Former Ashland University football All-Americans Jamie Meder and Adam Shaheen started their 2017 National Football League regular seasons on Sunday (Sept. 10) afternoon.
Unfortunately for both, the season started with a loss.
Meder was listed as the starter at defensive tackle for the Browns in their 21-18 home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, while Shaheen, a tight end, saw action for the Bears in their 23-17 home defeat to the Atlanta Falcons.
Meder is in his fourth NFL season after re-signing with the Browns on March 28. In his first season as an NFL starter at defensive end in 2016, Meder finished with 48 total tackles (26 solo) and one sack. He earned Week 16 AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors following a blocked field goal which helped Cleveland to its only win of the season on Dec. 24 at home against the San Diego Chargers.
In his first full NFL season in 2015, Meder came off the bench in all 16 regular-season games for the Browns as a key member of the defensive line rotation as both a nose tackle and a defensive end. He finished 2015 with 33 total tackles (16 solo) and a sack.
Meder became the first former Eagle to play in a regular-season game for the Browns in Week 17 of the 2014 campaign at Baltimore, recording one solo tackle. He originally was an undrafted free agent with the Ravens three years ago, and spent more than two months on their practice squad before joining Cleveland.
Following in a long line of highly-decorated AU defensive linemen, Meder was a two-time All-American (first-team American Football Coaches Association in 2013), Ashland's first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year (2010), a two-time GLIAC Defensive Lineman of the Year (2012-13) and a four-time All-GLIAC first-teamer.
His collegiate career totals include 247 total tackles (96 solo), 35 tackles for loss, 14 sacks and three forced fumbles.
Shaheen is in his rookie season after being drafted in the second round (No. 45 overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Bears. He is coming off a record-setting junior season at Ashland in 2016, one in which he caught a school-record and NCAA Division II single-season tight end-record 16 touchdown passes.
Shaheen garnered many prestigious honors following and during the 2016 campaign - 2016-17 GLIAC Student-Athlete of the Year, 2016-17 AU Male Student-Athlete of the Year, fall 2016 GLIAC Commissioner's Award, first-team AFCA, Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) and D2Football.com first-team All-American; D2CCA and Don Hansen first-team All-Super Region 4, CoSIDA first-team Academic All-America, CoSIDA first-team Academic All-District, All-GLIAC first-team and a Harlon Hill Trophy (D-II Player of the Year) nomination.
On Oct. 10, 2016, Shaheen was the first tight end in GLIAC history to win the conference's Offensive Player of the Week award.
Shaheen grabbed a school tight end-record 70 passes as a sophomore in 2015. After starting just two seasons for the Eagles, Shaheen is No. 5 all-time in program history with 129 career catches, No. 10 in career receiving yards with 1,755 and was two receiving touchdowns away from tying the school's all-time record in that category.
UP NEXT: Week 2 of the 2017 season – Meder and the Browns are at the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday (Sept. 17) at 1 p.m., and Shaheen and the Bears are at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the same day and time.