4 UMaine football players earn postseason honors

Ronnie Gillis | UMaine Athletics
Ronnie Gillis | UMaine Athletics
University of Maine running back Ramon Jefferson runs for a gain while linemen Cody Levy (left) and Liam Dobson look on during an NCAA FCS quarterfinal in Ogden, Utah, in this Dec. 7, 2018, file photo.
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The 5-foot-9, 196-pound Ramon Jefferson, who was a redshirt last season, carried the ball 182 times for 1,037 yards.
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University of Maine running back Ramon Jefferson, who became the first freshman in the history of the Black Bear program to rush for more than 1,000 yards, was named a HERO Sports Football Championship Subdivision All-American honorable mention Monday.

His Black Bear teammates, senior linebacker Sterling Sheffield, junior defensive end Kayon Whitaker and junior cornerback Manny Patterson, were selected to the FCS All-Eastern College Athletic Conference all-star teams.

Sheffield was a first-team choice, while Whitaker and Patterson were chosen to the second team.

The 5-foot-9, 196-pound Jefferson, who was a redshirt last season, carried the ball 182 times for 1,037 yards. His 1,037 yards was second most in the Colonial Athletic Association.

The native of the Bronx, New York, was third in yards per carry (5.7) and fourth in rushing yards per game (86.4). He was ninth in all-purpose yards per game (90.6). He caught six passes for 50 yards.

Jefferson ran for 339 yards on 52 carries in UMaine’s three FCS playoff games for an average of 113 yards per game and 6.5 yards per carry.

Jefferson rushed for eight touchdowns and caught a TD pass.

He rushed for a career-high 186 yards on 26 carries in a 55-27 FCS second-round playoff win over Jacksonville State of Alabama, and that was the second-highest single-game playoff total in school history.

He also had three 100-yard rushing games on the season.

The 6-2, 240-pound Sheffield, a second-team All-American and first team All-CAA selection, finished the season with 84 tackles and a team and CAA-high 18 tackles-for loss. His 9.5 sacks tied him with Whitaker for the team lead and was good enough for a third-place tie in the CAA.

The native of Mullica Hill, New Jersey, led the Black Bears in fumble recoveries with three. He had seven pass break-ups, two forced fumbles and an interception. One of his fumble recoveries was for a touchdown.

The 6-2, 255-pound Whitaker, who is from Washington, D.C., made 50 tackles including 11.5 for lost yardage and the 9.5 sacks. He forced two fumbles, which tied him for the team lead and was credited with five quarterback hurries and a pass breakup. He was also an All-CAA first team choice.

Patterson, a 5-10, 181-pound Baltimore native, leads the nation in passes defended (25) and pass breakups (22). He has three interceptions.

An All-CAA first teamer who usually covers the opposing team’s best wide receiver, he also had 47 tackles.



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