By Owen Gotimer
Viva Loudoun College Editor
(March 3, 2014) – Broad Run High School senior Da’qwan Earl has committed to continue his football career under head coach Monte Cater when he joins the Shepherd University football program in the fall of 2014.
“It feels great to know that I have a place to continue my education and football career,” said the 5-foot-10 Earl. “It was always a dream of mine to play college football and finally after the setbacks I encountered in my life I actually have a chance to go to college.”
Not only will Earl get the opportunity to play the sport he loves at the next level, he will get to do so at a school he can call home for the next four years.
“I chose Shepherd because I felt like I belonged there,” Earl said. “The coaching staff wants me to succeed in the classroom as well as the field, and they take being a student-athlete very seriously.”
The coaching staff led by Cater – who will start his 28th season at the Division II Rams’ helm this fall – led Shepherd to an 11-1 record in 2013, posting an undefeated 9-0 mark in the Mountain East Conference. Cater’s 2013 Rams included Woodgrove graduate Johnny Moskal, Loudoun County graduate Tyler Pratt, Stone Bridge graduates Jesse Mizell and Christian Strahin, and Park View graduates Ryan Plowman and Robert Hayes.
“I think I can bring a winning attitude,” said Earl who will play free safety for Shepherd. “Playing for Broad Run, I know it takes a lot of hard work to get to a winning point so I think I can bring a lot of determination and ambition to this team.”
The Broad Run Spartans had a lot of drive this fall as they marched their way through the season with a 9-4 record knocking off rival Stone Bridge High School in the 5A North region quarterfinals.
“I’d have to say that I loved every minute of last season because no one expected us to make it as far as we did,” Earl said. “Every week people counted us out but we just rolled with the punches.”
Earl is right and week after week in the Viva Loudoun You Pick’Em contest I personally counted the Spartans out saying they would get beat by Stone Bridge – I should have listened to my mom who had the Spartans knocking off the Bulldogs – then beat by Briar Woods, but Earl and his teammates rallied around the desire to win before falling to mighty Briar Woods High School, 34-31, in double-overtime of the 5A North region semifinal.
“I wish it could’ve ended differently but I don’t regret anything because we worked hard every week,” Earl said. “I believe that we made a statement this year.”
Born in the nation’s capital, Earl said he plays football simply for the love of the game and that his older brother, Breon, sparked his interest in football at a young age.
“I used to watch his Pop Warner games when I was a kid and ever since I fell in love with it. I’d have to say my struggles growing up are what motivate me on the field and keep me hungry,” Earl said. “The football field was always a place that I could go and all the problems or issues I was facing, I completely forgot about, and I could just play freely and worry about the next play.
“I felt like football gave me an identity, and I feel like I’m at home when I’m on the field. I’ve always used what I’ve been through in the past as fuel to get where I want to go in life. It’s been a tough road but all the hard work I put in finally paid off, and now, I’m going to college.”
Owen Gotimer is a graduate of Heritage High School in Leesburg and is currently a sophomore at Syracuse University. Follow Owen on Twitter (@BigO_Gotimer) for up-to-date college signings and news. Contact us if you want Owen to do an article on the college commitment of your favorite local athlete or a story on a Loudoun County graduate playing in college!