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11 Gilman football players earn a collective $3 million in scholarships

Gilman honored 11 football players at its signing ceremony Wednesday morning, including 10 headed to Division I programs: (L to R)  Stephen Spanellis, Michigan; Korey Stevens, Villanova; Shamar Shanks, Monmouth; Wes Mehl, Navy: Dorian Maddox, Stanford;  James Lotz, Franklin and Marshall; Stewart Keehner, Georgetown; Ellison Jordan, Penn State; Devery Hamilton, Stanford; John Fitzgerald, Cornell; and Antonio Dupree, UTEP.
Gilman honored 11 football players at its signing ceremony Wednesday morning, including 10 headed to Division I programs: (L to R)  Stephen Spanellis, Michigan; Korey Stevens, Villanova; Shamar Shanks, Monmouth; Wes Mehl, Navy: Dorian Maddox, Stanford;  James Lotz, Franklin and Marshall; Stewart Keehner, Georgetown; Ellison Jordan, Penn State; Devery Hamilton, Stanford; John Fitzgerald, Cornell; and Antonio Dupree, UTEP.(Katherine Dunn)

Gilman has the area's largest football contingent heading to Division I programs next year and perhaps the largest in Baltimore high school football history. Greyhounds associate head coach Henry Russell said their football scholarships all together are worth more than $3 million over the next four years.

Leading the way, Defensive Player of the Year Ellison Jordan, rocked a Penn State bow tie as he joined his teammates on stage at the Gilman auditorium to celebrate signing with the Nittany Lions.

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Jordan, an Under Armour All-American, can't wait to get to State College even though as he said with a laugh, "I'll be on the bottom of the food chain again.

"Nothing's hit me yet," Jordan said, "but I think it will tomorrow because we don't have school, but I really am happy to be signing with Penn State. We Are. The community. Similar to Gilman. I"m going to miss the guys. This is the best team I've been on."

Devery Hamilton, a 6-foot-7 All-Metro offensive lineman, signed with Stanford just after 7 a.m. but put pen to paper again during the ceremony.

"It's just exciting writing your name on that letter and it's like a great ending to a great high school story," he said. "I'm excited and relieved definitely that this process is finally over."

Hamilton had originally committed to Michigan but flipped to Stanford after making an official visit late last month.

"Last Tuesday after my official at Stanford, I sat down with my parents again and we just decided it was the best decision for me moving forward in the future and there was no disrespect or hate toward the University of Michigan. They have great people, great coaches, great professors, great football team. Obviously, it's a great academic school, but me and my family decided the best decision for me was to go to Stanford."

Four other offensive linemen were also heading to play in college – All-Metro tackle Stephen Spanellis, who signed with Michigan; Stewart Keehner, who signed with Georgetown; Wes Mehl, who is headed to Navy; and James Lotz, who will play for Division III Franklin and Marshall.

Also signing from Gilman were Antonio Dupree (UTEP), Dorian Maddox (Stanford), Shamar Shanks (Monmouth) and Korey Stevens (Villanova). John Fitzgerald is headed to Cornell.

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The signees got a visit from a former Gilman player who made his dream come true after signing his National Letter of Intent five years ago -- Darius Jennings who just finished his rookie year with the Cleveland Browns.

Jennings, who graduated from Virginia, said he was home for a while this off season and took a break from working out to bring back some memories.

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