Monmouth, Jaden Shirden
Running back Jaden Shirden, No. 20 (Photo by Paul Mecca - JSN)

The Latest News on Monmouth Football

WEST LONG BRANCH – It’s that time of the year again when football begins to take center stage with the opening of preseason summer camp under two weeks away (August 2) and opening day just around the corner on Saturday, September 2 at Florida Atlantic University. The Owls are members of the FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision, formally known as DI-A) out of the AAC (American Athletic Conference).

Monmouth University is a member of the FCS or Football Championship Subdivision, formally known as DI-AA, so it’s a step up in competition. The Hawks are still in search of their first ever win over an FBS opponent.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks with lots to catch up on.

The Colonial Athletic Association announced this week that the conference has changed its name to the Coastal Athletic Association effective immediately, however, it will still be referred to as the CAA and use the same conference logo. The name reflects the CAA’s recent expansion, with members spanning the Atlantic Coast from Massachusetts to South Carolina.

Full-time conference membership is at its highest point in the league’s nearly 40-year history, with 14 schools spread across nine states. CAA Football will feature the largest membership in the FCS for the 2023 season with 15 schools.

Junior running back Jaden Shirden was recently named to Hero Sports Preseason FCS All-American Team. This, after being named to the Athlon Sports Preseason FCS All-American Team earlier this summer. Shirden was a consensus All-American selection from six different major publications a year ago and finished third in the Walter Payton Award voting, which is awarded to the most outstanding offensive player in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision.

Last season was a special one for the record-breaking 5-foot-9, 195-pound running back, who combines breakaway speed with brute strength which allows him to run over defenders before accelerating into the open field. Shirden, the CAA Offensive Player of the Year, led the country in rushing with 1,722 yards while averaging 8.4 yards per carry and running for 156.5 yards per game, which both led the FCS.

Shirden is just one of six CAA players to have been recognized on the 2023 Hero Sports Preseason All-American team.

Offensive lineman Greg Anderson and wide receiver Dymere Miller were selected to the 2024 East-West Shrine Bowl 1000 List. The list is compiled from all four levels of football in consultation with NFL and college scouting personnel to put together the best 1000 players for the NFL level as well college players who are currently all-star game eligible for the 2024 East-West Shrine Bowl and 2024 NFL Draft class.

Anderson and Miller are two of just 10 players from the Coastal Athletic Association to make the list so it’s quite the honor to be chosen. Monmouth is one of four CAA programs with multiple selections, so the Hawks garner some respect here.

The 6-foot-5, 320-pound Anderson is a mauler and was a third-team All-CAA selection a year ago. Miller was a second-team All-CAA pick a year ago following a breakout season when he had 820 receiving yards and 55 receptions with seven touchdowns. He averaged 91.1 yards per game and 14.9 yards per reception and was a member of the Phil Steele/Draft Scout All-CAA second team.

Then last Monday it was announced that a total of 52 Monmouth University football student-athletes were recognized as members on the CAA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll for the 2023 spring term. Players must achieve a minimum grade point average of 3.0 to be eligible for the honor. Considering the amount of time each day these student athletes must allot to football, this is a really impressive number when you consider it represents almost 50 percent of the team.

The Hawks have been busy on the 2024 recruiting trail recently getting oral commitments from a number of high-end recruits, including:

  • Mitch Karp, a 6-foot-7, 290-pound OT/DT out of Chestnut Hill Academy (PA.)
  • Landon Kennel, a 6-foot-3, 200-pounder out of Manheim Township (PA.) where he was a first-team All-State selection
  • D.J. Briscoe, a 6-foot-0, 270-pound DT out of Our Lady of Good Counsel (MD.)
  • Jaeden Jones, a 6 -foot-0, 185-pound RB/DB out of Colonia High School who had a combined 2,720  yards rushing and receiving along with 82 tackles (46 solo), two interceptions and 11 PBU
  • Jordan Osbourne, a running back out of Stepinac High School (NY) who averaged 9.0 yards per carry on 72 attempts
  • Marshall Washington, a 6-foot-2, 175-pound DB with a 6’ 6 wingspan out of Eastside High School (Camden)
  • Chase Wilkins, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound TE out of St Francis Academy (MD) who was selected as a top URA Profile Athlete from the Class of 2024
  • 2024 three-star quarterback Frankie Weaver out of Our Lady Council High School (MD). Weaver is a 6-foot-5, 198-pounder who was an academic All-American.

The CAA media day is scheduled for Tuesday so you know football is in the air!!!