Jaden Shirden, Monmouth

Monmouth's Jaden Shirden Signs with Carolina Panthers as UDFA

WEST LONG BRANCH – After going undrafted in last weekend's 2024 NFL Draft, it didn't take long for Monmouth's All-American running back, Jaden Shirden, to find a new home.

Shortly after going undrafted, the 5-foot-9, 195-pound dynamo agreed to terms with the Carolina Panthers Saturday evening. Shirden had one year of college eligibility but opted to forgo his final season at Monmouth after two spectacular seasons dominating the FCS competition.

"I am beyond grateful for this opportunity to join the Carolina Panthers organization," said Shirden. "I am looking forward to getting to Charlotte and achieving success at the next level. I want to thank everyone who helped me get to this point, including my teammates, coaches and trainers, for all their support."

Shirden had nothing left to prove at the FCS level, and there was speculation that he might transfer to an FBS school for his final year of eligibility. However, he instead declared for the draft on December 4 and signed with powerhouse Rosenhaus Sports as his agent.

After bursting on the scene as a freshman when he rushed for 497 yards, including a pair of eye-opening 75-yard touchdown runs, while averaging 6.5 yards per carry, Shirden took his game to another level as a sophomore.

His 2022 season was what dreams are made of. He led the nation in rushing yards (1,722), yards-per-carry (7.8), and yards-per-game (156.5), along with 13 touchdowns. He broke nine runs of 50 yards or more, topped 200 yards in a game four times, and was one of four finalists for the Walter Payton Award, given annually to the top FCS player.

He was the CAA and ECAC Offensive Player of the Year and was named first-team All-American by Hero Sports, STATS, AFCA, and the Associated Press FCS second-team.

For an encore as a junior in 2023, Shirden was named to every All-American first team, including Walter Camp, STATS Perform, Phil Steele, FCS Football Central, Associated Press, AFCA FCS Coaches, and ADA FCS. He led the nation for the second consecutive year, rushing for 1,528 yards and 10 touchdowns, averaging 6.7 yards per attempt.

Shirden was also named the inaugural recipient of the Walter Camp Foundation FCS Player of the Year.

Before the draft, Shirden participated in the 99th annual East-West Shrine Bowl in Frisco, Texas, along with being just one of 12 FCS players invited to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Stadium in Indianapolis, where he ran a 4.45 40-yard dash and led all running backs 1.51 10-yard split.

Shirden is the second running back Monmouth running back to sign an NFL contract in the last couple of years, with Owen Wright signing and sticking with the Baltimore Ravens.

Monmouth legend Miles Austin was an undrafted wide receiver in 2006 and signed with the Dallas Cowboys, where he eventually gained All-Pro recognition. He spent 10 seasons in the NFL, including stints with the Browns and Eagles at the end of his career. Austin finished with 361 catches for 5,273 yards and 38 touchdowns.

Also, Monmouth's offensive lineman, Greg Anderson, a 2023 second-team All-CAA selection, was invited to attend the Jets upcoming rookie mini-camp.

Be sure to check out JerseySportingNews.com for more about Jaden Shirden

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