Reception for star receiver

Published 12:14 am Monday, May 7, 2007

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
PLYMOUTH — Damien Linson has had numerous receptions throughout his high school and college football career.
He received a special one from his hometown on Sunday as friends and family turned out in droves at Plymouth High School to help honor their new NFL star. Linson signed a free agent deal with the Baltimore Ravens on April 29.
Linson sat with family members, including his mother, Linda Linson, at the head table on Sunday. Behind them hung a large banner with a Baltimore Ravens’ logo and the words, “Congratulations, Damien Linson, Baltimore Ravens Wide Receiver.”
While some in attendance were wearing No. 3 Central Michigan University jerseys, the number Linson wore in college, many will likely run out to purchase No. 18 Baltimore Ravens’ jerseys, the number Linson was given as a rookie.
Linson, nicknamed D-Block, got his first taste of NFL life over the weekend at the Ravens’ rookie mini-camp.
He’ll return to Baltimore on May 15 where he’ll be joined by fellow rookies and the veterans.
Several people praised Linson as an athlete and as a good person during Sunday’s banquet. Speakers included his sister, Chasity Linson, his brother, Jeffrey Linson, his former high school football coach, Robert Cody and Pastor Avery Barnes.
Plymouth Mayor Brian Roth presented a plaque to Linson during the festivities.
Linson is hoping to give Plymouth fans many more reasons to cheer in the near future.
Linson was an all-state performer in high school. He caught 79 passes for 1,307 yards and 18 touchdowns his senior season with the Vikings.
He set a handful of records during his four-year career, including the state record with 60 career touchdowns and 4,451 receiving yards.
Linson, who earned four football and two basketball letters in high school, also holds the North Carolina record for receiving yards in a season with 1,723 yards. He was an all-conference selection three times and on the Daily News all-area team four times.
He was voted the Daily News’ Basketball Player of the Year his senior season after averaging 17.1 points, 7.7 assists, 8.0 rebounds and 7.0 steals per game.
That athleticism helped in college, where Linson ranks third all-time at CMU in receiving yards (2,279) and touchdown receptions (17) and fourth in receptions (155).
Linson was named the most valuable player of the 2006 Mid-American Conference Championship Game after catching seven passes for a championship game-record 191 yards and a touchdown. A four-year letterman, Linson averaged 8.8 yards on 50 career punt returns, including two punt returns for touchdowns.
The Ravens play their first preseason game Aug. 13 at home against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Baltimore opens the regular season on Monday night, Sept. 10, at the Cincinnati Bengals. The home opener is set for Sept. 16 against the New York Jets.