HARRISONBURG, Va. - Recent James Madison football alums Theo Sherman (Danville, Va./Chatham) and Ronnell Brown (Chesapeake, Va./Hickory) have been signed to free agent contracts by National Football League squads, announced today. Sherman signed with the Green Bay Packers, while Brown was inked to a contract by the Denver Broncos.
Sherman was a three-time All-CAA selection on the offensive line, earning second-team honors in 2010 after being named to the third team in 2008 and 2009. He started all 11 games at right tackle as a senior after starting all nine games played his junior year.
The only Duke to earn First-Team All-CAA honors in 2010, Brown fought through injuries during the year, starting in eight of the nine games he played in and making a career-high 28 total tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss, ranking among the top-20 linemen in the league in tackles per game. A two-year starter and two-time All-CAA selection, Brown tied his season high with six tackles, four of them solo, in the last-second victory at Maine to wrap up the season. He also recorded six total tackles against Delaware.
"The NFL rookie free agents have had their patience tested since they weren't allowed to sign until now," JMU Head Coach Mickey Matthews said. "They have been forced to continue their workouts without anything concrete in their future. To their credit, both Theo and Ronnell have worked very hard, both at JMU and since they finished their eligibility, and will have a great shot at careers in the NFL."
The Broncos will open training camp on Thursday, July 28, while the Packers start Sat., July 30. JMU will open fall practices on Monday, Aug. 8 with the season opener less than a month following on Sat., Sept. 3 at North Carolina. Kickoff in Chapel Hill, N.C., is set for 3:30 p.m.