Jerome, born and raised in Thurmont, was active in youth sports from an early age. Three of the five midget league football teams that he played on went undefeated. As a two-way starter on the undefeated Catoctin High School JV team, he also began his career as a place kicker. As a sophomore two-way starter for the varsity team, Jerome won all-MVAL and all-county honors as a place kicker and set a school record for PATs in a game. As a junior he was named a First Team all-area linebacker and kicker. As senior captain of the undefeated MVAL and region champion Cougars, he was named as the Frederick News Post Co-Defensive Player of the Year, along with repeating all-star honors from his junior year. He went on to set several team kicking and punting records at Towson University.