Gilman linebacker Biddison specializes in stopping foes


An honorable-mention USA Today All-American, Gilman linebacker Jamie Biddison is listed among the state's top Division I recruits by several college scouting publications.

But if recruiters come calling, Biddison will eschew their offers, he says, to dedicate his college life toward a career in pediatrics.

"I'm sure it'll be hard to say no to a good offer, but college is enough of a burden without football practices," said Biddison, who has an A average and a 1280 Scholastic Assessment Test score and hopes to attend Wake Forest.

"Eventually, I'd like to have my own general practice for kids. I'd like to help them and I just think it would be great to watch them grow. I figure my education will take at least eight years with graduate school, and two more if I want to specialize."

On the field, however, Biddison (6 feet, 190 pounds) specializes in destroying offenses.

"Middle linebacker is one of the most heartless positions in the game, and [defensive coach Nick] Schloeder says I'm a natural at it," said Biddison, who last year had 156 tackles (104 solo), including 16 tackles for a loss and two sacks.

"I change, I feel, and become more intense when I get on the field. But it's weird, because I'm a pretty nice guy everywhere else."

He's a returning All-Metro performer and last year was The Baltimore Sun Defensive Player of the Year for Baltimore City.

"As soon as the ball is snapped, it's like he's got this sixth sense," said Gilman linebacker Than'l Badder. "He's neither the fastest nor the strongest on the team, but he's in on every play. He's phenomenal."

Defensive back Peter Bogue (59 tackles) ranks second in team tackles, followed by Badder (45), but Biddison is the leader with 64, including 22 behind the scrimmage line. He did this despite a sprained knee ligament that kept him out of 1 1/2 games for No. 3-ranked Greyhounds (5-0).

"When he's out there, he just plays hard, and with little show of emotion as he enforces his will on the other team. He's going to gain the respect of the people he's playing," said Schloeder. "On one hand, he's playing with reckless abandon. But he's this quiet, baby-faced kid."

Any doubters need only to hear Biddison describe what his position entails, and the satisfaction he feels in carrying that out.

"I get totally focused -- not to kill someone or break a leg -- but to be in on every play," said Biddison. "And when I make a hit, the other guy knows it. My teammates get pumped up and slap me five. It's an incredible feeling."

Only a victory Saturday over No. 2 Poly would make Biddison feel even better, but he'll have to stop Greg Kyler (739 yards, 13 touchdowns).

Kyler victimized the Greyhounds for 119 offensive yards and a touchdown in last year's 14-13 loss.

"That took a lot out of us, and we ended up losing the next week to McDonogh," said Biddison, who was a sophomore when Gilman beat Poly, 3-0. "I'd love to beat them again, but we'd have to stop Kyler. To do that, though, we'll have to play perfect defense."

The defense has been superb thus far.

Gilman has outscored its opponents, 129-16, with four shutouts, including over No. 8 Calvert Hall, 13-0, and No. 14 Forest Park, 21-0.

Biddison played sparingly against Forest Park. But against Calvert Hall, coach Sherm Bristow said Biddison "was all over the field," amassing 22 tackles.

"I knew it would be a challenge, but I looked at it as a comeback from injury," said Biddison. "That was no doubt my best game of the year, and now I feel like I'm playing at 100 percent. I'm really looking forward to playing Poly."

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