Blue Hen News

Injury in past, Blue Hen linebacker Bell eyes second shot at senior season
Aug 11th, 2018 · by Andy Walter of Delaware State News

NEWARK — Charles Bell has made thousands of tackles in his life.

But something about this one was different.

The Delaware linebacker thinks he must have twisted awkwardly somehow when he came up to make the stop in a game against James Madison last fall.

All Bell knows is that he immediately knew something was wrong.

“It’s hard to explain,” he said. “I really couldn’t catch my breath, which was the main thing. When I sat up, that’s when I felt this sharp pain all the way down my back.

“When I got off the field, that’s when it really kicked in. I kind of fell into the (trainer’s) table and I knew something wasn’t right.”

The diagnosis was pretty scary: Bell had fractured a vertebrae in his back. His senior season was over.

The silver lining, though, was that because the injury happened in the fourth game of the season, Bell was eligible to return this fall as a grad student.

Delaware linebacker Charles Bell is helped off the field after breaking his back in a game against James Madison. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

Getting a second chance at his senior year, Bell said he’s never felt better.

“Honestly, I feel like I’m probably in the best shape of my life,” Bell said after the Blue Hens’ held a two-hour practice session on Saturday morning. “I feel good out there running around. I’m doing full contact and everything. My body feels good.

“It’s definitely weird just because I wasn’t planning on being here for five years,” he said. “I’m not glad I got hurt but it’s great to get another year, I get to play with some of my good friends. And I think we have a really good team this year. I think we’re going to go places.”

Without question, Bell’s return adds to Delaware’s experience on defense. This is his third season as a co-captain.

The 6-foot, 230-pounder is also just the fourth Blue Hen linebacker to earn all-conference honors three times in his career. He’s been in on 246 career tackles.

The 6-foot, 230-pound Charles Bell (5) is just the fourth Blue Hen linebacker to earn all-conference honors three times in his career. He’s been in on 246 career tackles.

But even though the prognosis was good for Bell after the injury, Delaware coach Danny Rocco didn’t take anything for granted.
Rocco remembers the first time he saw Bell at spring practice.

“I went up and gave him a big, old hug like, ‘Oh my gosh,’” said Rocco. “They kept saying he’ll be back, he’ll be OK, he’ll be back, he’ll be OK. But until you actually get out there …

“We had our first short-yardage scrimmage the other day and I was kind of like, ‘Oh boy.’ But he doesn’t look like he’s lost anything. In my mind I haven’t lessened his value in terms of what he’s capable of doing for us on the field.”

Off the field, Rocco says Bell is as valuable as any player Delaware has. The veteran’s return from a serious injury just shows how dedicated he is.

“His presence is extraordinary,” said Rocco. “When you talk about guys who are committed Delaware Blue Hens, he’s at the top of the list. This is an unselfish human being, tough-minded. He’s one of those guys who’s truly in it for all the right reasons.”

Kehoe in the QB picture

Pat Kehoe grew up the son of a high school coach.

Pat Kehoe

So he learned pretty early that football is about the team, not the individual.

“My dad always told me, if you want to think about yourself, go play golf, go swim or play tennis — do something like that,” joked Kehoe, a fourth-year junior quarterback at Delaware. “If you want to play football or basketball, you’ve got to be a team guy.”

While Kehoe has waited seemingly forever to contend for the Hens’ starting QB job, the 6-foot-4, 240-pounder only gave a “quick thought” to transferring.

Now the lefthander looks like he’s got a shot at some legitimate playing time. Returning starter J.P. Caruso, who is coming off shoulder surgery, and Kehoe got most of the reps with Delaware’s first-team offense at practice on Saturday.

Boston College transfer Darius Wade is still working himself into the picture.

What Rocco likes is the overall depth at quarterback.

“J.P. certainly has got the experience and is playing well when healthy,” said Rocco. “So with J.P. kind of in and out of the lineup, Pat’s been the most consistent. Darius has shown a real good ceiling but he’s lacked some consistency. He’s probably the guy who’s least comfortable with the offense in this moment.”

Kehoe would like to think he hasn’t changed his approach this season. It’s still about the team, not him.

“I’m just trying to go out there and compete every day,” said Kehoe, whose twin brother, M.J., is a backup tight end for the Hens. “Anybody who plays a position wants to be on the field. But, at the end of the day, I want the team to win.

“If the coaches believe that J.P. gives the team the best shot to win games, I’m 100 percent behind him.”

Extra points

Central York (Pa.) High QB Cade Pribula announced this week that he has verbally committed to Delaware. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound senior also had offers from Albany and Sacred Heart. … Senior Cam Kitchen, one of Delaware’s few returning defensive linemen, saw some playing time on Saturday as he continues to recover from a foot injury. … Rocco is happy with what he’s seen from Cape Henlopen High grad Brandon Nixon, a third-year defensive lineman. “Brandon has made himself a viable option,” said Rocco. “He has shown durability and dependability. Those are things that get you in football games.”

From the Sidelines: Competition at camp laying foundation for special season
8/8/2018 - BLUEHENS.COM

"The best part about competition is that through it we discover what we are capable of and how much more we can actually do than we ever believed possible."

A visit to the University of Delaware football training camp this summer and it's quickly evident to all that the intensity level is several notches higher. 

Many of the Blue Hens and Coach Rocco have all talked about the unfinished business left on the table after last year's seven-win season, but the competition surrounding each and every drill is when the intensity truly is on display. 

"You can look at competition in two ways," red shirt senior QB J.P. Caruso said. "It can make you or it can break you. In order to be our best, we want to be competing every single time we touch the field and that's what is happening in this camp. We have high expectations and big goals and in order to achieve what we want to achieve, we have to push each other, each and every day."

Caruso is part of a much talked about battle at the quarterback position where he's been joined by Pat Kehoe, Boston College transfer Darius Wade and Nolan Henderson, who have all gotten solid reps in camp so far. 

"I spent a lot of time this offseason trying to understand what I can do better for this team to win," Caruso said. "As a player, it does no good to complain if you don't think you're getting enough reps or playing time. You have to spend the time pushing yourself and truly battling for every snap. This is bigger than each one of us at our spot, it's bigger than any position on the field, it's about this team. We want to win as a team and we'll do whatever it takes to win."

With over 100 student-athletes in camp, it's been a daily battle and nearly every position so far. 

"The daily competition is what makes football so great. It pushes us to performer at a higher level each and every day, to truly focuses on making every rep, every drill count. When we are pushing each other like that, special things can happen," senior defensive lineman Cam Kitchen said. 

With the competition and intensity at an all-time high, who knows what can happen this fall for the Blue Hens, who will enter the year ranked in the top-15 in the country for the first time 2012. 
CAA Football Tops FCS Conferences With Six Ranked Teams In STATS Top 25 Poll
8/6/2018 1:49:20 PM
Rob Washburn

RICHMOND, Va. (August 6, 2018) – CAA Football led all FCS conferences with six ranked teams as the 2018 STATS FCS Preseason Top 25 poll was released on Monday afternoon.

James Madison, which has advanced to the FCS National Championship game for the past two seasons, received six first-place votes and is ranked No. 2 to start the season. New Hampshire opens the year at No. 7 in the poll, followed by No. 12 Elon, No. 15 Delaware, No. 19 Villanova and No. 20 Stony Brook. Richmond was among other teams receiving votes.

JMU returns 12 starters from last year’s 14-1 squad that captured its third straight CAA Football crown with a perfect 8-0 mark. Offensively, the Dukes bring back their top three rushers and two of their three leading receivers. Five starters are back from a JMU defense that allowed only 11.1 points per game, which was the best in the nation. Preseason All-America cornerbacks Rashad Robinson and Jimmy Moreland anchor a secondary that recorded an FCS-best 31 interceptions in 2017.

New Hampshire has nine starters back on both offense and defense from last year’s 9-5 squad that earned a FCS playoff berth for a record 14th-straight season and advanced to the quarterfinals. Quarterback Trevor Knight guides the Wildcats’ offense after passing for 3,433 yards and 26 TD’s a year ago, and he welcomes back his top target, All-America receiver Neil O’Connor (97 rec., 1,396 yds, 10 TD’s). Linebacker Quinlen Dean made a team-high 124 tackles and spearheads the UNH defense.

Coming off its first FCS playoff berth since 2009, Elon has nine starters back on both offense and defense from an 8-4 team. Quarterback Davis Cheek threw for 2,431 yards and 15 TD’s in his rookie campaign and the Phoenix feature three backs who combined to rush for nearly 1,900 yards. All-America linebacker Warren Messer (114 tackles) and safety Tyler Campbell are Elon’s leaders defensively.

Delaware posted a 7-4 overall mark in 2017 and has eight starters returning on offense and seven on defense. All-America defensive back Nasir Adderley (78 tackles, 5 int.) and veteran linebackers Troy Reeder and Charles Bell anchor a defense that surrendered only 16.8 points per game last season. Leading rusher Kani Kane (594 yds, 7 TD’s) and top receiver Jamie Jarmon pace the UD offense.

Villanova is expected to bounce back after suffering through an injury-plagued season a year ago. Quarterback Zach Bednarczyk, running back Aaron Forbes and tight end Ryan Bell are experienced playmakers offensively. The Wildcats’ nationally ranked defense returns seven starters, including All-America safety Rob Rolle and linebacker Jeff Steeb (90 tackles, 5 sacks).

Stony Brook advanced to the second round of the FCS playoffs in 2017 after tying a school record for overall wins (10-3) and posting a best-ever 7-1 mark in CAA play. Senior quarterback Joe Carbone passed for 2,470 yards and 23 TD’s last season and leads a group of six returning starters on offense. The Seawolves’ defense, which was among the best in FCS, features senior linebacker Shayne Lawless (93 tackles).

CAA Football’s six ranked teams was one better than the Missouri Valley Football Conference, which had five ranked squads, led by No. 1 North Dakota State. The Southland Conference was next with four ranked teams, followed by the Big Sky and Southern conferences with three apiece.

2018 STATS FCS Preseason Top 25 Poll

North Dakota State (151 first-place votes)
James Madison (6 first-place votes)
South Dakota State
Sam Houston State
Kennesaw State
Jacksonville State
New Hampshire
Weber State
Eastern Washington
North Carolina A&T
Central Arkansas
Stony Brook
Illinois State
Austin Peay
Youngtown State

RV: Richmond
Day 1 in the Books:

8/1/18 - Courtesy of the University of Delaware

All the off season drills. All the early morning lifts. All the extra work put in while everyone else was at the beach. It was all for this moment. The return of Blue Hen football.

The 2018 Delaware football season officially got underway on Wednesday afternoon with over 100 student-athletes taking to the practice fields.

"We're excited to get back out here. We've got a good group of seniors who are hungry from last season and have a little unfinished business," head coach Danny Rocco said. "They've been the ones driving us all off season and we've got good depth around them, which lends itself to a great environment for competition."

Reeder, Adderley Earn Preseason All-American Honors
8/1/2018 8:03:00 AM
Courtesy of bluehens.com

Story LinksNEWARK, Del. – If the old adage "defense wins championships" holds true, the University of Delaware football team is in good shape.

Two of the Blue Hens standouts and leaders on the defensive side of the ball were honored on Tuesday when Nasir AdderleyReeder, a two-time captain from Hockessin, Del., guided the middle of the UD defense at inside linebacker and led the team with 89 stops rank in the top-10 in the CAA. He recorded 10 or more tackles three times in 2017 and had a career-high 17 stops in a road win at Maine late in the season. He also had seven tackles for loss and was in on two sacks.

Adderley, a native of Philadelphia, Pa., led a defensive secondary that ranked among the best in the CAA, ranking No. 2 in the league in passing efficiency defense and No. 3 in pass defense.

He was the team's second leading tackler with 78 stops, including a team-high 42 solo tackles, and ranked No. 2 in the CAA with five interceptions. He had 10 or more tackles three times, including a career-high 14 vs. Maine. He also contributed four tackles for loss, three pass breakups, and two forced fumbles, and was one of the team's mainstays on special teams.

Adderley is one of only two returning players in the country who had over 75 tackles and five INTs last fall.

The Blue Hens open training camp on Wednesday, August 1 at 2:15 p.m.
Long time Blue Hen Football Super Fan Passes Away:

Published in The News Journal on July 20, 2018 

Ronald Francis Basara Sr.

1945 - 2018 Obituary Condolences

Newark - Ronald Francis Basara, Sr., age 72, of Newark, DE passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, July 17, 2018.

Born in Wilmington, DE, on August 6, 1945, he was the son of the late Stanley and Mary (Dudziec) Basara Jedrick. Ron was a graduate of St. Hedwig's Catholic School, Salesianum High School and the University of Delaware. He was a lifelong employee of the Bank of Delaware, subsequently PNC Bank. Ron was a retired Lt. Colonel of the United States Army Reserve, and a member of MOAA - Military Officer's Association of America.

Ron was known for his sense of humor, love of sports, horse racing, the outdoors, all things University of Delaware and his family.

Ron is survived by his loving wife, Pamela P. (Walsh) Basara; children, Ronald F. Basara, Jr. (Eve) of Belleair, FL, Melinda L. Lutton (Jon) of Catonsville, MD and Daniel S. Basara (Melinda) of Aberdeen, MD; and sisters, Patricia Leary (Brian) and Dorothy Ciszkowski, both of Wilmington.

A visitation for family and friends will be held from 1 pm until 2 pm on Sunday, July 22, 2018, at Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 121 West Park Place, Newark, DE, where a Celebration of Life will begin at 2 pm. Interment will be held privately.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ron's memory to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Attn: Membership Department, 6 Herndon Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21403.

To sign guest book, visit: spicermullikin.com

7/24/18 - BLUEHENS.COM

BALTIMORE, Md. – The official kickoff to the 2018 season brought high praise and high expectations for the University of Delaware football program. 

CAA Media Day brought together the league's coaches and student-athletes, along with media members from up and down the East Coast for the official kickoff of the 2018 campaign.

After seven wins last year and nearly making the playoffs, the Blue Hens received high praise in the preseason poll, being picked third behind only James Madison and New Hampshire. In addition, five student-athletes were honored on the Preseason All-CAA squad. 

Seniors Troy Reeder, Nasir Adderley, Charles Scarff, Mario Farinella and Kani Kane all received recognition on the preseason team. It was the second most representatives by any team in the league (outside of JMU's six) and the most since 2011 for Delaware.

Reeder is coming off a First Team All-CAA honor last season, in which he racked up 89 tackles (34 solo), seven tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks while playing nearly every snap on the defensive side of the ball for the Blue Hens. 

Not only did Adderley make highlight reel plays and end up on SportsCenter, but he also one of the only two returning defensive players in all of FCS who racked up over 75 tackles and at least five interceptions last season. 

Kane earned Third Team All-CAA accolades last season after rushing for nearly 600 yards on just 142 carries, while piling up seven touchdowns. Kane had two 100-yard performances and a three-TD day in the win against Cornell. 

Farinella is one of the senior leaders on the offensive line, a unit in which helped the Blue Hens rush for over 2,100 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. The Bloomfield, N.J. native has battled injuries over the past three seasons, but gained four starts and appeared in 15 games over that span. 

Scarff earned Second Team All-CAA honors last fall after catching the second most TD passes on the team (3) and started seven games for the Blue Hens at the tight end spot.

Print Friendly Version
Players Mentioned

#23 Nasir Adderley
6' 0"
190 lbs

#7 Kani Kane
6' 0"
240 lbs

#9 Troy Reeder
6' 2"
245 lbs
Redshirt Senior

#85 Charles Scarff
6' 5"
270 lbs
Redshirt Senior
Blue Hens Invaded the Delaware State Fair Today
Delaware Athletics 7/23/2018 

HARRINGTON, Del. – Blue Hen Pride will be on full display at the Delaware State Fair on Tuesday, July 24 as the University of Delaware Athletic Department will once again be on hand at one of the state's biggest and most popular events. 

Nearly 40 Blue Hen student-athletes and staff, including men's basketball head coach Martin Ingelsby, will hit the fairgrounds mid-afternoon on Tuesday to mingle amongst the fans and fair goers. The Blue Hens will sample a wide variety of the food choices, enjoy the rides and games, and check out the numerous animals on hand. 

In what's become a yearly tradition, the Blue Hens will end the day as guest in one of the fair's signature events, the Delaware State Fair Nightly Parade that winds through the fairgrounds beginning at 7 p.m.

Once again, Delaware Athletics will also have a strong presence at the fair's new Social Spot hub located at the Exhibit Hall. From 5-7 p.m., UD student-athletes and staff will interact with fans and provide ticket information to Blue Hens athletics events, giveaways, and chances to spin the prize wheel. A photo booth will also be on site to give fans the opportunity to have shots taken with their favorite UD student-athletes and share with their friends on social media.

The State Fair runs until Saturday, June 28 in Harrington.
Salesianum's Troy Reeder and Sussex Tech's Kani Kane both earned All-Conference honors.

WDEL Sean Greene Published Jul 24, 2018 

First State products LB Troy Reeder (Salesianum) and RB Kani Kane (Sussex Tech) earned two of Delaware's five spots on the Pre-Season All-Conference team. They're joined by TE Sharles Scarff, OL Mario Farinella, and Nasir Adderley.

Delaware is looking to build off of last year's 7-4 campaign that just missed the school's first FCS postseason bid since 2010. It was the first year under former University of Richmond Head Coach Danny Rocco.

The Blue Hens return several weapons from last year's 10th-ranked scoring defense, including Adderley, Reeder, and Charles Bell, who is expected to return from a broken vertebrate in his back. He will serve as a team captain this fall.

Reeder contributed 89 tackles a year ago, while Adderley picked off 5 passes to go with 78 tackles.

Kane finished with 7 touchdowns and 594 rushing yards last year, but figures to see competition from Kareem Williams (469 yards, one TD).
The CAA preseason poll has been released:

7/24/2018 by Rob Washburn - caafootball.com

(Selected by a vote of Head Coaches and Media Relations Directors)

James Madison (21 first-place votes) 241
New Hampshire (2 first-place votes) 206
Delaware 182
Stony Brook 169
Elon (1 first-place vote) 168
Villanova 164
Richmond 127
Maine 81
UAlbany 78
Towson 74
William & Mary 55
Rhode Island 39

BALTIMORE, Md. (July 24, 2018) – James Madison, which returns 12 starters from last season’s 14-1 team that reached the NCAA FCS National Championship game for the second consecutive year, was the overwhelming choice to capture the CAA Football title in 2018 according to a vote of the league’s head coaches and media relations directors. The announcement was made on Tuesday morning as the conference conducted its annual Media Day from M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

New Hampshire, which is coming off its record 14th straight FCS playoff appearance, was picked second in the poll, while Delaware placed third. Fourth-place Stony Brook, fifth-place Elon and sixth-place Villanova were separated by just five points in the voting. Richmond was chosen seventh, followed by Maine, UAlbany, Towson, William & Mary and Rhode Island.

JMU captured its third straight CAA Football title in 2017, becoming the first school to achieve that feat since Boston University (1982-84) more than 30 years ago. The Dukes posted a perfect 8-0 mark in CAA play for the second consecutive season and enter the 2018 campaign having won a league-record 18 straight conference games. Offensively, JMU returns its top three rushers and two of its top three receivers from a unit that averaged a CAA-best 34.4 points per game. The Dukes led the nation in scoring defense (11.1 ppg) in 2017 and welcome back five starters from that unit. Senior All-American Rashad Robinson (7 int.) and senior Jimmy Moreland (8 int.) anchor a secondary that tied a CAA record and topped FCS with 31 interceptions a year ago.

New Hampshire welcomes back nine starters on both sides of the ball from last year’s 9-5 team that reached the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs. Senior quarterback Trevor Knight (291-471, 3,433 yds., 26 TD’s) is back to lead the offense and he returns his top two receiving targets in All-American Neil O’Connor (97 rec., 1,396 yds., 10 TD’s) and junior Malik Love (70 rec., 733 yds., 3 TD’s). Spearheading the Wildcats’ defense are linebackers Quinlen Dean (124 tackles, 11.5 TFL) and Jared Kuehl (65 tackles, 13 TFL) and defensive end Jae’Wuan Horton (9 sacks).

Delaware went 7-4 and posted its best conference mark (5-3) since 2011 in its first year under head coach Danny Rocco. Eight starters return on offense, including leading rusher Kani Kane (142 att., 594 yds., 7 TD’s) and top receiver Jamie Jarmon (29 rec., 327 yds., 6 TD’s). The Blue Hens ranked 10th nationally in scoring defense (16.8 ppg) last season and have seven starters back. Topping that group are defensive back Nasir Adderley (78 tackles, 5 int.) and linebackers Troy Reeder (89 tackles) and Charles Bell.

Stony Brook tied a school record for overall wins (10-3), posted its most CAA victories ever (7-1) and advanced to the second round of the FCS playoffs in 2017. The Seawolves have 14 returning starters, including quarterback Joe Carbone (204-363, 2,470 yds., 23 TD’s) and linebacker Shayne Lawless (93 tackles, 13 TFL, 8 sacks).

Elon has nine starters back on offense and defense from last year’s 8-4 team that earned an FCS playoff berth for the first time since 2009 and won more CAA games (6-2) than in its first three years combined. The Phoenix offense returns quarterback Davis Cheek (190-323, 2,431 yds., 15 TD’s) and its top three rushers who combined for nearly 1,900 yards. All-America linebacker Warren Messer (114 tackles, 11 TFL, 5.5 sacks) anchors the defense.

CAA Football also announced its preseason all-conference team. JMU had a league-high six players honored, including Robinson as the preseason Defensive Player of the Year. New Hampshire’s Knight was named the preseason Offensive Player of the Year.

(Selected by a vote of Head Coaches and Media Relations Directors)

Name, School Cl. Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School
Trevor Knight, New Hampshire Sr. QB 6-0 198 Amherst, N.H./Nashua South
Kani Kane, Delaware Sr. RB 6-0 240 Bridgeville, Del./Sussex Tech
Marcus Marshall, James Madison Sr. RB 5-10 207 Raleigh, N.C./Millbrook
Cal Daniels, Stony Brook Sr. FB 6-2 255 Bethel, Conn./Bethel
Dejon Brissett, Richmond Sr. WR 6-2 190 Mississauga, Ontario/Lake Forest Acad.
Neil O’Connor, New Hampshire Sr. WR 5-11 182 Leominster, Mass./Leominster
Aaron Parker, Rhode Island Jr. WR 6-3 191 Brandywine, Md./Gwynn Park
Charles Scarff, Delaware Sr. TE 6-5 270 Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Catholic
Mario Farinella, Delaware Sr. OL 6-0 300 Bloomfield, N.J./Bergen Catholic
Ethan Greenidge, Villanova Sr. OL 6-4 335 Flanders, N.Y./Riverhead
Jahee Jackson, James Madison Jr. OL 6-3 292 Baltimore, Md./Gilman
CJ Toogood, Elon Sr. OL 6-2 293 Holly Springs, N.C./Holly Springs
John Yarbrough, Richmond Sr. OL 6-5 285 Homewood, Ala./Homewood

Name, School Cl. Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School
Darrious Carter, James Madison Sr. DL 6-5 235 Indiana, Pa./Indiana Senior
Andrew Clyde, Richmond Sr. DL 6-3 275 Dallas, Texas/Highland Park
Brandon Ginnetti, Rhode Island Jr. DL 6-3 275 East Haven, Conn./Cheshire Academy
Kayon Whitaker, Maine Jr. DL 6-3 235 Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate
Quinlen Dean, New Hampshire Jr. LB 6-0 227 Greenbelt, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt
Shayne Lawless, Stony Brook Sr. LB 6-1 225 Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown
Warren Messer, Elon Sr. LB 5-11 227 Garner, N.C./Garner
Troy Reeder, Delaware Sr. LB 6-2 245 Hockessin, Del/Salesianum
Nasir Adderley, Delaware Sr. S 6-0 190 Philadelphia, Pa./Great Valley
Rob Rolle, Villanova Sr. S 6-0 185 Newfield, N.J./Delsea
Jimmy Moreland, James Madison Sr. CB 5-11 172 Royal Palm Beach, Fla./Royal Palm Beach
Rashad Robinson, James Madison Sr. CB 5-11 182 Richmond, Va./Hermitage

Name, School Cl. Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown/High School
Earnest Edwards, Maine Jr. KR 5-10 175 Rochester, N.Y./Aquinas Institute
Donovan McDonald, UAlbany Jr. PR 6-0 175 West Orange, N.J./Montclair
Griffin Trau, Richmond Sr. PK 5-8 170 Culver, Ind./Western Reserve Acad.
Harry O’Kelly, James Madison So. P 6-1 178 Wynnum, Queensland, Australia/Iona
Mozai Nelson, Maine Sr. SPEC 6-0 205 Uniondale, N.Y./St. Anthony’s

Blue Hens to get running back from Penn State

Jul 17th, 2018 · by Delaware State News 

The Delaware football program has picked up a running back transfer from Penn State.

According to several media reports, junior Andre Robinson has accepted a scholarship offer from the Blue Hens.

Robinson, who would be eligible right away with two seasons remaining, spent the last couple years behind former Nittany Lion star Saquon Barkley. The 5-foot-9, 223-pounder has appeared in 23 games for Penn State, running for 196 yards and six touchdowns on 38 carries.

Named the PIAA Class AAA Player of the Year by the Pennsylvania Football Writers Association with 2,338 yards (9.0 avg.) and 29 touchdowns for Bishop McDevitt (Pa.) High, Robinson ran for 5,657 yards (8.1 per carry) and 80 rushing touchdowns during his high school career.

He’d join two other former Nittany Lions who are Delaware starters – linebacker Troy Reeder and offensive lineman Noah Beh.

Delaware is expected to announce an upcoming two-game series with the Nittany Lions, whom the Blue Hens have never played, sometime this summer.

The 5-foot-9, 223-pound Robinson is from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and attended Bishop McDevitt High, where he gained 5,657 yards and ran for 80 touchdowns in his career.

At Penn State, he red-shirted in 2015 and carried the football 38 times for 196 yards (5.2-yard average) and six touchdowns the last two seasons. He also caught three passes for 47 yards with a 40-yard TD reception. Robinson announced last December he was transferring.

Recruiting classmate Saquon Barkley became Penn State’s go-to back, accounting for 5,557 all-purpose yards the last three years before being the second player chosen in the 2018 NFL draft by the New York Giants. Another back, Miles Sanders, also saw back-up duty, sometimes ahead of Robinson.

At Delaware, Robinson would join an experienced backfield that returns last season’s top ground-gainers Kani Kane (594 yards), Kareem Williams (469), Thomas Jefferson (212), who has been taking part in preseason activities after originally not planning to return, and Khory Spruill (183), plus Army transfer DeJoun Lee.

The Blue Hens open preseason camp Aug. 1 leading to the season opener Aug. 30 at home against Rhode Island.

Projected FCS Playoff Qualifiers for 2018

By Craig Haley, 6/26/18 athlonsports.com

Here is Athlon Sports' projected 2018 FCS playoff field (in alphabetical order):

Austin Peay (at-large bid)

The most improved team in the FCS last year still has the bad taste of a playoff snub from Selection Sunday.

Colgate (Patriot champ)

The Raiders have the most complete team in the Patriot League), but key November games against Fordham and Lehigh are on the road.

Delaware (at-large bid)

Head coach Danny Rocco has the Blue Hens back on track. A national runner-up finish in 2010 is their last playoff appearance.

Duquesne (Northeast champ)

A November meltdown (three season-ending losses) has the Dukes motivated in the always hotly contested NEC title race.

Eastern Washington (Big Sky champ)

With losses only to Texas Tech, FCS champ North Dakota State and Big Sky co-champs Southern Utah and Weber State, the Eagles were upset to be left out of the 2017 playoffs.

Elon (at-large bid)

All the young players have grown up, and the Phoenix already arrived a year ahead of schedule with a playoff appearance last season.

Illinois State (at-large bid)

The Redbirds may wind up lamenting a season-opening game against in-state NAIA member St. Xavier, which won't help their playoff resume.

Jacksonville State (Ohio Valley champ)

With 32 straight OVC wins, the Gamecocks haven't lost to a conference foe since Jimmy Garoppolo was slinging passes for Eastern Illinois in 2013.

James Madison (CAA champ)

Third-year head coach Mike Houston has yet to lose to a CAA opponent, including a pair of playoff wins en route to back-to-back national championship game appearances.

Kennesaw State (Big South champ)

The Owls' schedule is tougher with their first FBS opponent, Georgia State, and two playoff victims seeking revenge, Samford and Jacksonville State.

McNeese (at-large bid)

The Cowboys' nine wins were the most of any eligible team that was left out of the playoffs.

Montana (at-large bid)

Returning head coach Bobby Hauck was a perfect 7-for-7 with Big Sky titles and playoff appearances in his first stint from 2003-09.

New Hampshire (at-large bid)

Ho hum, head coach Sean McDonnell and the Wildcats are seeking a 15th straight playoff appearance.

Nicholls (at-large bid)

A September to remember or forget? The Colonels open against Kansas, Tulane, McNeese and Sam Houston State.

North Dakota State (Missouri Valley champ)

The Bison are tied with Georgia Southern for the most FCS national titles, and their six have come in the last seven years.

Northern Iowa (at-large bid)

Head coach Mark Farley has gotten to the playoffs 10 times in 17 seasons because he's recorded 53 wins after the start of November.

Samford (Southern champ)

Samford's lone SoCon title was a three-way share in 2013. The Bulldogs are playing a particularly strong road schedule.

Sam Houston State (Southland champ)

Only North Dakota State has more wins than the Bearkats (86) during this decade.

San Diego (Pioneer champ)

The only Pioneer Football League wins in the playoffs belong to the Toreros in each of the past two seasons.

South Dakota State (at-large bid)

The Jackrabbits are coming off their two deepest playoff runs (quarterfinals in 2016 and semifinals last season) in their FCS history.

Villanova (at-large bid)

Disregard last year's 5-6 record because the Wildcats were injury-riddled. They have top-10 potential in head coach Mark Ferrante's second season.

Weber State (at-large bid)

Coming off a program-record 11 wins, the Wildcats are plugging some big holes in their lineup.

Wofford (at-large bid)

First-time head coach Josh Conklin is replacing legendary Mike Ayers, who won 207 games over 30 seasons leading the Terriers.

Youngstown State (at-large bid)

Head coach Bo Pelini and the Penguins might have to get it done early. They face North Dakota State, Northern Iowa and Illinois State in November.

New red-shirt rule will benefit Blue Hens, other college football teams

Kevin Tresolini, Delaware News Journal 
June 20, 2018

One snap will no longer constitute a full season for a college football player and University of Delaware football coach Danny Rocco is delighted.

Beginning this season, Division I players may appear in a maximum of four football games during any year, but it will not count against their four years of eligibility.

Such seasons, known as “red-shirt years” from the color of the jerseys once worn by such athletes, previously required a player to sit out all games.

Until last week, players had five years in which they could play four football seasons. Now, they can play four full seasons, plus four games of another, thanks to an NCAA ruling.

Rocco is on the board of the American Football Coaches Association, which had been pushing for such a change for more than 15 years.

“As coaches we all recognize this as a win-win,” said Rocco, whose Blue Hens commence preseason camp Aug. 1 for the Aug. 30 opener against visiting Rhode Island. “It is definitely best for the student-athlete on a number of different levels.”

That includes academically, Rocco believes, because players will now have a better chance to complete additional under-graduate or post-graduate degree work because they’re more likely to be around for five fall semesters.

On the football field, players — especially freshmen — will have the opportunity to play in situations in which they didn’t before.

Typically, freshmen practice regularly and are part of the team, adjusting to the higher level of college football while they learn and grow physically, but many don’t appear in games. They would then have four more years to play.

Now those freshmen can appear in four games, providing valuable experience for them and precious depth for the football team, especially late in the season when injuries tend to mount and attrition takes a toll.

But players don’t always red-shirt their freshman years. Sometimes, they do so later, especially when an injury is involved.

“No one wants to sit out a year,” Rocco said. “Sitting out is very difficult. It’s such a shock to be the high school star and then not even be able to enter a game.”

All long-time coaches have dealt with situations when a difficult decision had to be made about whether to continue red-shirting a player needed in an emergency situation. 

For Rocco, it happened in his final season as Richmond coach in 2016 when standout quarterback Kyle Lauletta tore his ACL in the final regular-season game against William & Mary and wouldn’t be available for the FCS playoffs. Sophomore Kevin Johnson, who was being red-shirted that year and hadn’t played a snap, then came on to spark the Spiders to a pair of victories before an NCAA quarterfinal loss at Eastern Washington.

Rocco had said after the William & Mary game he wouldn’t play Johnson. But the quarterback came to Rocco the next day and said “Hey coach, I want to play this week,” Rocco said. “This is too good of an opportunity for me not to take advantage of it.”

After more discussion, thought and time, the decision was made to play Johnson, which turned out to benefit the Spiders.

“If I’m gonna play a student-athlete, I want his play count to be 100 plays or more,” Rocco said of his typical approach to red-shirting players.

One example of how the new rule would have greatly benefitted a Delaware player came during the 2002 season, K.C. Keeler’s first as Blue Hens football coach. That year, Andy Hall played quarterback during the 12-game season’s first 11 games but was injured and unavailable for the season finale against Villanova.

Mike Connor, who had started the final four games as a true freshman the year before and was in the process of being red-shirted, was called on to start the Villanova game after not taking a game snap all year. It cost Connor the entire year of eligibility. He transferred after that season to Lehigh, having two years of eligibility left but never threw a pass in a game there.

Under the new rule, either one of those seasons could have been considered a red-shirt year and Connor would have had three years left to play after 2002.

“This change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being,” Division I Council chairman Blake James, the athletic director at Miami (Fla.), said in the NCAA’s announcement.

“Red-shirt football student-athletes are more likely to remain engaged with the team, and starters will be less likely to feel pressure to play through injuries. Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition.”

It could be especially valuable at the Football Championship Subdivision level, where teams award a maximum of 63 scholarships and then have a 24-team playoff, extending the season and testing teams’ reserves. At the Football Bowl Subdivision level, schools may dole out 85 scholarships and have fewer postseason games.

Todd Berry, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, had been mulling such a change to the red-shirt rule since he was coach at FCS Illinois State in 1999 and dwindling depth forced him to use a defensive lineman who hadn’t played all season in a playoff game.

The rule presently applies only to football, though the NCAA, in last week’s announcement, said the Division I Student-Athlete Experience Committee will consider how a similar red-shirt program could be adapted to other sports.

“It creates more viable scenarios where you would be willing to and even strategizing to play some of your younger players,” Rocco said. “That, in and of itself, creates relief and depth.’’

Of the 75 players to see action last season for the 7-4 Blue Hens, 15 played in four games or less. Under the new rules, such a season could count as a red-shirt year, but previous rules only allowed that if an injury was involved. Last year, senior linebacker Charles Bell suffered a season-ending back injury in the fourth game against James Madison but he was permitted to return this season.

Rocco said a good example of a player who might have benefitted last year from the new rule, which is not retroactive, is defensive lineman Carter Lynch. As a true freshman, he didn’t appear in any games and was red-shirted but is now among Delaware’s key players in that position area.

If this rule was in place, he could have played in four games in 2017, gaining some experience while preserving the year of eligibility.

“I told our incoming freshmen, ‘You all have a chance to play,’ ” Rocco said, adding that he expects players to be more “engaged” as a result.

In a separate but equally impactful decision, the NCAA Division I Council also created a new transfer policy for all sports that is much fairer to student-athletes.

They no longer must receive a release from their school permitting them to leave. Under the new “notification-of-transfer” setup, student-athletes are free to shop for new destinations and their names appear in a database to which coaches at other schools have access.

In 2005, when Joe Flacco decided to transfer from Pitt to Delaware, then-Panthers coach Dave Wannstedt wouldn’t give him a release. Flacco, therefore, was ineligible to play for the Blue Hens that season. He started in 2006 and 2007 and has been the Baltimore Ravens starter ever since.

The new rule does still allow conferences to place constraints on transfers, such as those between league rivals as exists now.


Reeder, Adderley Earn Preseason All-American Honors
By Delaware Athletics
Jun 13, 2018

NEWARK, Del. – After both earning All-CAA First Team accolades last fall, it was clear that both Troy Reeder and Nasir Adderley had earned the respect of their conference peers.

Entering their final season the Blue Hens, the duo has the respect nationally as well with both earning Second Team Preseason All-American honors from HERO Sports.

Reeder, a two-time captain from Hockessin, Del., guided the middle of the UD defense at inside linebacker and led the team with 89 stops rank in the top-10 in the CAA. He recorded 10 or more tackles three times in 2017 and had a career-high 17 stops in a road win at Maine late in the season. He also had seven tackles for loss and was in on two sacks.

Adderley, a native of Philadelphia, Pa., led a defensive secondary that ranked among the best in the CAA, ranking No. 2 in the league in passing efficiency defense and No. 3 in pass defense.

He was the team’s second leading tackler with 78 stops, including a team-high 42 solo tackles, and ranked No. 2 in the CAA with five interceptions. He had 10 or more tackles three times, including a career-high 14 vs. Maine. He also contributed four tackles for loss, three pass breakups, and two forced fumbles, and was one of the team’s mainstays on special teams.

Adderley is one of only two returning players in the country who had over 75 tackles and five INTs last fall.

The Blue Hens return to camp in early August to prep for the season-opener against Rhode Island, set for August 30 at Delaware Stadium.


Nation's-Best Six CAA Football Teams Ranked In Athlon Top 25 Poll

Rob Washburn RICHMOND, Va. (June 5, 2018)
Athlon Sports 

Preseason FCS Top 25 Poll

Delaware (7-4) starts the year at No. 13 in the preseason national rankings. The Blue Hens narrowly missed a berth in the playoffs a year ago and are looking to return to the postseason for the first time since 2010.

Expectations are high for another outstanding season in CAA Football as the league led all FCS conferences with six teams ranked in the Athlon Sports Preseason Top 25 Poll, including five in the top 13.

Three-time defending CAA Football champion James Madison (14-1) headlines the group of CAA teams at No. 2. The Dukes, who are 28-2 over the past two years, trail only No. 1 North Dakota State, which edged JMU 17-13 in last year’s national championship game.


New Hampshire (9-5) is right behind JMU at No. 3 in the preseason poll. The Wildcats are looking to extend their record of 14 consecutive FCS playoff appearances after advancing to the quarterfinals a year ago.

Elon (8-4) is ranked No. 10 in the preseason poll. The Phoenix earned their first playoff appearance as a CAA Football member and first overall since 2009 after going 6-2 and placing third in the conference.

Villanova (5-6) opens the season at No. 11 in the Athlon poll. The Wildcats, who have made six FCS playoff appearances since 2008, are expected to bounce back after suffering a slew of injuries to key players in 2017.

Rounding out the CAA teams in the poll is Stony Brook at No. 25. The Seawolves (10-3) advanced to the second round of the FCS playoffs last season in their first appearance since 2012. Stony Brook tied a program record for overall wins last year.

CAA Football has had four teams receive FCS playoff berths for the past four years. Trailing CAA Football’s six ranked teams in the preseason poll were the Missouri Valley Football Conference with five and the Big Sky and Southland Conferences with four apiece.

Athlon Sports FCS Preseason Top 25 Poll

North Dakota State
James Madison
New Hampshire
South Dakota State
Kennesaw State
Eastern Washington
Sam Houston State
Jacksonville State
Weber State
Illinois State
North Carolina A&T
Youngstown State
Austin Peay
Sacramento State
Central Arkansas
Stony Brook

Woodson Signs Free Agent Deal With San Francisco 49ers
By Delaware Athletics
May 14, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Add another one to the Blue Hen fraternity in the National Football League.

Blaine Woodson, a three-time All-CAA performer for the University of Delaware, inked a free agent deal with the San Francisco 49ers after participating at their rookie mini-camp last week.

Woodson is the second member of the 2017 squad to join the NFL ranks after defensive line mate Bilal Nichols was drafted by the Chicago Bears in last month’s NFL draft.

Woodson, a 6-2, 280 lb. native of Stroudsburg, Pa. (Stroudsburg HS), earned second team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors in 2017 after ranking fifth on the team with 55 tackles while adding three sacks and an interception. He started each of his final 44 games at Delaware and finished his career with 14.5 sacks for 75 yards and 21.5 tackles for loss for 89 yards.

He also earned second team All-CAA honors and was named the CAA Defensive Rookie of the Year as a redshirt freshman in 2014 and was a second team All-CAA selection as a sophomore in 2015.

This marks the fourth time in the past five years that at least two Blue Hens earned NFL contracts.
Former Hen Nichols drafted by Bears
Apr 28th, 2018 · by Andy Walter Delaware State News

Delaware defensive lineman Bilal Nichols was the first Blue Hen drafted since 2015. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

NEWARK — Well, it’s not like Bilal Nichols’ new coach will question the youngster’s alma mater.

When Nichols, the Delaware defensive tackle, heard his name called in the NFL Draft on Saturday, it was by the Chicago Bears — whose first-year head coach just happens to be former Blue Hen Matt Nagy.

Nagy and the Bears took Nichols in the fifth round, making him the 145th pick in the draft. Nagy was the one who called Nichols to tell him the news.

“It’s truly the best moment of my life, one of the most humbling moments in my life,” Nichols was quoted on the Bears’ website. “I’d like to personally thank Coach Nagy also for believing in me. It’s great, him coming from my school. We have a great relationship. I was extremely happy for him once he got his job in Chicago.”

A Hodgson Vo-Tech grad, Nichols was the second Delawarean taken in this year’s draft. On Friday, Salesianum School grad Brian O’Neill — an offensive lineman from Pitt — was drafted in the second round (No. 62 overall) by the Minnesota Vikings.

The 6-foot-4, 306-pound Nichols is only the third UD player drafted since 2008 and the first since tight end Nick Boyle went to the Baltimore Ravens in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. He’s also the first in-state Blue Hen player drafted since Dan Reeder in 1985.

Bilal Nichols

Raised by his grandparents in Newark, Nichols said this moment started seeming more possible to him as his college career went along. As a senior this past fall, he was a first-team all-Colonial Athletic Association pick and third-team FCS Division I All-American.

He got the chance to prove himself against higher-level competition at the East-West Shrine All-Star Game and then at the NFL Combine.

“The first time I stepped on campus, that was always a goal of mine,” Nichols said about being drafted. “I knew I had the opportunity to get there. Once my senior year came around, it really started to click. Once I got the chance to see scouts coming to practice and things like that, it really started to click for me.”

By the time this weekend rolled around, Nichols had a pretty good idea he would either be drafted of signed as a free agent.

He knows the thrill of being drafted only lasts so long. Now he’s got to prove himself in camp with the Bears.

“That’s the exciting thing, just knowing that I’m going to be able to compete in a camp and earn my spot on the team,” said Nichols. “I live for things like that. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

The 6-foot-7, 297-pound O’Neill is known for his athletic ability. He was a tight end at Sallies, where he was the state Players of the Year in boys’ basketball in 2015.

While he still needs to get bigger, most NFL experts think he’s got a big upside.

“Brian was probably the best athlete of all the offensive lineman in this draft,” Vikings Director of College Scouting Jamaal Stephenson was quoted on the Vikings’ website. “You watch this guy get out and pull, it’s unbelievable how fast he moves and the ability to change directions.

“You watch him catch passes, you may have seen the clip. He’s running the ball,” Stephenson added. “You do see that athleticism. I think that helps at the second level.”(Wesley College’s Matt Gono wasn’t drafted on Saturday but the 6-foot-4, 306-pound offensive lineman signed a free-agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons late Saturday.
Annual Blue-White Spring Game
By Delaware Athletics
Apr 21, 2018

NEWARK, Del. – The start of football season may be a few months away, but the excitement was palpable at Delaware Stadium on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

The day began with a plethora of Blue Hens faithful, including newly signed Eagles linebacker and Delaware alum Paul Worrilow, flocked to the ninth annual Fandemonium presented by Louviers Federal Credit Union.

Bounce houses, petting zoo, a live DJ and plenty of other activities built excitement leading up to the first live look at the Blue Hens this spring.

Two sessions of 7-on-7 drills featured new QB and Delaware native Darius Wade, who went 8-for-10 in the drills, while Troy Reeder woke up the crowd early on with a pick-6 in the 7-on-7 sessions.

Joey Carter also had an interception during the sessions, while Jamil Gilmore led the way with four tackles.

In the full scrimmage series, Pat Kehoe had a strong day, finishing 8-for-12, along with his backfield mate on the day, DeJoun Lee, who went for 37 yards on seven attempts.

The second half of the full scrimmage sessions was highlighted by a drive in which Wade and Vinny Papale connected three times, including a great leaping catch for a 26-yard TD.

Defensively, Armen Ware had four tackles, including two sacks on the afternoon, while K.C. Hinton and Dominick Covatto had five tackles apiece.

Blue, the offensive side, won the contest 46-44 with a specialized scoring system.

During halftime of the event, Head Coach Danny Rocco named his three captains, seniors Joe Walker, Troy Reeder and Charles Bell. Other award winners included Reeder (defense most improved and weight room champion), M.J. Kehoe (weight room most improved) and Collin Wallish (offense most improved).

Spring Game Coaches' Show Returns Prior to Spring Game Radio Broadcast
By Delaware Athletics
Apr 11, 2018

NEWARK, Del. – For the first time in nearly a decade, the University of Delaware football team’s annual spring game will be heard live over the air waves!

94.7 WDSD-FM returns for its 20thseason of Blue Hen football, led by the “Voice of the Blue Hens” Scott Klatzkin, who returns for this seventh season, and will host not only the Spring Game broadcast on Saturday, April 21st, but also the Spring Game Coaches Show at Klondike Kate’s on Wednesday, April 18th.

The Coaches’ Show will be live from 7-8 pm featuring head coach Danny Rocco and other distinguished guests. The show will lead up to Saturday’s live game broadcast.

Saturday’s broadcast will begin live at 2:30 p.m. with a pre-game show from Fandemonium presented by Louviers Federal Credit Union and will continue with complete game coverage including play-by-play of the contest, interviews and post-game show.

Fandemonmium 6 presented by Louivers Federal Credit union will feature the Anchor Buick GMC Fan Zone, which will be open from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will feature FREE entertainment for all ages including pony rides, interactive inflatables, petting zoo, live music, games, food sampling, giveaways, laser tag, photo booth snapshots, face painting, balloon art and more. All of the fun in the Anchor Buick GMC Fan Zone is FREE for all fans! Food, drinks, and UDairy ice cream will also be available for purchase.

The game and coaches show can be heard live on 94.7 WDSD, WDSD.com and the iHeartRadio app.

In addition to Klatzkin, long time fixture around the Blue Hens, Bill Harman will join the radio team for the spring game and for the entire 2018 season. Harman has been the color analyst for the Delaware men’s basketball team for the past five seasons and has coached both football and basketball in the state of Delaware for the past four decades.

Harman replaces UD Hall of Famer Eddie Conti, who recently changed careers and has limited availability this fall.

“It was an honor being a part of the Blue Hens broadcast team last season. I truly enjoyed being a part of the amazing Delaware gameday atmosphere, once again, and appreciate the fans embracing me in my new role,” Conti said. “Unfortunately, my schedule will not allow me to continue on as color analyst, but I look forward to tuning in for what should be an exciting season for UD Football.”

Joining Klatzkin and Harman for the Spring Game and this fall will be Cory Nidoh, who returns to the sidelines for his second season with the Blue Hens.

Also on Saturday, April 21stwill be the annual Football Select-Your-Seat Event in Delaware Stadium will allow patrons to purchase 2018 Delaware Football season tickets. 

The Blue-White Spring Game at 3:30 p.m. will give fans the first chance to see the 2018 Delaware Football team in action!
Related Links

Blue Hen Brotherly Love: Quartet of Brothers Enjoy Being Teammates
By Delaware Athletics
Apr 10, 2018

NEWARK, Del. – Competitive spirit is usually starts at an early age and can often be traced back to sibling rivalries in the backyard.

For four sets of brothers, that competitive spirit continued as collegiate teammates at the University of Delaware.

“Growing up, you always end up competing in the backyard and as you get older, you talk about playing together, but to actually have this opportunity, it’s awesome,” MJ Kehoe (football) said.

The Kehoe brothers (Pat and MJ) are actually part of triplets, with their sister McKayla. They aren’t the only brothers on the Blue Hen football team, joining the star linebacker duo of Colby and Troy Reeder.

In addition to the football brothers, Will and Stephen Hirschmann lace it up for the men’s lacrosse team, while Luis and Asdrubal Marcano are part of Delaware’s men’s tennis team.

“For us, it’s really unique because we’re able to play together and talk different languages and no one knows what we’re talking about besides us,” Luis Marcano said.

Becoming a Division I athlete is rarified air. In most sports, less than three percent of high school athletes become an athlete at the Division I level. The impact of being able to achieve that feat with your sibling is not lost on these Blue Hens.

“I was a part of his recruiting process because I knew how special it would be to play with my brother in college, it’s not an opportunity that many people get, so to have the chance to play with him for two years and have our parents see us on the same team, it means a lot,” Will Hirschmann said.

And for the Reeders brothers, playing together at their dad’s alma mater is even more unique.

“We grew up coming to games here and watching all the great players. We used to go home and reenact guys like [Joe] Flacco, Omar Cuff and Paul Worrilow,” Colby Reeder said. “To do that alongside each other, it’s pretty awesome.”

Report: LB Worrilow, UD and Concord alum, to sign with Eagles

24/7 News Source 
Published Apr 3, 2018 

Worrilow is expected to provide depth to the Eagles' defense and special teams.

The 27-year-old was a part-time starter in his lone season with the Detroit Lions last season. He finished with 30 tackles and one fumble recovery in 13 games.

Worrilow has recorded 416 tackles and four sacks in 72 career games with the Atlanta Falcons and Lions. He also collected three forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

The 6' 1", 232 lb. Worrilow was originally signed as a college free agent by the Falcons following the 2013 NFL Draft out of Delaware. Report: LB Worrilow, UD and Concord alum, to sign with Eagles


Spring Game and Fandemonium IX on Saturday, April 21

Courtesy of UD

There will be plenty for you to enjoy on Saturday, April 21 at Blue Hens Fandemonium IX presented by Louviers Federal Credit Union at the UD Athletics Complex. The day will be filled with family fun and Blue Hens competition!

The Anchor Buick GMC Fan Zone will be open from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will feature FREE entertainment for all ages including pony rides, interactive inflatables, music, games, food sampling, giveaways, laser tag, photo booth snapshots, face painting, and more. All of the fun in the Anchor Buick GMC Fan Zone is FREE for all fans! Food, drinks, and UDairy ice cream will also be available for purchase.

At the same time, the annual Football Select-Your-Seat Event in Delaware Stadium will allow patrons to purchase 2018 Delaware Football season tickets. The Blue-White Spring Game at 3:30 p.m. will give fans the first chance to see the 2018 Delaware Football team in action!

You can also root on Blue Hens Softball as they take on College of Charleston at 12:00 p.m. and Delaware Baseball as they take on James Madison at 1:00 p.m. Admission and parking for all events are free.

12:00 p.m. Softball vs. College of Charleston
1:00 p.m. Baseball vs. James Madison
1:30 p.m. Fan Zone Opens
Select-Your-Seat Event Begins
3:30 p.m. Football Blue-White Spring Game Kicks-Off
4:30 p.m. Fan Zone Closes


Reeder, Blue Hens Fueled By Unfinished Business
By Delaware Athletics
Mar 21, 2018

NEWARK, Del. – It may sound cliché, but there’s a fire that is burning inside the University of Delaware football spring practices.

A heightened level of intensity and tenacity. A raised level of enthusiasm when it comes to routine drills. Where is this coming from?

“I’ve never seen the intensity and competitiveness so high with any team I’ve ever been around,” senior Troy Reeder said. “We know that we left some unfinished business out there. We know that we left things on the table. There’s a fuel that is burning inside all of us from last year.”

Reeder and the Blue Hens piled up seven wins last fall, the most by Delaware since 2013. However, they all know how close they came to the program’s first FCS postseason berth since 2010.

“We had plenty of opportunities to seize last year, but ultimately, we left it up to others because we weren’t able to get the job done completely. This year, we are focused on tightening up the details and making sure that we are ready to take advantage of everything that is put in front of us,” Reeder said.

This spring also brings with it the second season under Coach Rocco and his staff, which allows everyone, student-athletes and coaches alike to fine tune their craft.

“Last year, we spent a lot of time learning each other. Not only the playbooks and systems, but also how they wanted things done and them learning our strengths,” Reeder said. “This year has been so great because we know each other now. Now it’s about fine tuning all those details and making sure we get better every time we step on the field.”

Reeder and the Blue Hens step back on the practice field on Thursday, March 22 at 2:45 p.m.


Pro Day Brings Pursuit of NFL Dreams To Reality For Blue Hens
By Delaware Athletics
Mar 20, 2018

NEWARK, Del. – There were backyard games against the neighborhood kids, pop warner games, high school games and outstanding careers as Blue Hens.

All of that led up to Monday afternoon’s NFL Pro Day at the University of Delaware for nine former Blue Hens. The list of former Blue Hens included Anthony Jackson, Grant Roberts, Blaine Woodson, Diante Cherry, Brandon Whaley, Bilal Nichols, John Nassib, Simba Gwashavanhu and Eric Patton.

Descending upon Delaware Field House were approximately 23 scouts, including at least one NFL General Manager, from 20 different pro organizations to get measurements and conduct tests in the vertical jump, bench press, broad jump, three cone drill and shuttle drills, along with on-the-field drills with each position group.

“I’ve been extremely blessed to have incredible coaches and teammates throughout my career and they all helped us get to this day,” Nichols said. “To be able to showcase my abilities and skills in front of so many NFL organizations, it’s an honor for me just to have that opportunity.”

This year’s NFL Draft is set for April 26-28.

“I’ve been preparing for this day for a long time, it’s a day we’ve all dreamt about,” Woodson added. “Now it’s just time to hope that someone gives us a shot.”


Flacco Invests in UD Athletics
Date: Mar 14, 2018 
Courtesey of Delaware First: The Campaign for the University of Delaware 

We are excited to share with you that one of the most successful student-athletes in University of Delaware history, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, and his wife, Dana, have made a significant gift to the future of UD Athletics. As part of Delaware First: The Campaign for the University of Delaware, the Flacco family's gift will directly support UD Athletics’ Building Our Home initiative, including the construction of the Whitney Athletic Center and the renovation of Delaware Stadium.

“Football and family,” Joe says, when asked what matters most in his life. In fact, it was the Flaccos’ four children that inspired the couple to give back to Joe’s alma mater. “We are at a point in our lives where we are raising our kids and thinking about their education. It has allowed me to think about how important UD was for me in my development. I am thrilled to be a part of making the University even better for future generations,” said Flacco, Class of 2008.

With this significant investment into the Delaware Athletics facility campaign, over $52 million has been committed towards the $60 million goal. With $7.8 million remaining to raise before construction begins, UD Athletics is relying on its dedicated supporters to reach its goal of shovels in the ground after the 2018 football season.


Homecoming and Parents Weekend Dates Set for 2018
By Delaware Athletics
Mar 12, 2018

NEWARK, Del. – Football Saturdays in Newark build memories for a lifetime.

More memories are set to be created this upcoming fall when the University of Delaware hosts their annual Homecoming and Parents/Family Weekend.

Those dates have been solidified for 2018 with Parents/Family Weekend set for the Oct. 13th football game against Elon and Homecoming slated for Oct. 27th against Towson.

For the second straight year, Delaware Athletics will host its Celebration of Champions recognition during Homecoming Weekend. The recognition honors NCAA and conference championship teams that are celebrating their 10, 20, 25, 30, 40 and 50-year anniversaries. Student-athlete alumni that were part of these teams will participate in an on-field ceremony at Delaware Stadium prior to kickoff.

This year, Delaware athletics will honor the following championship teams:

50 years – 1968 Football, 1969 Men’s Golf

40 years - 1979 Men’s Track, 1979 Baseball

30 years – 1988 Field Hockey, 1988 Football, 1989 Women’s Swimming, 1989 Men’s Swimming, 1989 Women’s Basketball, 1989 Women’s Tennis, 1989 Baseball, 1989 Men’s Golf

25 years – 1994 Men’s Track & Field

20 years – 1999 Baseball, 1999 Men’s Lacrosse, 1999 Men’s Basketball, 1999 Men’s Indoor Track & Field

10 years – 2008 Volleyball

Season tickets are on sale now. Renewing season ticket members can click here to access the season ticket renewal application. Fans interested in becoming a new season ticket member can do so for as low as $89 (less than $15 per game) and payments can be split into four equal monthly payments using the Payment Plan option.

Fans who purchase new season tickets now will have priority to select new seats during the seating assignment process that will begin on April 17th. More information can be found in the 2018 Season Ticket Guide.

To become a new season ticket holder, please click here or call The Delaware Ticket Office at (302) 831-2257. Fans can also request to be contacted by a Ticket Office representative by clicking here.

Full game times and additional game information will be provided at a later date.


Rocco Finalizes Coaching Staff For 2018
By Delaware Athletics
Mar 1, 2018

NEWARK, Del. – With spring football right around the corner, University of Delaware football head coach Danny Rocco has finalized his coaching staff for the upcoming season.

Joining Rocco’s staff will be a familiar face to Blue Hens fans as Nick Rapone will take over the cornerback coaching duties, along with Kevin Reihner (Offensive Assistant/Tight Ends Coach) and Greg Meyer (Recruiting Assistant/Offensive Quality Control).

Recent alum Jalen Kindle will join the coaching staff as the Defensive Assistant and work with the linebackers, while Manny Rojas and Clint Sintim, will serve as Co-Special Teams Coordinators, along with their coaching duties with the inside and outside linebackers.

“I’m really excited to complete our staff as we head into our second season here at Delaware. We’ve really been able to round out our staff with extremely knowledgeable and experienced coaches and it puts us in a good position headed into spring ball in a few weeks,” Rocco said.

Rapone returns to Delaware after spending five seasons working with the Arizona Cardinals defensive backs. He coached five Pro-Bowl selections and two All-Pro selections during his time in Phoenix. This is Rapone’s second stint with the Blue Hens, after he served as the defensive coordinator from 2006-12, where he was a part of two National Championship game appearances (2007, 2010). He also had stints on the defensive staffs at Temple, UConn, Pittsburgh and ETSU.

“A lot of our fans and supporters are familiar with Nick as he spent numerous years here with a lot of success working with K.C. [Keeler]. I’ve known him for quite some time and was certainly excited to here about his interest in the job and the knowledge and experience he will bring to our staff,” Rocco said.

Reihner joins the staff after spending last year as an offensive assistant at Wake Forest and the 2016-17 campaign as the Offensive Quality Control Specialist at Fordham. He played collegiately at Stanford University and Penn State, where he was a member of the offensive line and a part of three consecutive BCS bowl games.

Meyer is a familiar face to Offensive Coordinator Matt Simon and new QBs Coach Alex Wood, having worked alongside both of them at the University of Buffalo. Meyer spent the past five seasons with the Bulls, where he was served on the offensive staff in various capacities, including player development, wide receivers and offensive quality control. Prior to coaching at Buffalo, Meyer worked with the wide receivers and DBs and Lycoming College. Meyer’s collegiate playing career was also at Buffalo, where he was a three-time All-Conference selection.

Kindle remains in Newark and transitions into the coaching role, after playing the past five years with the linebacking core. He was a four-time CAA All-Academic Conference honoree and this past year was a finalist for the Campbell Trophy Award, the academic Heisman for FCS and FBS programs.

The Blue Hens take to the field for the first time this spring on Tuesday, March 13. A full practice schedule can be found at BlueHens.com.


Blue Hens Set To Open Practice March 13, Fandemonium and Spring Game Set for April 21
By Delaware Athletics
Feb 7, 2018

NEWARK, Del. – After a seven-win season and a top-30 ranking last fall, anticipation is quite high for the 2018 University of Delaware football season.

Preparation for that season will start March 13 as the Blue Hens have announced their full 15-day spring practice schedule.

Delaware will practice Tuesdays (2:45), Thursdays (2:45), Saturdays (10:30) and Sundays (10:30) up until spring break and start up again on April 5 when students return from break. All practices are open to the public.

The spring schedule will be capped off with ninth annual Blue Hen Fandemonium, presented by Louviers Federal Credit Union, which will run in conjunction with the Annual Blue-White Spring Game on Saturday, April 21st at 3:30 p.m.

Delaware fans of all ages are invited to come out and enjoy an action-packed day with Blue Hen Athletics & Recreation, including a full day of free entertainment and plenty of chances to root on the Blue Hens on the field! The Anchor Buick GMC Fan Zone, located in front of the west entrance of Delaware Stadium, will feature numerous family fun including inflatable activities for all ages, music, games, face painting, giveaways and much more.


Wood Brings Wealth Of Experience To Blue Hens' Coaching Staff as QB Coach
By Delaware Athletics
Feb 2, 2018

NEWARK, Del. – With more than 35 years of coaching experience at both the collegiate and professional levels, there’s no doubt that Alex Wood will bring a wealth of knowledge to the University of Delaware football program.

Wood will join Head Coach Danny Rocco’s coaching staff and will take over the QB coaching duties. The Massillon, Ohio native has been a head coach at two FCS schools, the latest coming at Florida A&M. He is no stranger to the CAA, serving as the head coach at JMU from 1995-98.

“We’re really excited to have Alex join our coaching staff. He brings an impressive resume of success and has been an outstanding coach for a number of years at a variety of different places and levels,” Rocco said. “He has served on offensive staffs in the NFL, he has been a head coach at the FCS levels and has been on several offensive staffs at the BCS levels as well.”

With Wood’s addition, offensive coordinator Matt Simon, will move to a focus with the running backs. Assistant Coach Bill Polin will take over the offensive line duties.

“With Alex’s addition, it not only brings someone with a wealth of knowledge and experience, but it also allows us to move Matt and Bill into roles they have plenty of experience with as well and can help us as we game plan each week,” Rocco added.

Wood’s collegiate experience began as a student-athlete at Iowa as a running back and special teams player. After graduation, he switched into the coaching role and served as a graduate assistant with the Hawkeyes.

He followed with stops at Kent State (1979-80), Southern Illinois (1981), Southern (1982-84) and Wyoming (1985-86).

Wood’s BCS experience started in 1987 at Washington State and followed with four years at the University of Miami, where he was a part of two national championship teams, including a perfect 12-0 season in 1991.

After two years at Wake Forest, Wood’s first head coaching opportunity came at JMU in 1995, where he led the Dukes to the Division I-AA playoffs in just his first season.

Wood moved to the pro ranks in 1999, when Dennis Green hired him to serve as the QBs coach with the Minnesota Vikings, where he worked for four seasons. In 2000, Dante Culpepper earned All-Pro status under his tutelage.

He also spent time with the Bengals and Arizona Cardinals, before moving back to the collegiate ranks in 2006 as the QBs coach at Arkansas for two seasons. A one-year stint at Miami (Ohio) was followed by four seasons at Buffalo, where he served as the offensive coordinator and QBs coach.

In 2015, Wood jumped back into the head coaching role at Florida A&M, where he spent the past three seasons before joining the Blue Hens. 


Nichols Invited to NFL Combine
By Delaware Athletics
Jan 29, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Just a few months into his post-collegiate life, it’s not taking Bilal Nichols long to rack up frequent flyer miles.

Nichols, who has participated in the East West Shrine Game and the Reese’s Senior Bowl in the past two weeks, earned yet another opportunity to perform in front of NFL eyes, getting an invite to next month’s NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

The Delaware native becomes just the seventh University of Delaware student-athlete to earn an invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine, joining Nick Boyle (2015), Zach Kerr (2014), Joe Flacco (2008), Pat Devlin (2011), Ben Patrick (2007) and Eddie Conti (1999).

The NFL Scouting Combine will include over 300 of the top college football players in the country. Top executives, coaching staffs, player personnel departments, and medical personnel from all 32 NFL teams will be on hand to evaluate the nation’s top college football players eligible for the upcoming NFL Draft. Nichols will work out with the other defensive line on March 4. The event will once again be televised live on the NFL Network.

“Getting invited to the combine is a tremendous honor and another chance to represent the University of Delaware,” Nichols said. “The past two weeks with the Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl were great experiences and opportunities for me, and I am looking at the Combine the same way. I am very excited. I can’t wait to get out to Indianapolis.”

The 6-4, 290 lb. Nichols is the first UD defensive lineman to earn All-American honors since 2013. He also earned first team All-Colonial Athletic Association and third team All-Eastern College Athletic Conference (All-East) honors.

A four-year standout, Nichols played in 44 career games with 21 starts and recorded 104 tackles (50 solo), 10.5 sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, two interceptions, and 10 pass breakups.


Nichols Earns Invite To Reese's Senior Bowl
By Delaware Athletics
Jan 24, 2018

MOBILE, Ala. – When big time players make big time plays in big time games, they get noticed.

That’s exactly what happened to Bilal Nichols, who had a sensation week at last week’s East West Shrine Game in St. Petersburg, Fla. His efforts garnered more attention from NFL organizations, which landed him another chance to display his talents at the prestigious Reese’s Senior Bowl on January 27.

He becomes the fifth Blue Hen in program history to earn a Senior Bowl invitation, joining Dennis Johnson (’73), Ben Patrick (’07), Joe Flacco (’08) and Nick Boyle (’15).

Nichols finished his career as an All-American and three-time All-CAA selection played in 44 career games with 21 starts and recorded 104 tackles (50 solo), 10.5 sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, two interceptions, and 10 pass breakups.

The game will be shown live on NFL Network at 2:30 p.m. from Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.


Nichols Takes The National Stage At East-West Shrine Game

By Delaware Athletics Jan 19, 2018

The streets of Chester, Pa., aren’t the easiest place to grow up. On the outskirts of Philadelphia, Chester’s crime rate and drug population make it a difficult environment to raise a child.

That’s where Bilal Nichols’ story began. Running around the streets of Chester under the supervision of his grandparents, Adova and Dolores Bolton, Nichols quickly found a home in the the athletic community, starring in both basketball and football.

“It’s crazy to think about where my story started and now I’m sitting in meetings with NFL scouts and having the opportunity to play in front of a national audience. It’s really humbling for me,” Nichols said.

The opportunity that Nichols is talking about is the East West Shrine Game, which is being played in St. Petersburg, Fla. this weekend at Tropicana Field. It will be shown live on the NFL Network.

“I’ve tried to soak it in as much as possible. To have the chance to play against so many talented players and compete against some of the top collegiate players in the country, I’m incredibly grateful,” Nichols said.

Nichols’ week began last Saturday with his arrival in Florida and getting situated at the hotel. Sunday brought some team meetings and a visit to the Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Petersburg, where the players met and spent time with the patients.

“You quickly realize how lucky you are when you spend time with those kids. The game of football seems pretty small when you are seeing some of the things that those kids are fighting against every single day. It’s pretty humbling,” Nichols added.

The rest of Nichols’ week has been jam-packed, starting at 7 a.m. and usually not ending until close to 10 p.m. In between, he’s been in practices, drill sessions, workouts, meetings with coaches and interviews with NFL organizations and scouts.

Nichols and his defensive linemates have spent the week being coached by Marcus Lewis, the son of Marvin Lewis, longtime head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals.

“It’s been a pretty busy week, but it’s been awesome to have the chance to compete against these guys and really showcase my abilities in front of so many scouts,” Nichols said.

And one thing Nichols has been sure to do all week? Rep the Blue and Gold.

“Every place I go, I’m wearing my Delaware gear and talking about Delaware. I want everyone to know that the 302 has the talent. I want people to know about Delaware football and the tradition that we have. I’m proud to be a Blue Hen,” Nichols stated.

Nichols recorded the first sack of the game that resulted in a fumble for the first touchdown of  the game.


Former players full of Tubby Raymond stories at memorial for Blue Hen coach
Jan 13th, 2018 · by Andy Walter  - Delaware State News

Video of Memorial Service: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SjkmeGyGEE&feature=youtu.be

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at Friday’s Tubby Raymond memorial. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

NEWARK — So here’s a story for you, said Billy Vergantino.

The first time the future Delaware quarterback met Tubby Raymond, he was a little nervous.

The Blue Hens football coaching legend was coming to Vergantino’s house to recruit the high school senior.

Vergantino remembers thinking through what he was going to say while his family was making sure the house was straightened up.

Everything was perfect — until Raymond walked through the door.

“My brother, who’s five, takes a full-out sprint from across the room and launches himself at Coach Raymond,” says Vergantino, picking up the story. “He’s airborne, heading towards Coach. And Coach has no option but to catch him and the kid’s legs wrap around him.

“He (Raymond) is like, ‘Geez, hey kiddo.’ If you know Coach Raymond, it’s going to make you laugh when you picture this, right?”

There were a thousand stories like that flying around the Carpenter Center on Friday afternoon.

Hundreds of Raymond’s former players came together for a memorial service for the late Hall of Fame coach. Raymond, who died on Dec. 8 at the age of 92, spent 48 years coaching football at Delaware, including 36 seasons as head coach.

The memorial may have been as big a single gathering of former Blue Hen football players, both old and young, as there’s ever been.

They all talked about the respect they held for their old coach, his constant attention to detail and his ability to make them feel like they were playing for something bigger than themselves.

But with that many former players all in one place, there were bound to be Tubby stories.

Lots of them.

Raymond’s son David told the audience about the first time he got to punt for his father. It was after the Hens’ starter got injured in the first half of a game.

David said he was a nervous wreck.

So, when the time finally came, the younger Raymond was standing next to assistant coach Ted Kempski on the sidelines.

David said his father looked at Kempski and said, “Is that all we’ve got?”

Former star quarterback Rich Gannon remembers the time Raymond was making the QBs practice form tackling in the spring.

“I was over there and I must have been fooling around or something,” said Gannon. “Tubby was watching from the other field. He screamed over in that voice, he said, ‘Gannon, you better figure out how to do that because you’re going to throw a lot of interceptions. You’re going to need to learn how to tackle.’”

Tubby Raymond memorabilia on display at Friday’s memorial.

Even former Vice President Joe Biden had a story about playing for Raymond. Biden was a member of UD’s freshman team in 1961 when Raymond was an assistant coach.

Biden said he had been particularly fast in a drill where the defensive backs worked on back-pedaling.

“Tubby looked at me in classic Tubby Raymond frame of mind and said, ‘Biden, I don’t know what kind of player you’re going to end up being but I never saw anyone who could run backwards as fast as you,’” Biden told the crowd. “I didn’t know whether to tell him to go to hell or say ‘thanks.’”

Of course all the stories weren’t about Tubby’s infamous one-liners.

Leon Clarke, now an associate principal at Smyrna High, remembers the pressure of trying to get Raymond his 300th career victory in 2001.

The milestone came in a 10-6 win over Richmond in Tubby’s last game coaching in Delaware Stadium.

“You don’t want to leave Coach Raymond at 299,” said Clarke, who played defensive back. “We tossed him up on our shoulders and we carried him off the field for the legend he is, was and will always be for us. Being a part of that process, it was incredible.”

With so many players in town on Friday, former standout fullback Dan Reeder was sure there would be a lot of debates over whose teams were the best.

But he said every player would also agree that there was something special about the way Raymond made them feel about the program.

“We were always prepared,” said Reeder. “I never remember coming into a game at Delaware thinking that we were the underdog. I always thought that we were the favorite. That’s one thing the Wing-T gave us. When it was cranking, it was exciting to watch and it was exciting to run.

“You always heard the people saying, ‘Turn the page Tubby, turn the page.’ But there was a method to his madness. He was very smart and he had smart guys around him.”

What was clear on Friday was that all the preaching Tubby did about Delaware football tradition is a very tangible thing.

The players who came out for the memorial were bonded not only by being part of Blue Hen football but in their experience of being coached by the man himself. Even after he retired in 2002, Raymond was still around the program, painting his trademark senior portraits up until midway through this past season.

So while guys who became stars playing for Raymond — like Gannon, Reeder, George Schmitt and Scott Brunner — were on hand, so were younger players, like Joe Flacco and Pat Devlin, who were never coached by Tubby.

There was also a realization that, with the way college coaches move around now, there aren’t likely to be many more coaches like Raymond, who are involved with so many players at one program.

“I really think it’s special, it’s unique,” said Brian Ginn, another former Blue Hen QB. “You’re not going to see 35 years at one school again, in my opinion.

“It’s really a special bond that we all carry. We may not know each other but we played for Coach Raymond. Once we see each other, there’s that instant bond right then and there.”


QB Wade transferring to Hens; UD gets dramatic hoop win; Wesley men win big
Jan 12th, 2018 · by Delaware State News 

Wesley guard Brian Cameron goes up for a shot jumper defended by Jordan Johnson (right) and Daniel Alexander of Frostburg State. Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

Darius Wade is coming home for his last year of college football.

The former Middletown High standout quarterback announced on social media on Saturday that he is transferring to Delaware.

A 6-foot, 215-pound lefthander, Wade will have one season of eligibility remaining after spending the last four years at Boston College.

“I am more than blessed to have this great opportunity to be a part of the blue hen family,” Wade wrote on his Instagram page. “Now it’s time to get to work and bring a championship back to our great Delaware fans because you guys deserve it!”

The addition of the 2012 state Offensive Player of the Year means the Blue Hens will have three senior QBs with starting experience in Joe Walker, J.P. Caruso and Wade.

Wade had an up-and-down career at BC, earning the starting job early in his sophomore season before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. He completed 62-of-102 passes with three touchdowns and three interceptions this past season, starting his final three games.

College basketball

MEN, Delaware 61, James Madison 60: Ryan Daly hit an off-balance jumper with 14 seconds remaining before JMU missed at the buzzer as the Blue Hens scored the final eight points of the game to pull out a dramatic CAA win.

JW Lawson of Wesley goes airborne for a layup in the first half against Frostburg State Saturday. Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

The Hens (11-8, 4-2 CAA), who won their third straight game, trailed 60-53 with 3:06 left. Anthony Mosley (11 points) scored on a driving layup to bring Delaware within a point, and following a Dukes miss, Daly (19) grabbed the rebound and went the length of the floor before hitting a tough eight-foot jumper to give the Hens the lead.

“Ryan Daly wants the ball in his hands, and he hit a big shot to give us the lead,” said UD coach Martin Ingelsby. “We have a confident group that is learning how to win games. We have a good vibe about us, and I like where we’re at as a program.”

Ryan Allen contributed 14 points while Eric Carter added nine points and a season-high 13 rebounds.

Wesley 72, Frostburg State 51: Brian Cameron netted 26 points to pace the Wolverines (3-5 CAC, 7-8 overall) to the win.

Trailing by two, Wesley finished the contest on a 29-8 run. J.W. Lawson (11 points, 9 rebounds), Derick Charles (6 points, 10 rebounds) also led the Wolverines.

WOMEN, Frostburg State 52, Wesley 41: Stacey O’Neale and Paige Hailstock, tallied 12 points and 10 points respectively, for the Wolverines in the loss.

Boys’ basketball

Caesar Rodney 70, Sussex Central 43: Davione Robinson netted 22 points with Shaft Clark adding 21 to pace the Riders to the Henlopen North win on Friday night.

Leading by two, CR outscored the Golden Knights 58-33 over the final three quarters.

The Knights were led by Ryhlee Matthews (18 points) and Jahlier Pettyjohn (15).

St. Mark’s 51, Milford 33: Daniel Shockley had 11 points for the Buccaneers in the loss.

Girls’ basketball

St. Thomas More 63, Wilm. Christian 35: Aniah Patterson tallied 24 points, including four three-pointers, and DahNaija Barnes added 15 to lead the Ravens.

With the game tied 10-10, St. Thomas More outscored the Lions, 23-7, in the second quarter.

Chicago Bears Name Former Blue Hen All-American Matt Nagy Head Coach
By Delaware Athletics
Jan 8, 2018

CHICAGO -- A former University of Delaware Blue Hen is now ready to fly in the Windy City.

Matt Nagy, an All-American quarterback for Delaware during a record-breaking career in 1997-2000 and most recently the offensive coordinator for the National Football League's Kansas City Chiefs, was named head coach of the Chicago Bears on Monday. He replaces John Fox, who served as the Bears' head coach the last three seasons.

Nagy, a native of Manheim, Pa., becomes the first former Blue Hen to earn a head coaching position in the National Football League. His general manager at Kansas City, Brett Veach, is also a former UD football teammate and standout.

Both played for legendary Delaware head coach Tubby Raymond, who served as head coach of the Blue Hens for 36 seasons in 1966-2001. A member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Raymond passed away last month at the age of 92.

Nagy, who has served on Andy Reid's staff with both the Philadelphia Eagles (2008-12) and the Chiefs (2013-17), was promoted to the Chiefs' offensive coordinator position prior to the 2016 season. He led Kansas City to the NFL playoffs four times over the last five years under Reid, including each of the last three seasons.

A strong-armed quarterback, Nagy led Delaware to the 2000 NCAA FCS semifinals when he earned third team The Sports Network All-American honors and was a first team All-Atlantic 10 selection. 

He rewrote the Delaware record books, setting marks for career completions (502), yards (8,214), and touchdowns (58), season yards (3,426) and touchdowns (29), and yardage in a game (556). He broke several records held by former NFL Most Valuable Player Rich Gannon and also had a few of his marks broken by current Baltimore Ravens veteran quarterback Joe Flacco.

Nagy continued his career in the Arena Football League and played six seasons for four different organizations and led two of them to the Arena Bowl Championship. He earned second team All-Arena honors in 2005 with the Georgia Force.

In addition to Nagy and Veach, Delaware has five current players in the NFL, including Flacco (Baltimore); safety Mike Adams (Carolina); linebacker Paul Worrilow (Detroit), tight end Nick Boyle (Baltimore); and defensive tackle Zach Kerr (Denver).

Among the NFL coaching ranks, former UD head coach Dave Brock is an offensive assistant coach and former UD assistant Kyle Flood is assistant offensive line coach with Atlanta; former assistant John Perry is the wide receivers coach with Houston; former assistant Devin Fitzsimmons is a special teams assistant with Detroit; former assistant Nick Rapone is defensive backs coach at Arizona; and former Delaware wide receiver Joey Bleymaier is an offensive quality control coach with Kansas City.


Chicago Bears hire former UD QB, Kansas City Chiefs assistant Matt Nagy as head coach

DJ McAneny & Sean Greene Published Jan 8, 2018 

Nagy was a former Manheim Central High School, University of Delaware, and Arena Football League standout, and joined former Eagles head coach Andy Reid in Kansas City as the Chiefs' quarterbacks. He'll now be at the helm of the Chicago Bears. 

Former University of Delaware quarterback Matt Nagy has been named the next head coach of the Chicago Bears.

Nagy, who graduated from UD in 2001, spent the last five years as an assistant coach under former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid in Kansas City, including serving as Offensive Coordinator in 2017.

The Lancaster, Pennsylvania product split time as a starter with Brian Ginn during his career at Delaware, but left the school holding over 20 career passing records, including passing yards (8,214) and touchdowns (58).

He then went on to a career in the Arena Football League, playing for four teams and throwing for 18,666 yards and 374 touchdowns.

In his down time, he was slowly working his way up the coaching ranks. Nagy started working as an assistant coach at his high school alma mater, Manheim Central (2001), and added stops at New Jersey's Cedar Crest and Palmyra Area high schools.

Reid then brought Nagy in as a coaching intern during Eagles training camp in 2008 and 2009, before serving as a coaching assistant in 2010.


Former Blue Hen All-American, NFL Standout Rich Gannon Gives to Delaware First
By Delaware Athletics
Jan 8, 2018
by Tywanda L. Cuffy

NEWARK, Del. -- Less than two months after the public announcement of Delaware First: The Campaign for the University of Delaware, alumnus and retired National Football League star Richard J. Gannon, of the Class of 1987, and, his wife, Michelle D. Gannon, stepped forward with a major commitment to UD Athletics.

The Gannons’ gift will support Athletics’ Building Our Home initiative, with the construction of the Whitney Athletic Center and the renovation of Delaware Stadium.

“We felt it was important to recognize all the wonderful things that Delaware is trying to do to ensure student-athletes have the best opportunities, the best facilities and the best chance at being successful,” said Gannon.

UD Director of Athletics and Recreation Services Chrissi Rawak said she is humbled by the Gannons’ contribution.

“Rich is the true definition of a Blue Hen, and we are grateful that in addition to all he’s done for UD as an alum, he and his family have chosen to invest in Building Our Home through a philanthropic gift,” Rawak said. “He’s a tremendous leader, and we are appreciative that he is one of many football alumni who have stepped up and contributed to this important project, investing in the future of Delaware Football and Delaware Athletics.”

Beyond fortifying UD’s athletic facilities, Gannon truly hopes that his gift will transform the lives of student-athletes.

“I think it’s imperative that we continue to develop the best student-athletes that there are in college football and set the bar high through our standard of excellence and our commitment to the institution, to education and to the core values that we hold near and dear to our hearts,” Gannon said. “We have to never lose sight of our ultimate goal to develop young people in being the very best that they can be, so that when they leave, they will be difference makers.”
Playing for Delaware

Gannon first became acquainted with Delaware Football in the early ‘80s, when he traveled to UD from Philadelphia to watch his older brother and alumnus John J. Gannon, of the Class of 1984, play as a three-year starter for the Blue Hens.

“I thought UD would be a great place to get a great education and play for a really solid college football program,” Rich Gannon said.

Shortly thereafter, the younger Gannon found himself honored to start for Delaware under the leadership of legendary Delaware Coach Tubby Raymond. When Gannon looks back to his first game as a starting quarterback, two distinct things come to mind.

“We won, and I got hurt,” he said with a laugh. It was Gannon’s sophomore year, and he was playing against James Madison University at Delaware Stadium. “I got hit really good by a guy named Charles Haley, who was a defensive-end for JMU.”

Unbeknownst to Gannon at the time, Haley would go on to win five Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys and be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Despite the challenge of that starting game, Gannon went on to enjoy a successful football career as a Blue Hen. As a sophomore, Gannon won the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division I-AA Rookie of the Year award. During his senior year, Gannon was recognized as the Yankee Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year and was an honorable mention All-American selection. He set 21 school records, including total offense (7,432 yards), passing yards (5,927), pass attempts (845) and completions (462) and was the only Delaware player at the time to achieve at least 2,000 yards of offense three years in a row.

“I took great pride in playing for Delaware,” Gannon said. “My best friends are not players I played with in the NFL, but players I played with at Delaware.”
A Hen in the NFL

After graduation, Gannon entered the 1987 NFL draft, where the New England Patriots picked him in the fourth round. The Patriots traded Gannon to the Minnesota Vikings before the 1987 season. Gannon then played 12 seasons as a quarterback for the Vikings, the Washington Redskins and the Kansas City Chiefs, before joining the Oakland Raiders in 1999. In 2002, he set NFL and franchise records in leading the Raiders to their third straight AFC Western Division title and advancing to Super Bowl XXXVII as the AFC champions. That year he was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player. Gannon ended his 17-season NFL career with 180 touchdown passes and 2,533 completions in 4,206 attempts for 28,743 yards. Gannon credits his start at Delaware to many of the things he was able to accomplish in the NFL.

“The ability to process a lot of information quickly, the preparation, the learning, the studying, the memorizing and the core value of taking care of myself both mentally and physically, I learned as a player at Delaware,” he said. In August 2005, Gannon retired before the start of his 18th NFL season and later that year was inducted into the UD Athletics Hall of Fame. In 2017, he was named to the UD Alumni Association’s Wall of Fame.
From NFL to CBS

When Gannon retired from football in 2005, he joined CBS-TV and for the past 13 years has worked as a game analyst for the NFL on CBS. He is a highly regarded sports analyst and like the NFL, his job takes him all over the country where he is met frequently by an ever-growing brotherhood of Delaware Football alumni. In Kansas City, the general manager, Brett Veach, of the Class of 2002 and 2004, and the offensive coordinator, Matt Nagy, of the Class of 2001, are Delaware alumni who both played for Raymond. At a production meeting in Baltimore, Gannon once sat across from alumnus Joe Flacco, quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens. While covering a game in Indiana, he ran into alumnus Mike Adams, safety for the Carolina Panthers (who then played for the Indianapolis Colts). The list goes on and on.

“It goes to show that you can play at Delaware and be in the Super Bowl or be an MVP,” Gannon said. “There’s no limit as to what you can accomplish.”
Remembering Tubby

Gannon’s pride for Delaware is deeply rooted in the close relationships he forged with other Blue Hens, including the one with the late Tubby Raymond.

“Tubby instilled toughness, discipline, dedication, perseverance and character in his program – really a lot of the core qualities and characteristics that you’re looking for in any person – not just a football player or an athlete,” Gannon said. Tubby became a mentor to Gannon over the years, someone he revered greatly, and Gannon credits Raymond for teaching him how to handle the adversity that comes with being a professional football player. “You don’t play 18 years in the National Football League if it weren’t for Tubby Raymond and the University of Delaware. Every day was a lesson with Tubby.”
Continuing the Legacy

Appreciating the lifelong relationships he has forged at Delaware, Gannon hopes his gift will afford other student-athletes the same experiences, opportunities and memories he had.

“I hope and anticipate that the players that go through under Coach Rocco will get the same experience, because I know what he stands for … I know what drives this guy,” Gannon said.

Coach Danny Rocco expressed similar admiration of Gannon and other Delaware football alumni who have supported him in his new role as head football coach.

“I have truly been touched by the kindness and support shown by the Delaware football alumni community in my first year as a Blue Hen. The conversations I have had with student-athlete alumni have demonstrated a strong passion for the Blue and Gold, and I appreciate the legacy they have paved for our current players. The traditions, the greatness and the tenacity of Delaware football starts with our alums. As a coach, I have seen firsthand how pivotal it is to have a strong alumni network, and I feel fortunate to have that here at Delaware.”
Banding Together

The Delaware football alumni network is indeed strong. In addition to Gannon, nearly 20 other UD football alumni and their families have made individual major contributions in support of UD’s Athletic Facilities.

“We are so fortunate to have such a committed football alumni family here at Delaware. So many have been generous with their time, talent and treasure,” said Rawak.

Delaware football alumnus Tom Hall, of the Class of 1978, remembers the very first time he experienced a UD football game. It was Sept. 21, 1968 and the Fightin’ Blue Hens had crushed Hofstra University 35-0. He was just 13-years-old at the time and his brother Charles W. Hall, Jr., of the Class of 1972, was a fullback for Delaware. Five years later, Tom would go on to play at Delaware, too.

“The football tradition runs deep here, and if we are going to continue to compete at the highest level, our athletes must have the finest facilities,” Hall said. “When the new facility is finished, I believe there will be many young boys and girls that will feel just like I did that day in 1968.”

Like Gannon and Hall, double Dels Al Minite, of the Class of 1980, and his wife, Susan G. Minite, of the Class of 1980, decided to invest in Building Our Home after considering everything they have been able to achieve from the relationships built and opportunities gained during their time at the University of Delaware.

“If it wasn’t for the scholarship I was awarded to play football at UD, I am not sure I would have been able to attend college,” Al Minite said. “I know this project will enhance the experience for numerous student-athletes and will heighten awareness of Delaware Athletics.”

Gannon couldn’t agree more.

“I think it’s important that we continue those traditions,” Gannon said. “Not only the tradition of winning and having the best program, but also providing student-athletes the same opportunities that we had. It’s the right thing to do.”

The following University of Delaware alumni and their spouses have made major gift commitments to this project:

Robert E. Ashby '77 and Sandra Keene Ashby '77

Paul F. '83 and Lisa Brown

Lawrence R. '58 '66M and Barbara V. Catuzzi

Vance A. Funk III '65 and Elaine Trzcinski Funk '69

Richard J. '87 and Michelle D. Gannon

Thomas E. Hall '78 and Patricia Kilbane Hall '78M

Joseph V. Jerkovich '62 and Janet Coote Jerkovich '63

Richard H. '71 and Gail D. Keller '71

Alfred L. Minite '80 and Susan Gilman Minite '80

David W. Price '90 and Kristin Shannon Price '88

Michael S. '67 and Elizabeth R. Purzycki

Joseph J. Purzycki '71 '77M and Sharon Kirk Purzycki '71

Daniel R. '86 and Cheryl K. Reeder

Kenneth L. '53 and Theodora F. Rieth

Gregory T. '91 and Kristi Rogerson

Fred P. Jr. '63 and Madeleine T. Rullo

Ethan A. Jr. '57 and Patricia A. Stenger

Thomas W. Van Grofski '66 '68M and Jacqueline Harding Van Grofski '63

John E. Jr. '64 and Barbara C. Wallace
About the Campaign

Delaware First: The Campaign for the University of Delaware was publicly launched on Nov. 10, 2017. The comprehensive engagement and fundraising campaign will unite Blue Hens across the nation to accelerate UD’s mission of cultivating tomorrow’s leaders, creating solutions to grand challenges, inspiring innovations and transforming lives. The united effort will help create an extraordinary student experience at UD and extend its impact on the region and the world. Building Our Home is a core priority of the Campaign, focused on a bold $60 million project to renovate Delaware Stadium and build the new, state-of-the-art Whitney Athletic Center for UD student-athletes.