He had a high-ankle sprain [and a] bruise on his foot. He was out for three weeks. But other than that, he still did a good job of leading the team on both sides of the ball. … The things he did on the field didn’t surprise me at all. Leadership-wise, and being able to talk to his teammates when they’re not doing the things they’re supposed to do, he did a pretty good job with this.”
At quarterback, Petty threw for 1,300 yards, 15 touchdowns and four interceptions, while rushing for 550 yards and 10 scores. At strong-side linebacker, the future Terp recorded 50 tackles, four sacks, three forced fumbles and two interceptions. Petty guided Eleanor Roosevelt (10-1) to the Class 4A South Region semifinals.
Petty’s best game came in the Raiders’ regular-season finale against Suitland, when he directed Eleanor Roosevelt to a 27-20 win by going 7-for-15 for 222 yards and three touchdowns.
“He had a lot of big moments against Suitland,” Green said. “The score was tied and he broke a tackle and threw a 50-yard bomb to give us the lead right before the half. We were playing for the [Prince George’s] County championship and he made some real big passes in the first half. Late in the game, fourth quarter, he made some big stops.”
Green, who coached junior defensive lineman Isaiah Ross at ERHS and senior running back Davin Meggett at Surrattsville, said Petty has talked to both Terps about UM’s disappointing 2012 season. Those discussions have been “very beneficial to” Petty, who remains committed to Maryland. Green said Ross and Meggett “still speak very highly of Maryland” despite the Terps’ 2-10 campaign.
Petty, meanwhile, could be in a prime position to see early playing time for the Terps at middle linebacker. Green said Petty just needs to continue getting stronger.
“Right now, I know Maryland has played some freshmen and done some things,” Green said. “I think actually he’s ready to play. If it’s just getting in a little bit better shape, I think he’ll be ready to play.”
After a high school career in which he rarely left the field, coming to college and focusing on one position should be a welcome change for Petty. Green has high expectations for his star player in College Park.
“If he doesn’t have to play offense – and we ask him to do a lot on offense – I think he will do an excellent job [at linebacker],” Green said. “He’s a very strong kid. One thing I’ve always said about him is that he’s one of the most coachable kids I’ve coached. Once you ask him to do something, he’ll do it. … He’s willing to do [whatever]. He’s a very good tackler, a physical football player. So I think he’ll definitely be a productive player for them.”
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