Posted: 9:06 am Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
By Jodie Wagner
National Signing Day came and went Feb. 5 without a signature from Benjamin wide receiver/cornerback Brandon Shed.
Considered a ‘tweener’ at 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds, the West Palm Beach resident didn’t have the size or stats to draw much interest from major college football programs.
Shed, 19, finished the 2013 season with 21 receptions for 357 yards and three touchdowns for the Bucs. He also rushed 34 times for 205 yards and a TD from his part-time position as Benjamin’s Wildcat quarterback and added one defensive touchdown and one punt return for a touchdown.
Defensively he had a solid year at cornerback and free safety, but did not receive any scholarship offers from Division I or II college programs, said Ron Ream, Benjamin’s long-time football coach.
“We had him projected last year as a low D1 kid, definitely a D2 kid,” Ream said of Shed, who has played varsity football for three years at the school. “He just did not have the breakout kind of year and the numbers we thought he would have. He just didn’t get the chance to really shine.”
Rather than dwell on a lack of football offers during the recruiting season, Shed turned his attention to basketball.
A two-sport star at Benjamin who plays for the school’s boys basketball team, he returned from an early-season knee injury to help contribute to the Bucs this year.
“He’s the epitome of a student-athlete,” Benjamin coach Joe Cavallo said. “It’s been such an honor to coach him and have him in our program. He’s so dedicated to his own family and willing to self-sacrifice. He’s the consummate team player.”
Shed began playing basketball competitively in eighth grade, two years after he first suited up for Pop Warner Football’s West Palm Beach Patriots.
He balanced both sports throughout his four years at Benjamin, a task he admitted was difficult at first.
“It was late hours with practice and doing homework,” he said. “I was tired. It was tough at first. Eventually I started getting the hang of it.”
“After his first year, this kid just figured it out,” added Ream. “He just buckled down and has improved so much since.”
One of Shed’s long-term goals has been to play college football, and this fall he’ll get the chance.
Hobart College in Geneva, N.Y., expressed an interest in Shed after National Signing Day, as did a handful of other Division III schools.
Shed has entertained all offers and took his first-ever plane trip Feb. 13 to visit Hobart.
He fell in love with the campus immediately, and ended up staying a few extra days because of a snowstorm.
The extra time he spent on campus helped seal Shed’s decision. After awaiting word on grant money, he formally committed to the school last week.
“It’s kind of like a larger Benjamin,” Shed said of the Hobart campus. “They have nice teachers and coaches that really care about the students, not just about sports. It’s a nice college town. It’s a perfect atmosphere for me.”