An Upper Marlboro resident and former member of Frederick Douglass High School’s football team died in a car accident Sunday morning.
Jerrell Lamont Wedge, 24, was killed after his vehicle crashed into a tree 3:30 a.m., according to Prince George’s County Police spokesman Harry Bond.
Speeding appeared to be a factor in the accident which occurred on Old Marlboro Pike, Bond said.
Wedge graduated from Douglass in 2007, playing four years on the school’s football team. After high school he attended Miami University in Ohio where he continued his football career as an outside linebacker.
Coaches and teammates at Douglass said Wedge was a “free-spirited kid” with a strong sense of humor.
“He’s one of the best kids I ever coached. Not just a football player, but as a person,” Douglass coach J.C. Pinkney said.
Wedge was training to be a member of the Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Pinkney said.
“He was a trailblazer,” Pinkney said. “He followed his own path.”
Upper Marlboro resident Zary Stewart, a longtime friend and former teammate at Douglass, said Wedge was like family.
“He’s a guy you want to hang out with. You want him by your side,” Stewart said.
“... He would have been a great cop. When he does something, he’s great at it,” he said.
Wedge, a 5-foot-11 linebacker, was a three-time All-Gazette football player. He finished his high school career as Douglass’ second all-time leading tackler, behind retired professional football player Shawne Merriman.
“He had this uncanny ability to find the football,” Pinkney said.
In 2010 he was named to The Gazette’s All-Decade football team.
In four seasons at Miami he recorded 305 tackles, 9.5 sacks, two interceptions and five forced fumbles. As a senior he was named to the All-Mid-American Conference Third Team.
“Jerrell was a passionate young man, who was a better person than a player. He made some great physical plays in his career and was a quiet leader who led by example,” Miami coach Mike Bath said.
Wedge was pursuing a career in the National Football League but was slowed down by a knee injury he suffered in college, Pinkney said.
He remained part of the Douglass football family after graduating and frequently visited the school, Pinkney said.
“I just wish I had an opportunity to spend more time with him,” Pinkney said.
A service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church at 14908 Main Street in Upper Marlboro.