This article was written by Daniela Perez, a junior at Northwest High School in Germantown.
Draft days make NFL dreams a reality for college football players every year around the country. Each year few players once rooted in Montgomery have their NFL dreams become a reality. MoCo is proud of these five players who made the 2020 draft…
Cameron Brown: 6’5, 233 LBS OLB Round: 6, 183rd overall pick by the New York Giants.
(Cameron Brown: pictured back row, second from right and top left and right. Pictures via: MoCo Recreational Sports and Bullis Athletics)
Born in Burtonsville, Brown briefly attended Paint Branch High School before transferring to Bullis in Potomac. Bullis class of 2016 Outside Linebacker, Brown committed to Penn State. Brown became a key asset for the Nittany Lions in 2018, starting 12 of 13 games played lead; while trailing the team with three forced fumbles his season statistics were remarkable: sting 63 tackles, 6.5 being behind the line of scrimmage (also known as “for loss”), six pass breakups and two sacks. The season after, Brown started in all 13 games. Finishing the 2019 season with 72 tackles, 5.5 for loss, two sacks, and four pass breakups earning his name on the third-team All-Big Ten honors. Brown’s growth at Penn State and reassuring performance at the NFL combine with, a 40-yard dash of 4.72 and a 123-inch broad jump in addition to his ideal physique caught the attention of the New York Giants.
Isaiah Coulter: 6’2 198 LBS, 5th round pick, 171st overall, drafted by the Houston Texans
(Image via Twitter @1z0_)
Isiah Coulter was originally Patomac based. He attended Bells Mill elementary school and Cabin John Middle school before transferring to Gwynn Park in Brandywine, Maryland. Culter, Bullis class of 17’ moved on to the University of Rhode Island. At URI he played with his dynamic duo of a cousin from PG county, Aaron Parker. Isaiah Coulter started all 11 games as a sophomore, ending the season with three touchdowns. Junior year he was named the second-team All-Colonial Athletic Association selection, caught 72 passes for 1,039 yards and eight touchdowns (14.4 per) in 12 games with 11 starts. After his junior season, he decided to declare into the 2020 NFL draft and blew the spectators away at the NFL combine with his cousin. With his great performance and promising growth the Houston Texans decided to draft him in the fifth round as the 171st overall pick.
Trevon Diggs: 6’1, 205 LBS, 2nd Round 51st overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys
(images Via Trevon Diggs on Twitter @TrevonDiggs.)
Just like his brother, Trevon is Gaithersburg Born and Raised! He is no shadow to his older brother Stefon Diggs who was drafted in the fifth round by the Minnesota Vikings in 2015. Trevon played for the Wootton Patriots before transferring to Avalon. At Avalon Diggs played on both sides of the ball, he became a four-star recruit, and a two-time All-Washington D.C. Metro pick as a receiver. After his time at Avalon Diggs continued his academic and athletic career at the University of Alabama where he was sure to impress in one of the most competitive environments. By 2018 Diggs had become a full-time starter for Coach Nick Saban’s defense until he broke his foot midseason, ending the 2018 season with 20 tackles, one interception, six pass breakups in six games. By Senior year, Diggs started 12 of the season games posting 37 tackles and two fumble recoveries, including a 100-yard score! During his senior year, he made the third-team Associated Press All-American and second-team All-SEC accolades. The Diggs brothers still pay their visits to MoCo, as their family is still MoCo based.
Their cousin, Joseph Hooks has a big impact on the Montgomery Village community; he co-founded the outstanding competitive 480 Elite football team. This past summer Hooks led the 480 Elite became the number one team and 6th nationally ranked for the 17u age group. While on the road he connected his players with the Diggs brothers on facetime to mentor the team.
Justin Herron: 6’4, 308 LBS, Round 6, 195th overall, Drafted by the New England Patriots (guard)
(image with his mom at the Maryland crab Bowl via his Instagram @JHerron_75.)
Justin Herron is a Silver spring-born and raised. In high school, he transferred over to Bullis High School in Potomac where he became a three-time All-Interstate Athletic Conference pick and was named All-Montgomery County Gazette in 2012 and 2013, as well as the All-Sentinel team in 2012. He was a promising multi-sport athlete playing basketball and baseball while being a trumpeter in the school jazz band. After Bullis Herron attended Wake Forest University in North Carolina.
The first week of his 2018 season, he tore his ACL. In May of 2019, he graduated with a bachelor’s but returned for the 2019 season as a team captain, and finished the season setting a school record for most games played with a total of 51 games. The Offensive linemen showcased his abilities at the NFL combine. In an interview with the Patriots organization when asked if he was surprised to receive a call by the New England patriots he said, “ I actually talked to them a good amount at the Senior Bowl and at the Combine, and I had a couple of FaceTime interviews after the Combine, as well. Honestly, it was hard to get a gauge, but that’s what it was like. It was a great feeling to be drafted to a great organization, for sure.” Herron says as former team captain he leaders with respect and is looking forward to “doing the best that I can and just getting better every day and learning from all the vets that are up there and being respectful.” The Patriots are hoping to sign with Herron to put him at guard.
Keandre Jones: 6’3, 220 LB signed as an undrafted free agent with the Chicago Bears
Keandre Jones finished elementary school in Mr. Damaska’s 5th-grade class from Diamond Elementary in Gaithersburg in 2009. He later transferred to Montgomery Village Middle School. Jones can vividly remember the days playing in the Germantown Boys and Girls club. At Montgomery Village Middle School he met an 8th grade English teacher who would end up changing his life. He ended up moving in with the English teacher Mrs. Cindy Vance in her mount airy home. Her husband would drop him off at a Damascus bus stop Good Counsel had. Even though he never had her as a teacher himself. Vance got to know Jones through her son, Nick, whom she had brought to school on a “Take Your Child to Work Day.” Nick was wearing a Sean Taylor replica jersey from the Washington Redskins.
“After that, Nick was just obsessed with him. We had to go to every single game. Nick just fell in love with him.” (Interview with the Baltimore Sun) The relationship grew from there. When his mother moved down south, he continued to live in Maryland with the Vance family. It was no overnight decision but a collective decision between him, hiss mom and the Vance family. Then before his senior year, he moved in with Good council coach, Anthony Ashley in Howard County. Jones quickly became Mr. and Mrs. Ashley’s son and a brother to their kids. Keandre still lives with Coach Ashley when he is in Maryland.
Good Counsel’s Jones’ standing quickly climbed up the ladder. He became a 5-star recruit, two-time all-Maryland Washington Post all-metro team member, Washington Catholic Athletic Conference named to the USA Today all-Maryland football team and an Under Armour All-American after a senior season. He then continued his academic career and athletic career at Ohio state university for three seasons playing in 34 games. With his heart remaining in Maryland he transferred to Coach Locksley’s University of Maryland team and finished a strong season at home with his family and support system. Both his high school and college accolades and statistics are sure to knock socks off. His hard work, persistence and kindness that others see in him is sure to help him in his career.
These are the brief overviews of the 2020 draft picks, each with their own unique story rooted in Moco.