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Three Monarchs Set to Sign Pro-Contracts

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: April 28, 2012
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April 28, 2012

NORFOLK, Va. -- Former Monarch defensive linemen Ronnie Cameron (Westbury, N.Y.) and Edmon McClam (Cowart, S.C.) will sign free agent contracts with NFL teams, while former quarterback Thomas DeMarco (Palm Desert, Calif.) has reached an agreement to play with the CFL it was announced Saturday night.

Cameron, the 2011 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Defensive Player of the Year, will sign with the Chicago Bears, while McClam will sign with the Detroit Lions. DeMarco will be signing with the 2011 Grey Cup Champion B.C. Lions.

Cameron is the most decorated Monarch since the program restarted in 2009 having earned CAA Defensive Player of the Year, CAA Football Student-Athlete of the Year, and earning All-America honors from seven different publications in 2011. He was awarded first team honors from the AFCA, The Sports Network, and Beyond College Sports Network, as well as second team accolades from the AP and Phil Steele. A First Team All-CAA honoree, he ranked second on the Monarch squad with 73 tackles (28 solo, 45 assisted) to go with a team-leading 17 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. Cameron averaged 5.6 tackles per game, which was fourth among defensive lineman in the CAA and finished second in the league in tackles for loss averaging 1.31 per contest. He also captured a career-high 11 tackles along with a season-best 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks against CAA Champion Towson and made 10 stops with three for loss against James Madison.

"I am excited with Ronnie signing with the Bears. After considering his options that he had for free agency this was clearly what we felt was his best situation to make a team," said Wilder. "He had plenty of interest from a number of NFL teams. We are all disappointed that he was not selected as part of the seven round draft, however we are very excited that he is a Chicago Bear."

McClam finished out his ODU career with seven blocks - six blocked PATs and one blocked field goal - and was just one block shy of tying the FCS career record in blocks. In the 2011 season, he totaled 42 tackles (15 solo, 27 assisted) along with 4.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and tied his career-high with seven tackles against #3/2 Georgia Southern in the second round playoff match-up. McClam also registered six tackles against Hampton, which also included two sacks for a loss of 12 yards, and forced a pair of fumbles against the Pirates, and made five stops in games with CAA Champion Towson and in the regular season finale at William & Mary.

"We are thrilled that Eddie is Detroit Lion. He made a solid impression on a number of teams at his pro day at ODU and his individual interviews with various teams," said Wilder. "After consulting with Eddie on the phone this evening, we felt like the Lions presented the best opportunity for him to make an NFL team. We are grateful to all the NFL teams that showed interest with Eddie. It is now time for Eddie to focus on becoming a Detroit Lion."

Cameron and McClam are the second and third Monarchs to have signed NFL free agents contracts joining Deron Mayo ('10), who had signed with the Denver Broncos last year.

DeMarco, a two-time Walter Payton Watch List member, started in 27 consecutive games as the Monarchs' signal caller totaling 51 passing and 30 rushing touchdowns in his career. He completed 417 of his 816 passes averaging 163.8 yards per game in the air. DeMarco also captured 1,456 yards on the ground averaging 41.6 per contest. As a junior in 2010, he ranked seventh nationally in total offense averaging 289.00 yards per game, throwing 23 touchdown passes and averaging 250.5 yards passing, which included a career-high 407 yards at Monmouth. In ODU's inaugural season in 2009, DeMarco was the second leading quarterback in the FCS and seventh among FCS student-athletes in scoring averaging 9.45 points per contest. He averaged 255.7 yards of total offense a game and completed 137 of his 255 attempts while throwing only four interceptions to go along with 21 touchdown passes.

"We are all very excited with Thomas and the B.C. Lions of the CFL reaching an agreement on a contract," said Wilder. "Thomas had a phenomenal workout for the B.C. Lions and both Thomas and I got the sense at his workout that they were serious about signing a contract and bringing them to their preseason camp. Thomas will be reporting to camp on May 27th with an opportunity to be a professional quarterback in the CFL. I know Thomas is a competitor, he was at Old Dominion, and I know he can not only make their roster, but that he can compete for the starting position."

"I think they've proven that for a start-up program, that you can reach the next level," said Old Dominion assistant coach and pro liaison Keita Malloy. "It's a credit to not only our staff, but our team as well. They are nothing but great people, great students, and great athletes that have held up the motto we live by. We are proud of them all and I think they all have a chance to thrive at the next level."

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