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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

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Spring Game and Fandemonium IX on Saturday, April 21

Courtesy of UD
03/23/18

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

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.
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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.

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

WDEL
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.

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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.

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Blue Hen Center Brody Kern Earns STATS FCS All-American Honors
By Delaware Athletics
Dec 20, 2017

NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware football squad was honored with another postseason award Tuesday as senior center Brody Kern earned a spot on the STATS NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) All-American team.

Kern, a 6-2, 285 lb. senior from York, Pa. (West York High School) and a four-year starter for the Blue Hens, was selected as a third team All-American.

He becomes the second Blue Hen to earn All-American honors this month after senior nose tackle Bilal Nichols was a third team pick by Phil Steele Publications last week.

Kern, a co-captain, is the first UD player to earn All-American notice by STATS (formerly The Sports Network) since Nick Boyle was honored in 2014. He is the first true center from Delaware honored since Kheon Hendricks earned All-American recognition by two different organizations following the 2008 campaign.

Kern, who earned first team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors back in November, second team All-CAA mention in 2016, and third team All-CAA laurels in 2017.

A management information systems major who will graduate in May, Kern was a four-year standout at center who started each of his final 39 career games for the Blue Hens.

He was the anchor for an offensive line that helped Delaware rank No. 2 in the CAA in fewest sacks allowed (20) and rushing offense (192.5 yards per game) this past season when the Hens went 7-4 and narrowly missed a postseason playoff berth for first-year head coach Danny Rocco.

Kern was one of 13 CAA players honored Tuesday by STATS. Joining Kern were first team picks Josh Mack of Maine (RB), Cal Daniels of Stony Brook (FB), Aaron Stinnie (OL) and Andrew Ankrah (DL) of James Madison; second team selections Neil O’Connor (WR) of New Hampshire, Jamil Demby of Maine (OL), Timon Parris (OL) of Stony Brook, Warren Messer (LB) of Elon, Raven Greene (DB) of James Madision; and third team selections Kyle Lauletta (QB) and Andrew Clyde (DL) of Richmond, and Rashad Robinson (DB) of James Madison.
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Dynamic Group of Defensive Standouts Highlight 2018 Delaware Football Recruiting Class
By Delaware Athletics
Dec 20, 2017

NEWARK, Del. -- University of Delaware football head coach Danny Rocco announced his second recruiting class during the early signing period on Wednesday as 14 high school standouts signed the NCAA National Letter of Intent to attend Delaware on scholarship and join the Blue Hens football family next fall.

Rocco introduced a recruiting class that includes seven linebackers, two offensive linemen, two cornerbacks, one defensive linemen, one wide receiver, and one quarterback. The class included student-athletes from five nearby states, including eight from Pennsylvania, two from Maryland, two from New Jersey, one from Delaware, and one from Virginia. Additional high school standouts are expected to sign during the late signing period in February.

This year’s recruiting class was heavy on the defensive side of the ball, particularly at the linebacker position where versatility is the hallmark of the group. Five of the 14 signees attended camp at Delaware this past summer.

“I am a fan of the early signing period,” said Rocco of the new system that now allows recruits to sign during a three-day early period in December. “We were able to secure the vast majority of our class now instead of having to wait through the month of January. We signed 11 recruits who live within a three to three-and-a-half hour radius and I am very appreciative of that fact. We can do a lot within our state and within our region. We set out to get a better balance in our roster as well. It was really important for us to work back to a balance, which is why we have a higher number of defensive players in this class. We have a number of linebackers coming in who are versatile and can give us a lot of flexibility in our 3-4 defense. We focused hard on bringing in guys who can play different positions on defense.”

Delaware lost 18 seniors from Rocco’s first team that went 7-4 and narrowly missed an NCAA Tournament berth this past fall. The Blue Hens will begin spring drills in April leading up to the annual Blue-White Spring Game tentatively set for Saturday, May 5 at Delaware Stadium. Delaware will host six games at Delaware Stadium this fall, including matchups vs. Rhode Island (Aug. 30), Lafayette (Sept. 8), Cornell (Sept. 15), Elon (Oct. 13), Towson (Oct. 27), and Villanova (Nov. 17). The schedule will include four teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament this past season, including a road game on Sept. 22 at national finalist North Dakota State.

Season tickets for 2018 Delaware Football will go on sale in January. Current season tickets members will receive renewal forms shortly after the new year. Those fans interested in becoming a new season ticket member can go online to www.bluehens.com and click on tickets for more information.

Game times and dates for annual events, including Homecoming and Parents & Family Weekend, will be announced in the spring.

Below are biographies of the recruits:

STEVON BROWN • 6-3 • 230 • Offensive Line • Glen Burnie, Md. (Archbishop Curley HS)
High School:  Projected to play guard at Delaware • standout lineman at Archbishop Curley High School for coaches Sean Murphy and Sean Sandora • two-time All-Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association selection as an offensive lineman • named to the 2017 Baltimore Touchdown Club Super 22 Team • team captain as a senior • also played basketball and was a member of the track & field team • honor roll student.

Personal: Stevon Jemar Brown • born Jan. 11, 2000 • son of Leshondra D. Gulley • cousin, Demond Brown, was a standout slotback for the Navy football team in 2012-15 • plans to major in physical therapy • favorite NFL team is the Pittsburgh Steelers.

JOHNNY BUCHANAN • 6-0 • 215 • Linebacker • Brick, N.J. (St. John Vianney)
High School: Standout linebacker and running back at St. John Vianney High School for head coach Derek Sinisky • played freshman football at Brick Township High School before moving to St. John Vianney • led SJV to three-year record of 31-3 with three straight conference titles • two-year captain and team Most Valuable Player • earned All-State honors as both a junior (2nd team) and senior (1st team) and was also a two-time conference Defensive Player of the Year and two-time all-division selection • All-Metro as a senior • had 130 tackles, four sacks, and an interception on defense and rushed for 1,400 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior • had 145 tackles, three interceptions, and rushed for 500 yards and 13 touchdown as a junior in 2016 • honor roll student • member of Catholic Athletes for Christ .

Personal: Johnny Christian Buchanan • born July 25, 1999 • son of John and Melody Buchanan • oldest of four children • plans to major in business or sports medicine at Delaware • father played football at Rutgers • great uncle, Joe Auer, played in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins • cousin, Collin Olsen, currently plays running back at Florida International • active volunteer at a veteran’s home in his area • favorite NFL team is the Washington Redskins.

AUSTIN HAVERSTROM • 5-11 • 170 • Wide Receiver • Keswick, Va. (Monticello HS)
High School: Standout in football and lacrosse at Monticello High School • served as captain for both teams • three-year starter at wide receiver, cornerback, and kick returner in football for head coach Jeff Lloyd • second team All-State selection as a wide receiver as a senior in 2017 • all-region as a wide receiver and all-district as a receiver, kick returner, and cornerback in 2017 • All-Central Virginia and All-Jefferson District as a junior and all-conference punt returner as a sophomore • as a senior, averaged 18.4 yards per catch (589 total yards) and scored six touchdowns, intercepted two passes, and averaged 38.5 yards on kick returns with two touchdowns • as a junior, had 962 all-purpose yards, averaged 15.8 yards per reception, and scored six touchdowns while adding 33 tackles and two interceptions • as a sophomore, had 542 all-purpose yards to go with 24 tackles and two interceptions • three-year starter as a midfielder and faceoff specialist in lacrosse for coach Tucker Tapscott • had 55 goals, 72 assists, 313 groundballs, and won over 70 percent of his faceoffs for his career • member of the jazz band.

Personal: Austin Kenneth Haverstrom • born Sept. 3, 1999 • son of Richard and Lois Haverstrom • mother is a lawyer who earned her law degree from Villanova • takes inspiration from his younger brother, Troy, who has cerebral palsy • grandfather, Kevin Haverstrom, played college baseball at Manhattan College • enjoys making music in his spare time • favorite NFL team is the New York Giants.

JUSTIS HENLEY • 5-11 • 165 • Cornerback • North Wales, Pa. (North Penn HS)
High School: Three-year starter at cornerback and wide receiver at Philadelphia suburban power North Penn High School for head coach Dick Beck • led team to three-year record of 35-7 and three conference championships • team went 14-1 and won the district title in 2016 • served as team captain as a senior • two-time All-State, all-area, and all-conference selection at cornerback • nominated for the Mini-Maxwell Player of the Year Award • tallied 1,016 receiving yards, scored eight touchdowns, and intercepted eight passes as a junior in 2016 and had 917 receiving yards, 16 touchdowns, and eight interceptions as a senior in 2017 • honor roll student every year.

Personal: Justis Ty Henley • born Jan. 2, 2000 in Philadelphia • son of Keith and Marcetas Henley • one of five children, including a pair of older twins • plans to major in business and minor in journalism • aspires to become a sports broadcaster • enjoys playing basketball in his spare time • favorite NFL teams are the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns.

JORDAN MORRIS • 6-2 • 280 • Defensive Line • Burlington, N.J. (The Hun School)
High School: Two-year standout defensive tackle at The Hun School in Princeton, N.J. for head coach Todd Smith • enjoyed an outstanding post-graduate season in 2017 as the team went 8-1 in 2017 and was ranked No. 5 in the state among prep schools • team captain • selected as the Times of Trenton All-Area Prep Player of the Year and Prep Lineman of the Year • named first team All-MAPL • recorded 39 tackles, eight tackles for loss, and five sacks as a junior in 2016 when he earned all-area honors • team went 8-0 in 2016.

Personal: Jordan Thomas Morris • nickname is “Juicy” • born Aug. 12, 1999 • son of Jerry and Sylvia Morris • one of four children • enjoys fishing, dancing, and boxing in his spare time • favorite NFL team is the Philadelphia Eagles.

ROBERT NACHTMAN • 6-3 • 290 • Offensive Lineman • Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa. (State College Area HS)
High School: Three-year letterwinner and two-year starter on offensive line at State College Area High School for head coach Matt Lintal • led teams to three-year record of 29-8, including a 10-3 mark in 2017 when team was district runner-up • served as team captain as a senior in 2017 • earned 6A first team All-State honors as a senior • two-time All-Mid Penn Conference selection • nominated for Mr. Pennsylvania Player of the Year award • averaged seven “pancake” blocks per game as a senior • high honor roll student throughout career • earned team’s Stephen J. Suhey Memorial Award for demonstrating excellence in Ability, Sportsmanship, Self-Discipline, Determination and Loyalty • will enroll at Delaware for the spring semester and take part in spring drills.

Personal: Robert Michael Nachtman (“nakt-man”) • born Dec. 21, 1999 • son of Jim and Tina Nachtman • youngest of three children • both parents are graduates of Penn State • father is the assistant athletic director for media and video production at Penn State University • mother is a nurse • plans to major in biology with a minor in psychology • would like to become a physical therapist • favorite NFL teams are the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins.

DREW NICKLES • 6-3 • 235 • Outside Linebacker • Upper Black Eddy, Pa. (Palisades HS)
High School: Projected to play outside linebacker at Delaware • four-year starter at tight end and three-year starter at linebacker at Palisades High School for head coach Kevin Ronalds • led team to 14-1 record, the district title, and a berth in the state quarterfinals as a senior in 2017 • team went 8-4 and advanced to the district playoffs in 2016 • started 49 career games • earned first team 3A All-State honors in 2017 • three-time all-league tight end and two-time all-league on defense • two-time Morning Call and Easton Express All-Area selection • two-time team captain • named team’s Defensive Player of the Year three times • caught 19 passes for 391 yards and six touchdowns and added 64 tackles (21 TFL), 15 sacks, two caused fumbles, and two blocked punts in 2017 • had 12 catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns and added 67 tackles (18 TFL), 10 sacks, and four caused fumbles • 2016 NFF Scholar-Athlete • member of the Key Club and German Club and an honor roll student all four years.

Personal: Andrew Aaron “Drew” Nickles • born Nov. 30, 1999 in Mineola, N.Y. • son of Aaron and Beth Nickles • plans to major in business at Delaware • enjoys playing basketball, camping, fishing, and boating in his spare time • favorite NFL team is the New York Giants.

MATT PALMER • 6-0 • 192 • Linebacker • Doylestown, Pa. (Archbishop Wood HS)
High School: Standout linebacker at Archbishop Wood High School for head coach Steve Devlin • led team to a combined record of 34-5 over his final three seasons • team went 12-2 and won the state 5A title in 2017, went 11-2 and won the state 5A title in 2016, and posted a 11-1 record and advanced to the state playoffs in 2015 • earned first team All-State 5A honors as both a junior and senior • two-time All-Catholic League selection.

Personal: Matthew B. “Matt” Palmer • born Dec. 10, 1999 • son of Gary and Karen Palmer • has not decided on a major at Delaware.

ANTHONY PAOLETTI • 6-2 • 195 • Quarterback • Broomall, Pa. (Marple-Newtown HS)
High School: Three-year standout at quarterback at Marple-Newtown High School for head coach Chris Gicking • one of the top quarterbacks in Delaware County history • two-time team captain • earned first team All-State honors as a senior in 2017 and second team All-State honors in 2016 • two-time All-Delaware Country and All-Central League selection • led team to three-year record of 28-9 and state playoff appearances in 2015 and 2016 • Delaware County’s all-time leading passer with 7,048 yards and 73 touchdowns • threw for 1,883 yards and 15 touchdowns as a sophomore, 2,793 yards and 33 touchdowns as a junior, and 2,372 yards and 25 touchdowns as a senior • also played basketball for head coach Sean Spratt • four-year honor roll student • earned Delaware County Scholar-Athlete Award and congressional district scholar-athlete award • student ambassador.

Personal: Anthony Albert Paoletti (“pay-oh-letti”) • born Aug. 24, 1999 • son of Anthony and Suzanne Paoletti • second of four children • mother is a nurse • plans to major in business with an emphasis in finance at Delaware • aspires to a career in business or real estate • enjoys playing basketball and weightlifting in his spare time • favorite NFL team is the Philadelphia Eagles.

NOAH PLACK • 6-2 • 206 • Outside Linebacker/Defensive Back • Bridgeville, Pa. (South Fayette HS)
High School: Four-year standout and two-year starter as a tight end and linebacker at South Fayette High School for head coach Joe Rossi • two-time All-State selection, earning first team honors at tight end in 2017 and second team honors at tight end in 2016 • three-time all-conference selection • team captain as a senior • team’s defensive Player of the Year in 2017 • caught 52 passes for 935 yards and 13 touchdowns and recorded 75 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and six sacks in 2017 • caught 35 passes for 679 yards and 10 touchdowns and posted 54 tackles, five TFL, and two sacks in 2016 • had 48 tackles, two sacks, and two interceptions as a sophomore in 2015 • also played forward in basketball for head coach David Mislan • honor roll student.

Personal: Noah Thomas Plack • born June 8, 2000 • son of Ken and Suzanne Tallerico • mother is a teacher and father works in sales • has a younger brother and a younger sister • plans to major in exercise science at Delaware • would like to pursue a career in physical therapy • favorite NFL team is the Pittsburgh Steelers.

AMONTE STROTHERS • 6-2 • 180 • Cornerback • Homestead, Pa. (Steel Valley HS)
High School: Three-year standout defensive back and wide receiver at Steel Valley High School for head coach Rodney Steele • led team to a three-year record of 36-3 • team went 15-0 and won the Pennsylvania state AA title in 2016 and posted an 11-1 record and advanced to the state quarterfinals in 2017 • earned second team All-State honors by Pennsylvania Football News in 2016 • selected to the Pittsburgh Tribune WPIAL All-Star team as a senior • two-time all-conference selection.

Personal: Amonté R. Strothers • born May 8, 1999 • son of Michael and Latrice Strothers • has not decided on a major at Delaware.

ANTHONY TORO • 6-3 • 230 • Linebacker • Edgewater, Md. (DeMatha Catholic HS)
High School: Three-year starting linebacker and tight end at DeMatha Catholic High School for head coach Elijah Brooker • continues long line of outstanding UD recruits from DeMatha • served as team captain as a senior • team went 12-0 and won conference title in 2016, went 11-1 and won conference championship in 2015, and posted a 6-5 mark and advanced to conference playoffs in 2017 • after earning third team All-Washington Catholic Athletic Conference honors as a sophomore earned first team All-WCAC honors as both a junior and senior • caught 11 passes for 193 yards and three touchdowns as a senior • also played basketball and lacrosse • Dean’s List and honor roll student.

Personal: Anthony E. Toro • born Jan. 12, 2000 • son of Shawn and Jennifer Toro • youngest of two children • has not declared a major but plans to earn a master’s degree after undergraduate work • enjoys fishing and playing lacrosse in his spare time • favorite NFL team is the Washington Redskins.

LIAM TRAINER • 6-2 • 225 • Inside Linebacker • Glenside, Pa. (La Salle College HS)
High School: Three-year standout at linebacker and tight end at La Salle College High School for head coach Jack Steinmetz • led team to a three-year record of 23-13 • team went 9-4 and advanced to the state AAAA quarterfinals in 2015 • earned first team All-Catholic League honors at linebacker as both a junior and senior.

Personal: Liam Charles Trainer • born Jan. 16, 2000 • son of Joe and Moreen Trainer • oldest of three children • father, Joe, is the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for Delaware’s Colonial Athletic Association rival Villanova • Joe served as head coach at CAA foe Rhode Island in 2009-13 and at NCAA II Millersville in 2005-07.

KEDRICK WHITEHEAD • 5-11 • 190 • Outside Linebacker/Defensive Back • Middletown, Del. (Middletown HS)
High School: Projected to play either outside linebacker or safety at Delaware • standout at linebacker, safety, and running back at Delaware state power Middletown High School for head coaches Mark DelPercio and Zach Blum (2017) • served as captain as a senior • four-year starter at linebacker and running back • led team to four-year mark of 41-8 • led team to state tournament all four years. • team fell in the championship final in 2014, 2016, and 2017 • two-time All-State selection at linebacker (first team in 2017) and running back • three-time all-conference selection at linebacker • rushed for 1,314 yards and 18 touchdowns and collected 71 tackles, four sacks, and two interceptions in 2016 • will enroll at Delaware for the spring semester and take part in spring drills.

Personal: Kedrick Charles Lamar Whitehead • born Nov. 20, 1999 • son of Jamina Whitehead • has an older sister • plans to major in sport management at Delaware • enjoys playing video games and reading in his spare time • favorite NFL team is the Pittsburgh Steelers.

DELAWARE FOOTBALL CLASS OF 2018:
Stevon Brown Offensive Line 6-3 230 Archbishop Curley Glen Burnie, Md.
Johnny Buchanan Linebacker 6-0 215 St. John Vianney Brick, N.J. 
Austin Haverstrom Wide Receiver 5-11 170 Monticello Keswick, Va.
Justis Henley Cornerback 5-11 165 North Penn North Wales, Pa.
Jordan Morris Defensive Line 6-2 280 The Hun School Burlington, N.J.
Robert Nachtman Offensive Line 6-3 290 State College Area Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa.
Drew Nickles Outside Linebacker 6-3 235 Palisades Upper Black Eddy, Pa.
Matt Palmer Linebacker 6-0 192 Archbishop Wood Doylestown, Pa.
Anthony Paoletti Quarterback 6-2 195 Marple-Newtown Broomall, Pa.
Noah Plack Outside Linebacker/Def. Back 6-2 206 South Fayette Bridgeville, Pa.
Amonté Strothers Cornerback 6-2 180 Steel Valley Homestead, Pa.
Anthony Toro Linebacker 6-3 230 DeMatha Catholic Edgewater, Md. 
Liam Trainer Inside Linebacker 6-2 225 La Salle College HS Glenside, Pa. 
Kedrick Whitehead Outside Linebacker/Def. Back 5-11 190 Middletown Middletown, Del.
Stevon Brown OL | 6-3 | 270 Archbishop Curley HS Glen Burnie, Md.
Johnny Buchanan LB | 6-0 | 215 St. John Vianney HS Brick, N.J.
Austin Haverstrom WR | 5-11 | 170 Monticello HS Keswick, Va.
Justis Henley CB | 5-11 | 165 North Penn HS North Wales, Pa. 
Jordan Morris DL | 6-2 | 280 The Hun School Burlington, N.J.
Robert Nachtman OL | 6-3 | 290 State College Area Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa. 
Drew Nickles OLB | 6-3 | 235 Palisades HS Upper Black Eddy, Pa. 
Matt Palmer ILB/OLB | 6-0 | 192 Archbishop Wood HS Doylestown, Pa. 
Anthony Paoletti QB | 6-2 | 195 Marple-Newtown HS Broomall, Pa. 
Noah Plack OLB/DB | 6-2 | 206 South Fayette HS Bridgeville, Pa. 
Amonté Strothers CB | 6-2 | 230 Steel Valley HS Homestead, Pa. 
Anthony Toro ILB/OLB | 6-3 | 180 DeMatha Catholic HS Edgewater, Md.
Liam Trainer ILB | 6-2 | 225 La Salle HS Glenside, Pa.
Kedrick Whitehead OLB/DB | 5-11 | 190 Middletown HS Middletown, Del. 
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Memorial Service for Delaware Hall of Fame Coach Tubby Raymond Set for Jan. 12 at The Bob
By Delaware Athletics
Dec 15, 2017

NEWARK, Del. – A memorial service to celebrate the life of University of Delaware Hall of Fame football head coach Harold R. “Tubby” Raymond will be held on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, at the Bob Carpenter Center.

The event will begin at 1 p.m. and is open to the public.

Raymond, one of the nation’s most successful college football coaches, passed away at the age of 92 on Dec. 8 following a brief illness.

He enjoyed a stellar 36-year career as head coach at Delaware (1966-2001) and led the Blue Hens to an impressive record of 300-119-3, three national titles, 16 NCAA playoff appearances, 14 Lambert Cup trophies, nine ECAC Team of the Year awards, and nine conference titles.

Raymond was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003 and was also a member of the University of Delaware Athletics Hall of Fame (2002), the state of Delaware Sports Hall of Fame (1993), the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Hall of Fame (2017), and the Flint, Michigan Hall of Fame (1983).

MEDIA INFORMATION: Contact Scott Selheimer | selheime@udel.edu | Office: 302-831-8007 | Cell: 302-562-5129

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Blue Hens’ legendary coach Tubby Raymond dies
Dec 8th, 2017 · by Delaware State News 

NEWARK — Legendary University of Delaware football coach Harold R. “Tubby” Raymond, who led the Blue Hens to three national championships and 300 wins, had died. He was 92.

Coach Raymond retired after the 2001 season.

At a retirement press conference, Coach Raymond said, “This was a very difficult decision for me. I’ve coached football for 52 years and to suddenly remove that from your life is a very emotional thing.”

He compiled a 300-119-3 record over 36 seasons with his famous Wing-T offense.

Coach Raymond is just one of 13 college coaches to reach the 300-win mark and became the Hens’ third consecutive College Football Hall of Fame coach, following in the footsteps of Dave Nelson and Bill Murray.

“Tubby Raymond is a college football icon,” said then-university athletic director Edgar Johnson at the retirement press conference. “His contributions to our university, to our athletics program, to the hundreds of young men whose lives he has impacted and to the sport of football are unrivaled.

“Those contributions will stand for all time as a testament to his commitment to the University of Delaware and to the values we hold most dear – integrity, loyalty and tradition.”

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Delaware Mourns Passing of Football Coaching Icon Tubby Raymond
By Delaware Athletics
Dec 8, 2017

NEWARK, Del. – Harold R. “Tubby” Raymond, one of the most successful coaches in the history of college football during a nearly 50-year career at the University of Delaware, and an icon throughout the state of Delaware and beyond, passed away Friday after a brief illness.

Raymond, who won 300 games and three national championships at UD and was one of the innovators of the famous Wing-T offense, had celebrated his 92nd birthday on Nov. 14.

“We pass along our deepest sympathies to the Raymond Family and everyone who loves Delaware Football,” said UD Director of Athletics and Recreation Services Chrissi Rawak, who was a fellow University of Michigan graduate. “Coach Raymond was a true icon and his legacy lives on among all Blue Hens. We certainly remember all the great accomplishments that Coach Raymond provided Delaware fans over the years, but more importantly we celebrate the impact he had on the lives of so many student-athletes.”

“On behalf of the entire University of Delaware community, we offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Harold R. ‘Tubby’ Raymond, whose legend and legacy have touched generations of Blue Hens,” said UD President Dennis Assanis. “Tubby was a great leader, a wise mentor and a generous contributor to his community. Possibly more than any other coach, Tubby helped shape UD Athletics into the excellent program it is today, one that reflects his dedication to teamwork, focus and achievement both on and off the field. We celebrate his lifetime of accomplishment and his abiding commitment to the University. He was a true Blue Hen, and he will be missed.”

A native of Flint, Mich., Raymond played football and baseball at the University of Michigan, began his coaching career right out of college, and came to Delaware in 1954 as head baseball coach and assistant football coach under the legendary David Nelson.

Raymond was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003 and was also a member of the University of Delaware Athletics Hall of Fame (2002), the state of Delaware Sports Hall of Fame (1993), the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Hall of Fame (2017), and the Flint, Michigan Hall of Fame (1983).

After serving as an assistant coach for 12 years under fellow College Football Hall of Famer Nelson, Raymond took over the reigns of the Blue Hens in 1966 and went on to record one of the greatest coaching careers in college football history.

He enjoyed a stellar 36-year career that saw him lead the Blue Hens to an impressive record of 300-119-3, three national titles, 16 NCAA playoff appearances, 14 Lambert Cup trophies, nine ECAC Team of the Year awards, and nine conference titles. An incredible 31 of his 36 teams had winning records and 11 won 10 or more games.

Raymond earned his 300th victory with a win over Richmond Nov. 10, 2001, making him just the ninth coach in college history to reach that milestone and only the fourth to accomplish the feat at one school at the time.

He coached 15 National Football League draft picks, including four-time Pro Bowl quarterback and 2002 NFL Most Valuable Player Rich Gannon, and 34 first team All-Americans and led his teams to small college national titles in 1971, 1972, and 1979.

The Blue Hens were also national runner-up two other times during his tenure. He was named national coach of the year four times, regional coach of the year seven times, and was named Atlantic 10/Yankee Conference Coach of the Year in 1991.

The team success brought Raymond numerous honors, including the distinction of being just one of two college division coaches to win consecutive American Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year awards. Raymond was cited in 1971 and 1972, when he coached Delaware to back-to-back national titles. In 1979, after winning the NCAA Division II national championship, ABC Sports and Chevrolet named Raymond the NCAA Division II Coach of the Year

On the district level, Raymond was named AFCA College Division District II (now NCAA I-AA Region I) Coach of the Year seven times, including the 1995 season, and the New York Football Writers Association ECAC Division I-AA Coach of the Year twice, including the 1992 campaign.

Raymond came to Delaware from the University of Maine in 1954 and served as Nelson's backfield coach for 12 years before Nelson, who died in 1991, resigned to devote full-time to his athletic director duties.

Called "Tubby" by his childhood playmates, Raymond lost the weight but not the nickname. A native of Flint, Mich., and a 1950 graduate of the University of Michigan, Raymond played football and baseball for the Wolverines and captained the 1949 baseball team.

He played minor league professional baseball for two years and was head football coach at University High School in Ann Arbor, Mich., before heading to the University of Maine.

He served as Blue Hen baseball coach for nine years and compiled the second best coaching record in the history of the sport at UD with a mark of 141-56. Six of Raymond's nine baseball teams qualified for the NCAA District II playoffs.

Raymond's main outside interests included golf and painting. His acrylic paintings of Blue Hen players brought him national media attention, including features in Sports Illustrated and on ABC's “Good Morning America,” NBC’s “Nightly News,’ CNN, and Fox Sports. Beginning in the 1950’s, he painted a portrait of a senior member of the team each week during the season for most of his career at Delaware and continued the tradition in 2002 after his retirement until this year.

In addition to his football duties at Delaware, Raymond was a past president of the American Football Coaches Association and is currently chairman of the AFCA Rules Committee.

Raymond resided in Landenberg, Pa. with his wife Diane and had four children, 11 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren. His first wife, Susan, passed away in 1990. His youngest son, Dave, earned worldwide fame as the original Phillie Phanatic costume, one of the most recognizable mascots in professional sports.

Funeral arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Tubby Raymond Foundation, which is part of the Delaware Community Foundation (www.delcf.org/donations/tubby-raymond-foundation-fund).

COACHING HIGHLIGHTS

• 300-119-3 career record (1966-2001)
• Three national titles (1971, 1972 and 1979)
• Three national runner-up finishes (1974, 1978, 1982)
• 14 Lambert Cups (Eastern football champions) (
• 11 NCAA Division I-AA tournament (now FCS) appearances (1981, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996,1997, 2000)
• Nine conference titles
• Four Boardwalk Bowl victories
• Nine ECAC Team of the Year Awards

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Former University of Delaware Head Coach Tubby Raymond dies at 92
WDEL
Sean Greene & Don Voltz Published Dec 8, 2017 at 3:36 pm 

Former University of Delaware Head Football Coach Harold R. "Tubby" Raymond died Friday at the age of 92.

Raymond spent 36 years as the Head Football Coach of the Blue Hens, becoming just the 11th coach in college football history to win 300 games. At that point, he was just the 4th leader to accomplish the milestone at one school.

He guided Delaware to 3 national championships (1971, 1972, and 1979) and 16 NCAA playoff appearances, the last of which came in 2000, the year before he retired.

Raymond was a native of Flint, Michigan and went to the University of Michigan.

Raymond came to Newark in 1952, and served as assistant football coach for 12 seasons, 9 of which he also served as Delaware's Head Baseball Coach, winning 142 games and reaching the NCAA Tournament four times.

"Tubby" become synonymous with the "Wing-T" style of option offense, which cherished misdirection to help boost the skills of his sometimes undersized team.

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DELAWARE ALL ECAC PLAYER AWARDS FOR 2017:

By Delaware Athletics Dec 7, 2017

DANBURY, Conn. – Impressive postseason honors continued for the University of Delaware football team on Thursday as three Blue Hens were honored by the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) for their outstanding play during the 2017 season.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Colby Reeder was selected as the ECAC Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Defensive Rookie of the Year while junior safety Nasir Adderley was named first team All-East and senior defensive tackle Bilal Nicholswas honored as a second team All-East selection.

The teams were selected by a vote of ECAC member head coaches and nominations were open to conference first team selections in the Colonial Athletic Association, Ivy League, Patriot League, Northeast Conference, and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Reeder, who last month was named the CAA Defensive Rookie of the Year, becomes the ninth UD player to earn All-East Rookie of the Year notice and first since linebacker Jeff Williams in 2012.

A native of nearby Hockessin, Del. (Salesianum High School), Reeder started all 11 games at outside linebacker and recorded 49 tackles in 2017, the seventh highest total on the team. He led the team with eight tackles for loss and also had two sacks, two interceptions, two pass breakups, and two fumble recoveries. He was also one of the team’s top special teams contributors.

Adderley, a native of Philadelphia, Pa. (Great Valley HS), 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.

Nichols, a co-captain from Newark, Del. (Hodgson HS) and a three-time All-CAA selection, ranked fourth on the team and was first among down linemen with 56 tackles (24 solo) this season. He also recorded 5.5 sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss, four pass breakups, and one interception, and paced a unit that ranked No. 3 in the CAA in scoring defense (16.8 points per game) and total defense (305.5 yards per game). A pro prospect, he has been selected to compete in the East-West Shrine All-Star Game on Jan. 20 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. at 3 p.m.

Delaware recently completed an outstanding season under first-year head coach Danny Rocco. The Blue Hens registered a 7-4 overall record during the 2017 campaign, the most wins for Delaware since the 2013 season.

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Delaware Nose Tackle Bilal Nichols Earns Invite to East-West Shrine All-Star Game
By Delaware Athletics
Dec 1, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- University of Delaware senior nose tackle Bilal Nichols, who recently finished off an outstanding football career with the Blue Hens as a three-time all-conference selection in football, has been selected to take part in the 93rd East-West Shrine Bowl all-star game.

Nichols, a 6-4, 290 lb. native of Newark, Del. (Hodgson Vo-Tech High School), will take part in one of the most prestigious post-season all-star games in college football.

The game will be played on Jan. 20, 2018 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. at 3 p.m. The game will be televised live on NFL Network and broadcast live on the East-West Shrine Game Radio Network.

Nichols will become the sixth Blue Hen football standout to appear in the game, joining defensive tackle Dennis Johnson (1972), cornerback Sidney Haugabrook (2004), tight end Ben Patrick (2006), quarterback Pat Devlin (2010), and defensive tackle Zach Kerr (2013). Kerr is now a member of the NFL’s Denver Broncos.

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.

After earning third team All-Colonial Athletic Association honors as a sophomore in 2015, he earned second team honors in 2016, and first team recognition this season when he recorded 56 tackles, including 5.5 sacks, and intercepted a pass.

Nichols joins an elite list of football greats, such as Tom Brady, John Elway, Brett Favre, and 74 NFL Hall of Famers, who have played in the East-West Shrine Game, in addition to more than 265 East-West Shrine Game alumni on NFL rosters each year. A strong performance at the East-West Shrine Game can greatly impact a player’s chances of a career in the NFL.

More than 100 players from last year’s game signed with professional teams this spring, and more than 70 made final NFL rosters.

"The most important element of East-West Shrine Game has always been supporting Shriners Hospitals for Children," said East-West Shrine Game Executive Director Harold Richardson. "But during game week, it also affords our players an unmatched opportunity to showcase their talents and get their first taste of a potential career in the NFL."

While the teams are divided by East and West, the players come together for the beneficiary of the event, Shriners Hospitals for Children®, an international pediatric specialty health care system that treats children in orthopaedics, spinal cord injuries, cleft lift and palate, and burns, regardless of the families’ ability to pay.

East-West Shrine Game tickets will be available for purchase beginning December 1 through all tickets.com outlets. Game tickets are $15 general admission seating.


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Rocco doesn’t buy Hens’ playoff snub
Nov 21st, 2017 · by Andy Walter · DELAWARE STATE NEWS

NEWARK — Twenty-four hours after his Delaware football team had its season ended by the NCAA FCS Division I playoff committee, coach Danny Rocco still wasn’t buying the decision.

His ire was caused by the committee choosing New Hampshire over the Blue Hens for an at-large berth in the 24-team bracket.

Both teams finished 7-4. Both teams suffered bad losses in their season finales — while Delaware fell to Villanova, 28-7, the Wildcats lost to Albany, 15-0.

But, among other things, Rocco said that every poll/ranking had the Hens above UNH.

In the final SRS rankings (Simple Ratings System), the Hens were No. 21 while the Wildcats were No. 31. Rocco said there’s only one other case this year when a lower-ranked team got in the playoffs over a higher-ranked team — and that was when the lower squad beat the higher one head-to-head.

The Wildcats were the fourth team taken from the Colonial Athletic Association.

“We were without a doubt the fourth team in our league,” Rocco said at his season-ending press lunch on Monday. “Without a doubt. There was no statistical data that would have supported a thought that there was a fourth team more worthy. I really have struggled with that.

“To me it’s not a whole lot different than the BCS. Could you imagine if they came out with those rankings, one through 25, and all of a sudden they decide not to take three and four? We’re going to take one, two, five and nine. Well based on what?”

Rocco certainly isn’t going for the argument that UNH should get in based on its early-season 22-12 win over Georgia Southern just because the Eagles are now an FBS program. Georgia Southern is also currently 1-9.

That argument didn’t hold any sway in 2016 when another 7-4 Wildcat team got in the playoffs over Albany, which was 7-4 and posted a victory over FBS Buffalo — not to mention, beat UNH late in the season.

The fact that New Hampshire athletic director Marty Scarano is the CAA’s representative on the NCAA playoff committee doesn’t make the situation look any better. This is his last year on the committee as part of a rotating schedule.

The Wildcats have made the FCS playoffs for 14 years in a row.

“That’s the beauty of the SRS,” said Rocco. “It includes all the different matrices that take the human element out. Strength of schedule is included, home and away is included.

“There’s obviously reason for discussion within committee. I respect the job and the responsibility that they have. But if you really dive deep — and I did — it’s kind of alarming, to be honest with you.”

Rocco said there have been six times in his head coaching career that he’s gotten his team together to watch the playoff selection only to be left out.

That didn’t make Sunday any easier for Rocco, who has also been the head coach at Liberty and Richmond.

“That is one of the more painful things that you do — I think — in sports,” said the 12th-year head coach. “It’s not death and dying but it certainly is pain and misery as you try to offer your student-athletes those experiences.”

Headed in the right direction

The tough ending notwithstanding, Rocco’s first season at Delaware was clearly an improvement over the last few.

The Hens’ seven victories were their most since 2012 and were three better than in Delaware’s back-to-back 4-7 campaigns.

“We came here to do something extraordinary with our program,” Rocco said on Monday. “I think we took a step forward and we certainly remain on track. I think any time you are 7-4 coming out of this league, you’ve had a really good season. We are really very excited about our future.

Sussex Tech High grad Kani Kane emerged as the Blue Hens’ leading rusher this fall after only transferring to UD over the summer. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell_

“If we were practicing today (for a playoff game), this would have been a great year,” Rocco added. “And nobody would dispute that.”

That being said, the Hens’ play at quarterback and especially with their passing game remains the biggest question mark for the program.

Out of the 123 teams in FCS, Delaware was 117th in passing yards per game at an average of 124.5.

The Hens will have a pair of senior QBs in Joe Walker and J.P. Caruso as well as a veteran backup in junior Pat Kehoe. To that group, Delaware will add former Smyrna High All-Stater Nolan Henderson, who ran the scout team as a true freshman this fall.

“We’ll need to work toward defining what we want to do offensively a little bit more,” said Rocco. “I think (offensive coordinator) Matt (Simon) did a good job this year managing what we had and where we were. We know we have to get better, he knows we have to get better.

“There’s no doubt we need to be more efficient offensively. Too many three-and-outs, too many punts, too much stress on the defense.”

As for Henderson, Rocco said there’s a lot to like about the 6-foot, 170-pounder, who was the State Offensive Player of the Year in 2016.

“He can catch and throw the ball out of the gun,” said Rocco. “He can make all the throws. He’s quick, he’s athletic. He’s a high-football IQ guy. I believe he will make a legitimate push (for playing time). I think he will make significant improvement.

“We’ve got to get him bigger, we’ve got to get him stronger. … I’ve got to bring him home and feed him some pasta.”

Extra points

Rocco said he was told on Monday that senior linebacker Charles Bell will be granted a medical redshirt and be eligible next fall. He missed most of this season with a back injury. … Rocco on Saturday’s loss to Villanova: “We did not play well. … When it was all said and done, I think my kids were a little tight. I think they were pressing a little more than they needed to. But when you fall behind 14-0, things become more challenging with every possession.” … A pair of players from Sussex County led the Hens in receiving and rushing. Kani Kane (Sussex Tech) had 594 yards and seven touchdowns on 142 carries while Jamie Jarmon (Indian River) had 29 catches for 327 yards and six TDs. He also ran the ball nine times for 155 yards and two TDs. … Of the 30 current head coaches in FCS with at least 12 years as a head coach, Rocco is the only one without a losing season. … … Delaware is slated to return 20 players with starting experience, not counting punters and kickers.

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Blue Hens Place 11 on All-CAA Football Squads; Colby Reeder Named Defensive Rookie of the Year

By Delaware Athletics
Nov 21, 2017

RICHMOND, Va. -- Led by four first team selections, the University of Delaware football squad was well represented on the All-Colonial Athletic Association football teams announced by the league office on Tuesday afternoon.

Delaware, which recently completed an outstanding season under first-year head coach Danny Rocco, had 11 players recognized overall, including redshirt freshman linebacker Colby Reeder, who was selected as the CAA Defensive Rookie of the Year.

The Blue Hens registered a 7-4 overall record during the 2017 campaign, the most wins for Delaware since the 2013 season.

Delaware also went 5-3 in league play to finish tied for fourth overall in the 12-team league. The five league wins was Delaware’s best mark since 2011 and its fourth place finish was the highest since the 2010 team tied for the top spot in the league standings and moved on to the NCAA national championship game.

Earning first team notice for the Blue Hens were senior center Brody Kern, senior defensive tackle Bilal Nichols, junior linebacker Troy Reeder, and junior safety Nasir Adderley.

Kern and Nichols both earned All-CAA honors for the third time in their careers while Reeder and Adderley were repeat selections to the team from 2016.

Named to the second team for Delaware were junior tight end Charles Scarff, senior offensive tackle Jake Trump, junior kicker Frank Raggo, and senior defensive tackles Blaine Woodson.

Third team picks representing Delaware were junior running back Kani Kane and junior punter Nick Pritchard. Woodson was also honored on the All-CAA team for the third time after earning second team honors in both 2015 and 2016.

Colby Reeder becomes the eighth Delaware player to earn conference Rookie of the Year honors and the third in the last four seasons, joining Woodson in 2014 and running back Thomas Jefferson in 2015. Reeder is the fourth Blue Hen to be recognized on the defensive side of the ball.

A native of nearby Hockessin, Del. (Salesianum School), Reeder started all 11 games at outside linebacker and recorded 49 tackles in 2017, the seventh highest total on the team. He led the team with eight tackles for loss and also had two sacks, two interceptions, two pass breakups, and two fumble recoveries. He was also one of the team’s top special teams contributors.

Kern, a co-captain from York, Pa. (West York HS), also earned second team honors in 2016 and third team honors in 2017. He was a four-year standout at center who starter each of his final 39 career games for the Blue Hens. He was the anchor for an offensive line that helped Delaware rank No. 2 in the CAA in fewest sacks allowed (20) and rushing offense (192.5 yards per game).

Nichols, a co-captain from Newark, Del. (Hodgson HS), also earned All-CAA honors in 2015 (third team) and 2016 (second team). He ranked fourth on the team and was first among down linemen with 56 tackles (24 solo) this season. He also recorded 5.5 sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss, four pass breakups, and one interception, and paced a unit that ranked No. 3 in the CAA in scoring defense (16.8 points per game) and total defense (305.5 yards per game).

Reeder, a co-captain from Hockessin, Del. (Salesianum HS) and a second team pick in 2016, guided the middle of the UD defense at inside linebacker and led the team with 89 stops (34 solo) to rank No. 10 in the CAA. A three-time CAA Defensive Player of the Week in his two-year career, Reeder 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. (Great Valley HS) and a third team selection in 2016, 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.

Among the second team selections, Scarff (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Catholic) caught 12 passes for 71 yards and ranked second on the team with three touchdown receptions; Trump (Mechanicsburg/Mechanicsburg, Pa.) was a three-year starter at tackle; Raggo (Randolph/Randolph, N.J.) connected on all 28 PATs to extend his three-year streak to 64 straight, was 11 of 15 field goals (making seven of his final nine attempts), and booted two fields goals over 50 yards, including a school-record 55-yarder vs. James Madison; and Woodson (Stroudsburg/ Stroudsburg, Pa.) was No. 5 on the team with 55 tackles and also added three sacks and an interception while starting each of his final 44 games at Delaware.

Among the third team selections, first-year walk-on and transfer Kane (Sussex Tech/Bridgeville, Del.) was Delaware’s leading rusher and ranked No. 4 in the CAA with 594 yards on 142 carries (4.2 avg.) and seven touchdowns; and first-year transfer Pritchard (New Egypt/New Egypt, N.J.) averaged 40.7 yards (No. 4 in the CAA) on 60 punts, had 11 go for 50 or more yards, did not have a kick blocked all season, and tied a UD single season record by having 25 punts land inside the opponent 20-yard line.

Regular season champion and No. 1 ranked James Madison led the way with 15 all-conference selections but Delaware was second and tied with Stony Brook with 11 players honored.

Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta was named Offensive Player of the Year; James Madison linebacker Andrew Ankrah was selected as Defensive Player of the Year; James Madison kick returner John Miller was named Special Teams Player of the Year; Elon quarterback Davis Cheek was named Offensive Rookie of the Year; and first-year Elon head coach Curt Cignetti earned the nod as Coach of the Year.

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Hens dominated by rival Villanova 28-7

Nov 18th, 2017 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

VILLANOVA, Pa. — This was supposed to be Delaware’s big chance to finally beat rival Villanova again.

And a victory might have even put the Blue Hens back in the NCAA FCS Division I football players for the first time in seven seasons.

But somebody forgot to tell the Wildcats.

It was struggling Villanova that came up with one of its best games of the season while resurgent Delaware never really showed up, falling to the Wildcats, 28-7, on a gloomy, drizzly Saturday afternoon at Villanova Stadium.

In ending the regular season at 5-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association, 7-4 overall, the Hens probably knocked themselves out of an NCAA at-large playoff berth — although their fate won’t be official until the FCS playoff bracket is announced today at 11 a.m.

More immediately, the loss was Delaware’s sixth in a row and 11th in the last 12 meetings with the Wildcats (3-5, 5-6) in the so-called ‘Battle of the Blue.’

“Nothing really went our way today,” said Hens’ coach Danny Rocco. “And I have no problem owning that. We didn’t get a break, didn’t get a bounce, didn’t really make a play until it was too late.

“I expected more. I’m disappointed.”

“I’m disappointed,” senior center Brody Kern said quietly. “Playing here for five years and never beating ‘Nova, is very, very frustrating.

“When it came down to it, I thought they had more energy than us. That plays a big part — especially in this rivalry game. Records are thrown out the window. It’s Villanova and Delaware, it’s always a tough game no matter what our records are.”

Running back Kani Kane and the Hens finished with only 121 rushing yards as a team. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

The game went south on Delaware from the start of the contest.

After the Hens went three-and-out on theor first possession, Villanova quickly drove 87 yards in just eight plays to grab a 7-0 lead. The backbreaker, though, came three plays later.

That’s when Villanova linebacker Jeff Steeb intercepted a pass across the middle and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown.

Suddenly, a Wildcat squad that had scored a total of just 28 points while losing its last four games owned a 14-0 lead less than eight minutes into the contest.

But Villanova did something pretty similar to start the third quarter. After going 63 yards on only three plays for one TD, another interception set up a fourth touchdown as the Wildcats’ advantage balooned to 28-0 with 7:07 still remaining in the third quarter.

“It’s just the reality of the game of football,” said Rocco. “Sometimes the team that doesn’t have as much on the line plays a little free-er, a little looser, they play up. They may have played one of their best games of the year. We did not.

“We just haven’t been starting well. And we did not start well today. Our ability to overcome that over the several weeks and months is really kind of extraordinary. Just today it was not going to happen.”

“I thought we could have and should have played better,” said junior linebacker Troy Reeder. “It’s disappointing the way it went.”

Even trailing only 14-0 in the second quarter, there some sense of desperation on the Hens’ part.

Delaware put together a 65-yard, 11-play drive just before halftime. On a fourth-and-five at the Villanova 18, The Hens were lined up to try a 35-yard field goal.

Instead, though, the Hens tried a fake, with holder/punter Nick Pritchard lobbing a pass for 6-foot-5 tight end Charles Scarff near the end zone. The Wildcats, however, were ready for the play with two defenders on Scarff to knock away the pass.

“I didn’t feel like we’d score a lot of points today,” Rocco explained. “I just felt that in that moment even a field goal still makes us have to score two touchdowns to take the lead.”

Delaware’s only touchdown came with 59 seconds left in the game, when quarterback J.P. Caruso (21-of-33, 197 yards, 2 interceptions) found receiver Jamie Jarmon on an 11-yard scoring pass. The TD capped off a 13-play, 95-yard march.

That drive also helped skew the final stats. The Hens finished with advantages of 336-322 in total yards and 18-16 in first downs but it didn’t do them any good.

How strongly the NCAA playoff committee wants to consider 7-4 Delaware remains to be seen but Rocco said he wasn’t optimistic.
“I hold little hope,” he said.

Reeder just hopes he and his teammates learn something from Saturday’s experience.

“We haven’t had a whole lot of winning around here as long as I’ve been here and before that,” said Reeder. “I think there’s an element to having to learn how to win that can really only be instilled by winning. I think we got a taste of winning this season.

“Had we won today we would have the amount of wins we had the last two seasons (combined). We beat Richmond, we lost to Towson. We beat Maine, beat Albany, we lose to ‘Nova — two pretty uncharacteristic games. This game probably wouldn’t have meant as much to us had we taken care of business earlier in the year.

“It’s unfortunate that the Towson game wasn’t enough for us to kind of realize not to get a big head and take care of business the same way every week. All I can hope is next season we’re able to do that.”

Extra points

Quarterback Joe Walker ran for a team-high 37 yards on nine carries. He also had three catches for 79 yards … Nose guard Bilal Nichols was ejected from the contest in the third quarter after an official ruled that the senior bumped a referee. … Safety Nasir Adderley had a team-high 12 tackles with senior Blaine Woodson adding 11. … Villanova completed only 5-of-8 passes for 61 yards. Running back Aaron Forbes carried most of the offense, finishing with 140 yards on 13 carries. … Senior receiver Diante Cherry didn’t play in the game.

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Slow Start Trips Up Blue Hens in 28-7 Loss to Villanova in Battle of the Blue
By Delaware Athletics Nov 18, 2017

VILLANOVA, Pa. -- This time, a slow start was just way too much to overcome for the University of Delaware football team.

Delaware, playing longtime rival Villanova in its annual Battle of the Blue rivalry, fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter and could never recover in falling to the Wildcats by a 28-7 verdict at soggy Villanova Stadium Saturday afternoon.

The Blue Hens (7-4, 5-3 Colonial Athletic Association) fell to Villanova for the sixth straight time and for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons. Still, Delaware will hold out slim hopes of earning an at-large spot in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. The 24-team field will be announced live at 11 a.m. on ESPNU.

If Saturday was indeed the final game of the 2017 campaign, it was a year in which the Blue Hens made great strides under first-year head coach Danny Rocco. Delaware nearly equaled the win total from the previous two years and won seven games for the first time since the 2014 season. The five wins in conference play marked the best season for the Hens since 2011 when the team also went 7-4 overall and 5-3 in league play.

The Blue Hens, who finished the regular season having won five of the final seven games, could not generate enough offense to keep up with Villanova, which had struggled offensively itself for most of the season. The Wildcats (5-6, 3-5 CAA) snapped a four-game losing streak.

Delaware fell behind 14-0 after the first quarter and was down 28-0 after Villanova scored twice in the third stanza. Earlier this season, the Hens came back from a 20-7 halftime deficit to Stony Brook, 10-0 to Maine, and 3-0 to Albany before mounting comebacks. This time, the comeback never materialized.

Delaware finished with more first downs (18 to 16) and total yardage (336 to 322) than Villanova but managed just 44 yards in the first quarter and just 116 in the opening half. The Hens were also hurt by two interceptions, including one in the first quarter when Villanova linebacker Jeff Steeb picked off a pass by J.P. Caruso and sprinted into the end zone untouched from 38 yards out to give VU a 14-0 lead six minutes into the game.

Curuso (above left) hit on 21 of 33 passes for a career-high 197 yards and an 11-yard touchdown strike to Jamie Jarmon with 59 seconds left in the game to avoid the shutout. Jarmon caught five passes for 26 yards while Vinny Papale had three catches for 70 yards and Joe Walker hauled in three passes for 79 yards. Walker also had a team-high 37 yards rushing and threw an 18-yard pass.

Defensively, Delaware allowed a season-high 261 yards rushing as Villanova running back Aaron Forbes ran for 140 yards. Quarterback Jack Schetelich threw two touchdown passes to Taurus Phillips and ran for another score.

Blue Hen safety Nasir Adderley led the Hens with 12 tackles and forced a fumble while senior defensive tackle Blaine Woodson made 11 stops, including sack.

HEN SCRATCHINGS
• Rocco, now in his 12th season as a college head coach, has never had a losing season and has won seven or more games 10 times
• Jarmon extended his pass-catching streak to 16 games and secured his team-leading sixth touchdown reception of the year. The six touchdowns is the most by a UD receiver since Michael Johnson had nine and current Baltimore Ravens tight end Nick Boyle had seven in 2013
• Jake Roth is tied for the UD single season record with 23 kickoff touchbacks this season
• Punter Nick Pritchard averaged 40.0 yards on five punts and had three land inside the Villanova 20-yard line. His 25 punts inside the 20-yard line breaks the UD single season record of 24 by All-American Eric Enderson in 2015
• Delaware did not force a turnover for the first time this season. The Hens had intercepted 10 passes over the last five games.
• All four Delaware ball carries had nine rushes on the day. Walker finished with a team-high 37 yards, Caruso added 34 yards, Khory Spruill (above right) had 29, and Kani Kane added 21.

HEAD COACH DANNY ROCCO
"We didn't start well today, which has happened several times this season, but we've always found a way to respond, which has been extraordinary. But today it just didn't happen. Nothing really seemed to go our way and we didn't make the plays when we needed to. I am disappointed and surprised that we didn't rise to the occasion. Villanova may have played one its best games of the season. Give them credit. They beat us to the punch in most phases of the game today."

On the future of Delaware Football
"Winning today really would have put us way ahead of schedule in terms of our rebuilding process. Seven wins is a solid season and we realize that. We won some tight games and beat some good football teams. I am excited about our future. We will learn from this experience and be a better football team next year."

SENIOR CO-CAPTAIN/CENTER BRODY KERN
"All season long we have been able to fight back and keep it close and rely on the defense to keep us in the game. We've used that energy to keep it going. It just didn't happen today. You just can't play all season like that. I thought both teams had a lot of energy today but they had more. It's disappointing."
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University of Delaware Athletics: Welcome to the 21st Century

November 14, 2017
by Kevin Noonan - http://townsquaredelaware.com/

UD is close to reaching their $60 million fundraising goal for a new Athletics Complex and stadium renovations

Last week, UD’s administration unveiled plans for a much-needed, $60 million upgrade to Delaware Stadium, which still resembles the type of stadiums that were around when players wore leather helmets and had nicknames like Bronco and Crazy Legs. 

A lot of that money will go to creature comforts for fans and media, which is nice and needed. But the real game-changer will be the new athletic training and weight rooms. That, more than a new press box (which, we assume, will finally include an elevator) is what will attract good players to Newark, and without good players and winning teams the other stuff doesn’t really matter. 

Delaware’s coaches, especially in football, have been handicapped for years because of UDs’ substandard facilities, and now the Blue Hens will finally be able to recruit on a level playing field, and recruiting if the lifeblood of any college sport. 

Delaware Stadium

For years, former Delaware football coach K.C. Keeler privately complained about UD’s facilities, even though he never publicly ripped the administration for Delaware’s antiquated (by 21st Century standards) stadium, weight room, etc. And Keeler sat by helplessly while one of Delaware’s biggest rivals, James Madison, poured millions into a refurbished stadium and state-of-art athletics center. 

Those kinds of things are especially important to a Division I-AA program when it comes to recruiting, and it’s not a coincidence that JMU is the defending national champion and currently ranked No. 1 in the nation. A big-time Division I program can entice recruits by telling them how many players it sends to the NFL or how many times it plays on national television. But for a kid being recruited by I-AA teams, things like nice, shiny facilities can make all the difference. 

Keeler used to say that Delaware had two things going for it when it came to recruiting – a winning tradition and a large and loyal fan base that few I-AA schools could match. But, in the end, Keeler also knew that didn’t mean as much as those facilities, and his constant harping on that to the administration certainly played a part in his getting fired after the 2012 season, even though he had won a national championship and made it to two more championship games. 

Fundraising continues for the UD Athletic Complex and stadium

By the way, we always enjoy pointing out how successful Keeler has been since getting the boot from UD. While it appears that Delaware has a good chance to make the I-AA playoffs this season, Keeler’s new team, Sam Houston State, is a shoo-in for the post-season — his Bearkats are 9-1 and ranked No. 4 in the nation. It will be the fourth time the Bearkats have made it to the playoffs in Keeler’s four seasons there and he’s compiled an overall record of 43-11 in that time. Last season, Keeler won the Eddie Robinson Award, which is named for the late, great Grambling coach and is given to the nation’s top I-AA coach. 

Now, finally, Keeler’s dream of better and more competitive Delaware facilities will be realized, even if he won’t be around to see it. 

Actually, it will be a while before anybody sees it, since this process is just beginning and everything won’t be finished for several years, which, of course, won’t help recruiting now. But at least the first steps are finally being taken and that’s what counts.

By the way, Delaware is still in the fund-raising process, so if you have any rich friends who are also rabid Blue Hen fans, tell them to get in touch with UD athletic director Chrissie Rawak. We guarantee she’ll return their call.

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Hen defense dominates in 22-3 home finale win over Albany
Nov 11th, 2017 · by Andy Walter Delaware State News

NEWARK — One by one, the seniors got up to say their goodbyes.

Going into their last home game, the Delaware football players thanked their teammates and talked about their careers on Friday night.

But center Brody Kern politely refused.

“I got up and I was like, ‘I’m not going to say thank you yet, because we’re not done yet,’” he told his teammates. “All I’m asking is we win tomorrow.”

And that’s what the Blue Hens did, reeling off 19 unanswered points in the second half to down Albany, 22-3, in a Colonial Athletic Association matchup before a crowd of 16,333 at chilly Delaware Stadium.

Now 5-2 in the CAA, 7-3 overall, Delaware believes a win at rival Villanova next Saturday in its regular-season finale will put it in the NCAA Division I FCS playoffs for the first time since 2010.

So whether this was the seniors’ last game in Delaware Stadium is still up in the air. But they were going to do everything in their power to earn another game.

Safety Ray Jones goes up for one of the Hens’ three interceptions on Saturday. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

What the Hens got on Saturday was a dominating defensive performance. The Great Danes (1-6 CAA, 3-7 overall) managed just six first downs and 120 yards — the lowest totals Delaware has surrendered in six seasons.

The amazing thing was that 80 of those yards and five of the first downs came on Albany’s second possession, an 18-play, almost-nine-minute march that resulted in a field goal for the Great Danes’ lone points of the contest.

“There was a reality that, ‘Oh my gosh, this could be a long afternoon if we cannot get them off the field,’” coach Danny Rocco said about Albany’s long drive. “But our kids have a lot of resolve on defense. And I think we have a lot of talent.

“So, as the game wears on, they’re just given more opportunities to make plays. I think, when it was all said and done, we wore them down a little bit today and that was the objective, really, from the very beginning.”

“We made a couple changes at halftime,” said junior safety Ray Jones. “After that, we came out and played our game like we were supposed to. We held them to three points and 120 yards, you really can’t do anything better than that.”

Delaware capped off its virtuoso defensive performance with three interceptions and a fumble recovery, all in the second half.

Offensively, the Hens scuffled for most of the first half. Only Frank Raggo’s 29-yard field goal on the last play of the first half allowed them to go in tied, 3-3, at intermission.

Freshman running back Khory Spruill ran for a season-high 86 yards and the first two TDs of his career. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

Another Raggo field goal, this one from 36 yards, gave Delaware its first lead at 6-3 late in the third quarter.

That play was followed quickly by Christian Lohin’s block of an Albany punt in the end zone. The ball bounced out of the end zone for a safety that pushed the Hens’ lead to 8-3 going into the fourth quarter.

Finally, Delaware sealed the victory by turning to Khory Spruill. The freshman running back got in because starter Kani Kane (Sussex Tech) went down with a shoulder injury.

After not carrying the ball until the second half, the 6-foot, 215-pound Spruill ran for a season-high 86 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. The fourth-quarter TDs, on runs of six and one yard, were the first of his career.

“I watch our practice film each week and Khory catches my eye every single day,” said Rocco. “I mean there’s a reason we played him in August. I told him four weeks ago, I said ‘We’re going to need you in November.’ As it is, we certainly needed him today.”

“Coach always tells me to be ready to go every game,” said Spruill. “I practice with the ‘ones’ (starters) every week. It was really just about being ready when your number is called.

“Kani went down and I just wanted to make sure I filled his shoes the right way. I had to step up, not be a freshman and just make plays.”

The Hens, who also got 85 yards on 11 carries from quarterback Joe Walker, finished with a 14-minute edge in time of possession.

Whatever Delaware’s chances of making the playoffs, next week’s Villanova game is huge for the Hens.

Delaware has lost five years in a row and 10 of the last 11 meetings with the Wildcats (2-5, 4-6). The Hens would love to end that streak.

“There’s nobody on this team that has beaten Villanova,” said Kern. “So to say this game wasn’t circled on our schedule from the day Coach Rocco stepped in here, and last season ended, I’d be lying to you. If was definitely hard this week keeping that off our mind.”

“We have a chip on our shoulder right now,” said Jones. “We’re going to go up there with confidence. In practice all week, we’re going to go out there and compete. We’re going to give it our all and that’s all we’ve got to do.”

Extra points

Punter Nick Pritchard had two nice kicks that Jones ran under and caught at Albany’s one and two-yard lines. … Rocco didn’t know the extent of Kane’s injury. Kane ran for 34 yards on 10 carries before being hurt. … QB J.P. Caruso completed 7-of-11 passes for 51 yards. … Receiver Jamie Jarmon returned to the field after missing last week’s game with a bruised lung. He had two catches for six yards and didn’t run the ball. … Delaware’s interceptions came from defensive tackle Blaine Woodson, Jones and linebacker Anthony Jackson. … Linebacker Jalen Kindle had a team-high nine tackles.

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Defense Dominates, Spruill Scores Twice as Blue Hens Shut Down Albany, 22-3
By Delaware Athletics
Nov 11, 2017

NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware defense was dominating once again and freshman running back Khory Spruill enjoyed the finest day of his young career with two fourth-quarter touchdowns as the Blue Hens ran past Albany in a 22-3 Colonial Athletic Association Football victory at festive Delaware Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Delaware (7-3, 5-2 CAA) won for the fifth time in the last six games and kept its postseason playoff hopes strong heading into the regular season finale next Saturday at longtime rival Villanova.

The Blue Hen defense was fierce as usual on Saturday afternoon, holding Albany to just six first downs - five of them on one first quarter drive - and 120 total yards while forcing four turnovers. The Great Danes (3-7, 1-6 CAA), who could muster only a first-quarter field goal to take a brief 3-0 lead, lost for the sixth straight game. Albany managed just 31 yards rushing on 21 carries and quarterback Will Brunson was 12 of 25 for 83 yards and was intercepted three times and sacked once.

Spruill, pressed into action when starter Kani Kane went down with an injury early in the second half, carried 20 times for a game and career-high 86 yards and scored on touchdowns of six and one-yard over in the final quarter as Delaware pulled away.

On one drive, Spruill carried seven straight times and ran the final 43 yards to cap off a scoring drive. He had entered the game having carried the ball just 22 times this season and just nine times over the last six games.

Delaware junior quarterback Joe Walker (#3 at bottom), who has moved into an all-purpose role as a runner, receiver, and passer, also ran for 85 yards on 11 carries. He went over the 1,000 career-yard mark in the process and became just the fifth quarterback in Delaware history to accumulate both 2,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing in a career.

Defensively, junior safety Ray Jones, senior defensive tackle Blaine Woodson (seven tackles), and senior linebacker Anthony Jackson (#11 below) each intercepted a pass, sophomore linebacker Christian Lohin blocked a punt out of bounds for a safety, and senior linebacker Jalen Kindle recorded a team-high nine tackles.

Sophomore punter Nick Pritchard punted five times and twice pinned Albany inside its own two-yard line with pinpoint accuracy as Jones settled under both punts to down the ball. In additon, junior kicker Frank Raggo converted field goals of 29 yards to end the first and 36 yards late in the third quarter to give Delaware a 6-3 lead.

A special ceremony took place at halftime as Delaware announced the launching of Delaware First: The Campaign for the University of Delaware, the new university-wide fundraising and engagement campaign.

Athletics facilities are a top priority for the campaign with a $60 million goal to renovate Delaware Stadium and build a new state-of-the-art Athletic Center for student-athletes. Additionally, Delaware golf alum Ken Whitney, ’80, and his wife, Liz Whitney, have made a transformational lead gift of $10 million to name the Whitney Athletic Center, pushing the total individual commitments towards this campaign to $23 million and marking the largest individual gift in Delaware Athletics history.

HEAD COACH DANNY ROCCO
"Our defense was really extraordinary today. They (Albany) had only one real drive (first quarter field goal) that they were able to put together. We really played to our strengths. I was comfortable with the 3-3 tie at halftime because we were playing so well defensively, we had finally scored, and we were getting the ball first in the second half. We really responded in the second half, which is something we have done a lot of this season. Our kids really have a lot of talent and resolve. We wore Albany down and that was our objective. On offense, we were at our best when it mattered the most."

"Our senior class has been extraordinary with how they have been receptive to our message, the themes, and our goals. They have responded and they have led. We really need each other and everybody in our program as we move to make November meaningful. We have to have everyone on board. We have a lot of guys on this team that just want to win and sacrifice for the good of the team."

KHORY SPRUILL
"Coach (Rocco) always tells me to be ready every game. It's really about being ready when your number gets called and today I was ready. It really felt good (to get my first touchdown)."

RAY JONES
"We made a few changes today at halftime that really made a difference in the second half. You hold a team to three points and 120 yards, you can't do a lot better than that. We have a chip on our shoulder. We are going to go up there (next week at Villanova) with confidence and effort and give it our all and keep this thing going."

HEN SCRATCHINGS
• Delaware's seven wins is the most since the 2013 team went 7-4 but did not make the postseason
• Spruill's previous career-high rushing game was 39 yards vs. Cornell on Sept. 14
• Delaware's defensive effort of holding Albany to six first downs and 120 yards was its best performance since holding Delaware State to four first downs and 112 yards as part of a 45-0 win in 2011
• Junior WR Jamie Jarmon returned from a one-game layoff due to an injury and caught a pass to extend his pass-catching streak to 15 straight games
• Raggo, who is now 11 of 14 on field goals this season, also converted two extra points to extend his consecutive made streak to 64 straight, just three shy of the school record
• The Blue Hens went 5-1 at home this season and outscored opponents 154-75
• Delaware blocked a punt for the second straight game and the Hens have now intercepted 10 passes over the last five games while forcing 13 total turnovers
• Delaware heads to Villanova next Saturday, Nov. 18, for the regular season finale. The Hens will be looking for revenge after losing five straight and 10 of the last 11 meetings vs. the Wildcats
• Delaware honored its 18 seniors and their families in a pregame ceremony as part of Senior Day

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Blue Hens 80 Percent to $60 Million Fundraising Goal for New Athletic Center and Delaware Stadium Renovations

Nov 11, 2017
By Danny Sirdofsky on behalf of Delaware Athletics



Not much has changed at Delaware Stadium over the last 50 years. On fall Saturdays families still drive in from all over the region to watch the Fightin’ Blue Hens on the gridiron, the Victory Bell still rings after each Delaware touchdown and the marching band still proudly takes the field at halftime. But while these traditions are treasured mainstays of the Delaware Athletics experience, one thing that has not stood the test of time is the stadium itself, or the training, wellness, weightlifting and academic facilities that have been inadequate or non-existent for Blue Hen student-athletes across all sports.

Almost 45 years since any major renovations occurred, the University of Delaware will give the state’s most prominent stadium—and the entire UD athletics campus — a much needed facelift through Delaware First: The Campaign for the University of Delaware, the new university-wide fundraising and engagement campaign. Athletics facilities are a top priority for the campaign with a $60 million goal to renovate Delaware Stadium and build a new state-of-the-art Athletic Center for student-athletes.

Having gone much longer than any other school in the Colonial Athletic Association since undertaking a major stadium renovation—every other school in the conference has completed a major renovation since 2000—the University, Board of Trustees and President Dennis Assanis have announced a commitment of $25 million to help “build our home.”

“Athletics is an essential part of creating an extraordinary experience for all UD students, and our student-athletes and fans deserve top-notch facilities,” President Assanis said. “Through the Delaware First campaign, we are committed to strengthening the Athletics program to benefit the Blue Hen nation now and for generations to come.”

Additionally, Delaware golf alum Ken Whitney, ’80, and his wife, Liz Whitney, have made a transformational lead gift of $10 million to name the Whitney Athletic Center, pushing the total individual commitments towards this campaign to $23 million and marking the largest individual gift in Delaware Athletics history. Ken, a current Delaware Board of Trustees member, and his wife have previously established the Whitney Family Scholarship Endowment and the Whitney Family Endowed Chair in the Lerner College of Business and Economics in 2011. 

“We are excited in knowing the multiple ways this new center will enhance the student-athlete experience at the University for years to come. We also strongly believe in the positive impact athletics can have across an entire university community and beyond,” said Ken and Liz Whitney.

With the University investment and $23 million already raised by the athletic department, more than 80 percent of the campaign goal has been reached as of November 2017. 

Building Our Home

The plan to rebuild and reinvest in athletic facilities includes several phases. During the first, fans and student-athletes will see the following changes:

Renovating the west side of Delaware Stadium:
Chair backs for all seats in the middle three sections (C, D, E).
Upgraded restrooms and concessions.
Stadium Club space with bar, food and exclusive club seating.
Enhanced press box, including a game day production studio and coaches’ booths.
Construction of a new athletic center for all UD student-athletes that will extend along the stadium’s western facade to include:
Student Success Center
Integrated space for academic support, career preparation and leadership development.
Tutoring, mentoring and academic advising stations.
Computer lab that will considerably increase the number of computers currently available to UD student-athletes.
Academic lounge to build community and foster inter-team bonding.
Multipurpose rooms for guest lectures and press conferences. 
Health & Well-Being Center:
10,000-square-foot strength and conditioning space to accommodate multiple teams simultaneously.
Enhanced athletic training space with satellite area for physical therapy partnership.
On-site X-ray machines.
Grab-and-go healthy food options selected by UD nutritionist.
Sports psychology areas to provide mental health resources through private consultations, team workshops and athlete educational sessions.
Hydrotherapy tubs for rejuvenation and therapeutic needs.

“After talking with our dedicated community, partners and supporters, including student-athletes, coaches, alums, donors, staff and University leadership, it was clear that our priority this Campaign was to Build our Home,” said Chrissi Rawak, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation Services. “The overwhelming response was that this project was long overdue and we are excited to bring it to life through the investment from the University and the generous support of all those who want to see Delaware Athletics be successful today and ultimately nationally relevant.”

A key addition to the athletics campus will be the new 10,000-square-foot strength and conditioning space to meet the needs of every Blue Hen student-athlete. Inside, more than 100 can lift weights simultaneously, eliminating the present need for separate shifts to allow everyone use of the facilities. The new space will also house a much larger training room, which will get rid of long lines that stretch into the hallway during midday practices.

In addition, the center will have an X-ray machine, hydrotherapy tubs, computer stations and more academic resource space. It will also house offices for health and wellness (strength and conditioning, athletic training, sports medicine, nutrition and sports psychology), as well as student success (academic support, leadership development and career preparation), and include common areas so that all UD student athletes can spend more time together across teams. Perhaps most importantly, the new athletic center will bring together the entire athletic community and save student athletes a considerable amount of travel time by centralizing all resources in a single, state-of-the-art facility.

“The Athletics projects will add great value to the University and will have extraordinary benefits for many people, especially our student athletes,” said UD football head coach Danny Rocco. “The space, with training and academics, will create an environment and culture that will maximize the student-athlete experience. The first-class facility and stadium enhancements showcase the commitment to and vision for the future of our programs here at UD.”

To maximize use of these new resources, the athletic department will make the new hydrotherapy tubs available to UD’s Physical Therapy Clinic, the nation’s #1 ranked program, and the stadium’s club level will be available to rent for private events such as weddings and banquets.

Ground-floor kitchens will be used to teach student-athletes healthy cooking techniques (using food grown at the nearby College of Agriculture and Natural Resources) when they are not being used to prepare food for the concession stands on game days.

University Investment in Athletics

The athletics commitment is a key priority of the Delaware First campaign, which has an overall goal of $750 million. Other top priorities include enhancing graduate education, The Biden Institute and programs and initiatives for innovation and entrepreneurship. The Campaign will create an extraordinary student experience and extend the University’s impact on the world with financial support for scholarships, faculty support, research projects, facilities and experiential learning opportunities across UD.

“Our family believes in all of the great new initiatives happening at Delaware under the leadership of its new President, Dr. Assanis,” said Ken and Liz Whitney. “We are proud to be able to support the Blue Hens of today and tomorrow through the building of a new athletic center.”

The University’s investment in athletics does not stop with upgrading of facilities. The University has invested in health and wellbeing initiatives, including funding new sports psychologist and nutritionist positions for the athletic department, as well supporting the addition of much needed Assistant Coaching positions and scholarships across UD varsity teams.

“This will allow our coaching staff to compete for top recruits nationwide and to provide the best possible experience and support for our student athletes throughout their time here at Delaware,” said Rawak.

Renovation Countdown

Construction on the project will begin once 100 percent of the fundraising goal is met and should take approximately 18-24 months. The design phase for the project is currently underway and will take roughly a year to complete.

“We are immensely grateful to all of those who have given and will give to Delaware Athletics,” said Rawak. “None of this would be possible without the outstanding support of our Blue Hen community. This has been a long time coming and we are excited to say that the time is now.”

A core component of the Campaign is to unite Blue Hens around the globe in advancing The University of Delaware. In support of the belief that every gift counts, a Delaware Athletics crowdfunding page is available with the goal to gain participation from 1,882 donors in honor of athletics inaugural year at the University.

Donate at bluehens.com/DelawareFirst.

Following the completion of this phase of the current campaign, UD will continue to invest in the athletics campus in future phases by renovating the UD Field House, as well as the east side and end zones of the football stadium.

If you would like more information on the Delaware First Campaign and Athletics facility projects, please contact athletic development at bluehensclub@udel.edu or 302.831.8499.

ABOUT DELAWARE FIRST

Delaware First will strengthen the Blue Hen nation and raise funds to support student scholarships, endowed professorships, graduate fellowships, research, facilities and experiential learning opportunities across UD.

The Campaign will also help establish several potential programs to enhance graduate education, initiatives around innovation and entrepreneurship, partnerships through the Biden Institute and the construction of several new buildings around campus, including the biopharmaceutical building on STAR campus, as well as UD athletic facilities, among other strategic projects.

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Visiting Blue Hens rally for 31-17 victory over Maine
Nov 4th, 2017 · by Delaware State News · 

UD tight end Brandon Whaley (81) is congratulated after catching a first-half TD pass. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

PORTLAND, Maine — In the first quarter, it looked like Delaware’s playoff chances were hanging by a thread.

Spotting Maine a quick 10-point lead, the Blue Hens looked they were in for a rough afternoon.

But Delaware got its act together, scored 31 points over the final three quarters and came back home with a 31-17 Colonial Athletic Association football victory over the Black Bears on Saturday afternoon.

In clinching the program’s first winning season since 2013, the Hens (4-2 CAA, 6-3 overall) believe two more victories will also put them in line for their first NCAA Division I FCS playoff berth since 2010.

None of that seemed very likely, though, when Delaware trailed Maine (3-4, 4-4) 10-0 and were sputtering on offense.

“Today we did a great job of staying together as a team,” said senior nose tackle Bilal Nichols. “Coach (Danny) Rocco always says our strength is in the unity of this group. We really believe that. Whenever times get rough we count on each other. We never give up.

The Hens’ Joe Walker, who played a few different roles on Saturday, runs for some yards against Maine.

“This team is so resilient and that’s what I’m most proud of. We come each day and work hard and count on each other. We played our best when it mattered the most today. When we really needed stops, we got them. When we really needed to control the line of scrimmage, we did. When we needed to get to the QB, we did.”

The contest was tied 17-17 in the fourth quarter when Maine punt returner Micah Wright was stripped of the ball on a hit by Delaware safety Nasir Adderley.

Blue Hens freshman Colby Reeder scooped up the ball at the Maine four yard-line and lunged into the end zone for a touchdown that gave the Hens a 24-17 lead with 13:22 remaining.

On the next Maine drive, the Delaware defense held the Bears to just four yards.

Then, on the ensuing drive, the Hens went 58 yards on 13 plays. The drive, which took nearly eight minutes off the clock, was capped by quarterback J.P. Caruso’s one-yard rushing touchdown run with 4:07 left in the game to seal the victory.

“I thought our ability to run the ball and get some first downs bleeding the clock down, was as significant as anything,” said Rocco. “We’re fortunate to get out of here with a win. I’m certainly excited to secure a winning season and to get a win in November.”

Delaware had lost six of its last eight games to Maine, including four in a row. The Bears also came into the game with a three-game winning streak this season.

Delaware safety Nasir Adderley comes up to make a tackle in Saturday’s game.

The Hens were playing without standout receiver Jamie Jarmon, who was sidelined with an undisclosed injury, In his place, Delaware made more use of former starting quarter Joe Walker.

Walker finished with 165 all-purpose yards, including a 56-yard reception in the second quarter that set up the Hens’ first touchdown. The junior also completed a 42-yard pass and ran the ball nine times for 55 yards.

“Today felt great being a guy who made plays and gave a spark when we needed,” sai Walker. “I always knew I could catch the ball, I just never played wide receiver. Today was the first time playing it. I was just trying to play my role and do as much as I could.

“We planned to have Jamie in the game with me, we didn’t know until yesterday that he wasn’t going to play. I think today was about building a routine so that when we both play teams don’t know what we’re going to do.”

“Joe did a great job,” said Rocco. “He’s going to give us some energy here and some explosive production as we continue. Hopefully, we’ll have Jamie back next week because that will give us a few more options.”

Tight end Brandon Whaley caught his first career touchdown pass at 5:42 of the second quarter while safety Tim Poindexter made his first career interception in the third quarter. Linebacker Troy Reeder made 17 tackles in the victory and also blocked a punt.

Junior Kani Kane (Sussex Tech) also for 99 yards and his seventh rushing touchdown of the season.

The Hens return home next Saturday, hosting Albany for Senior Day at 3:30 p.m.

“We’re excited to go home this week and continue our quest this season,” said Rocco. “We’re finding ways to remain relevant. Today was a great team win. The offense did things when they had to, and the defense made stops when they had to. Ultimately the special teams and kicking game made a lot of big plays.”

==============================================

Colby Reeder Pushes Hens to Crucial 31-17 Win over Maine
By Delaware Athletics
Nov 4, 2017

PORTLAND, Maine -- The University of Delaware won its fourth Colonial Athletic Association football game of the season Saturday afternoon as the Blue Hens used a big second half to defeat Maine 31-17 at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

The turning point of the game occurred early in the fourth quarter when Maine punt returner Micah Wright was stripped of the ball by Delaware defensive back Nasir Adderley.

Blue Hens freshman Colby Reeder (#4 below) scooped up the ball at the Maine five-yard line and dove into the end zone for the crucial touchdown that gave the Blue Hens the lead for good at 24-17 with 13:22 remaining. 

On the next Maine drive, the stingy Delaware defense held the Black Bears (4-4, 3-4 CAA) to just four yards.

On the ensuing Delaware drive, the Blue Hens (6-3, 4-2 CAA) went 58yards on 13 plays. The drive, which took nearly eight minutes off the clock (7:39), was capped by quarterback J.P. Caruso’s one-yard rushing touchdown with 4:07 left in the final period to seal the victory. The drive was the team's third longest in terms of time this season.

For the afternoon, the Blue Hens accumulated 346 yards of total offense. Joe Walker provided a massive spark for UD as the junior quarterback turned all-purpose threat compiled 165 total yards between rushing, receiving and passing, including a huge 56-yard reception in the second quarter that set up the Hens first touchdown.

Tight end Brandon Whaley caught his first career touchdown pass at 5:42 of the second quarter to give the Hens their first points of the day while safety Tim Poindexter made his first career interception in the third quarter. Linebacker Troy Reeder made a career-high 17 tackles in the victory and also blocked a punt while his brother, Colby, also recorded a sack in the final quarter and finished with seven tackles.

Junior Kani Kane (#29 at right) also for 99 yards and his seventh rushing touchdown of the season, a one-yard burst with 21 seconds left in the second quarter that give Delaware a 14-10 advantage at the break. Kane just missed surpassing the 100-yard mark for the third straight game.

Adderley, one of the nation's leaders with five interceptions, recorded a career-high 14 tackles while Bilal Nichols had seven tackles, a sack, a pass breakup, and a blocked field goal. Delaware kicker Frank Raggo added a 48-yard field goal three minutes into the second half to give Delaware a 17-10 lead.

The win was Delaware’s fourth victory in its last five games and snapped a personal four-game losing streak against Maine. The Hens also snapped Maine’s season-best three-game winning streak.

Maine held a 451-346 advantage in total yards thanks to the play of running back Josh Mack, who ran for 173 yards and caught six passes for 38 yards. He entered the game leading all NCAA FCS runners with 139.9 yards rushing per game.

The Blue Hens return home next Saturday, hosting Albany for Senior Day. Kickoff from Delaware Stadium is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

Head Coach Danny Rocco:
“Our special teams kept us in the game today, and then we got going on offense. We did a lot today with Joe Walker. We knew that Jamie Jarmon (out with an injury) was most likely not going to play, so we put a plan together for Joe to do some of the things that Jamie has been doing. That gave us the explosive plays that we needed to have in the game. Joe did a great job. I thought our ability to run the ball and get some first downs bleeding the clock down, was as significant as anything. Maine is very talented defensively and physical. Offensively they know what they’re doing with the ball. Their running back is very special. So we’re fortunate to get out of here with a win. I’m certainly excited to secure a winning season and to get a win in November. We’re excited to go home this week and continue our quest this season. We’re finding ways to remain relevant. Today was a great team win. The offense did things when they had to, and the defense made stops when they had to. Ultimately the special teams and kicking game made a lot of big plays.”

On play of Joe Walker:
“I have supported Joe since I arrived here. I have made comments about his athleticism. He is one of our guys that can take the ball the length of the field on a run, a pass or a scramble. He’s that athletic. He’s going to give us some energy here and some explosive production as we continue. Hopefully, we’ll have Jamie (Jarmon) back next week because that will give us a few more options.”

Junior Joe Walker (#3 at left):
“Today felt great being a guy who made plays and gave a spark when we needed. I always knew I could catch the ball, I just never played wide receiver. Today was the first time playing it. I was just trying to play my role and do as much as I could. We planned to have Jamie in the game with me, we didn’t know until yesterday that he wasn’t going to play. I think today was about building a routine so that when we both play teams don’t know what we’re going to do.”

Defensive Tackle Bilal Nichols:
“Today we did a great job of staying together as a team. That’s one thing we’ve done very well this season. We’ve stayed together and created unity. Coach Rocco always says our strength is in the unity of this group. We really believe that. Whenever times get rough we count on each other. We never give up. This team is so resilient and that’s what I’m most proud of. We come each day and work hard and count on each other. We played our best when it mattered the most today. When we really needed stops, we got them. When we really needed to control the line of scrimmage, we did. When we needed to get to the QB, we did. I feel that we made plays at the biggest moments of the game.” 

HEN SCRATCHINGS:
• By winning their sixth game of the season, Delaware secured its first winning season since going 7-5 in 2013. Delaware head coach Rocco has now posted a winning campaign in all 12 of seasons as a college head coach
• Delaware played Maine in Portland for the first time in school history. The game marked the first time since 2005 that Maine played a game in the state's largest city
• Delaware downed Maine for the first time since 2010 and won in the state of Maine for the first time since 2009 after two straight setbacks
• Rocco is now 26-12 (.684) during his head coaching career in games following a loss, including a 3-0 mark at Delaware
• Troy Reeder blocked a punt for the second straight season after also posting one at Richmond in 2016
• Delaware has now forced 22 turnovers this season, the fourth highest total in the nation and No. 2 in the CAA
• The Hens lost two fumbles in the first half, marking the first time Delaware had lost a fumble since the James Madison game on Sept. 30. Delaware had gone 265:43 minutes of playing time since its last lost fumble
• Raggo now has three field goals over 48 yards this season, has hit on 9 of 13 field goal attempts overall, and has converted 59 straight extra points

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CAA Football Announces 2018 Schedule

Rob Washburn - http://caasports.com/
November 1, 2017

CAA Football has released its schedule for the 2018 season, which includes a challenging non-conference slate along with the always competitive battle for the league title.

The conference schedule includes four home games and four road games for each team as they face eight of the other 11 CAA Football members. There is at least one conference contest during each of the 12 weeks in 2018, with a full slate of league action on October 13, November 10 and November 17.

The non-conference schedule features 12 games against FBS opponents, including six versus teams from Power 5 conferences. Every CAA team except Delaware will meet a FBS foe, and the Blue Hens will test themselves against five-time FCS national champion North Dakota State. So far this season, CAA teams are 20-3 against non-conference FCS opponents. The league has also recorded a pair of victories over FBS foes for the second year in a row as James Madison defeated East Carolina and New Hampshire beat Georgia Southern. There are no games against non-Division I opponents.

Thursday, August 30
*New Hampshire at Maine
*Rhode Island at Delaware

Saturday, September 1
UAlbany at Pittsburgh
Elon at USF
James Madison at NC State
Richmond at Virginia
Stony Brook at Air Force
Towson at Morgan State
Villanova at Temple
William & Mary at Bucknell

Saturday, September 8
*UAlbany at Rhode Island
Lafayette at Delaware
Furman at Elon
James Madison at Norfolk State
Maine at Western Kentucky
Colgate at New Hampshire
Fordham at Richmond
Bryant at Stony Brook
Towson at Wake Forest
Villanova at Lehigh
William & Mary at Virginia Tech

Saturday, September 15
*Elon at William & Mary
*Towson at Villanova
Morgan State at UAlbany
Cornell at Delaware
Robert Morris at James Madison
New Hampshire at Colorado
Rhode Island at Connecticut
St. Francis at Richmond
Stony Brook at Fordham

Saturday, September 22
*William & Mary at James Madison
*Richmond at Stony Brook
St. Francis at UAlbany
Delaware at North Dakota State
Elon at Charleston Southern
Maine at Central Michigan
Bucknell at Villanova

Saturday, September 29
*Villanova at Stony Brook
*New Hampshire at Elon
*James Madison at Richmond
Maine at Yale
Rhode Island at Harvard
The Citadel at Towson
Colgate at William & Mary

Saturday, October 6
*UAlbany at William & Mary
*Delaware at Richmond
*Elon at James Madison
*Villanova at Maine
*Stony Brook at Towson
Holy Cross at New Hampshire
Brown at Rhode Island

Saturday, October 13
*Elon at Delaware
*Richmond at UAlbany
*William & Mary at Towson
*James Madison at Villanova
*Stony Brook at New Hampshire
*Maine at Rhode Island

Saturday, October 20
*Rhode Island at Stony Brook
*Delaware at New Hampshire
*Towson at UAlbany
*Richmond at Elon
*Maine at William & Mary

Saturday, October 27
*UAlbany at Maine
*Towson at Delaware
*Stony Brook at James Madison
*New Hampshire at Villanova
*William & Mary at Rhode Island

Saturday, November 3
*Villanova at Richmond
*Delaware at UAlbany
*Rhode Island at Elon
*James Madison at New Hampshire
*Maine at Towson

Saturday, November 10
*UAlbany at New Hampshire
*Maine at Richmond
*Rhode Island at James Madison
*Delaware at Stony Brook
*Towson at Elon
*William & Mary at Villanova

Saturday, November 17
*Villanova at Delaware
*Elon at Maine
*Stony Brook at UAlbany
*James Madison at Towson
*New Hampshire at Rhode Island
*Richmond at William & Mary

*denotes CAA Football game

DATES SUBJECT TO CHANGE – Times will be announced at a later date

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Late touchdown lifts Towson to 18-17 stunner over Hens
Oct 28th, 2017 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

Blue Hen running back Kareem Williams ran for 80 yards on 12 carries including a 30-yard TD run in the third quarter. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

TOWSON, Md. — Last week was one of those joy-of-victory moments for the Delaware football team.

But on Saturday came the agony of defeat.

When the Blue Hens’ offense left the door open, underdog Towson charged through it, scoring the winning touchdown with just 35 seconds left to topple No. 23 Delaware, 18-17, at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

The agonizing loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Hens (3-2 CAA, 5-3 overall) and probably knocked them right back out of the FCS Top 25 ­— a place they had just returned to last week for the first time in three years.

It probably also leaves Delaware needing to win its final three regular-season games to make the NCAA FCS playoffs for the first time since 2010.

“I’m very disappointed in the result,” said first-year Delaware coach Danny Rocco, whose team knocked off No. 11 Richmond in double overtime last week.

“I thought, defensively, we did enough good things here today to win a football game. … (But) offensively, we did not take advantage of our opportunities. We had three takeways that didn’t lead to a lot of points.”

After forcing the Hens to punt with 3:05 remaining, the Tigers (1-4 CAA, 3-5 overall) drove 52 yards on eight plays for the winning touchdown.

Quarterback Ryan Stover dropped in a nice 13-yard scoring pass to receiver Sam Gallahan on a fade pattern. Gallahan had a step or two on Delaware freshman cornerback Niquel Hill.

Aidan O’Neill then booted the deciding PAT kick as Towson’s players celebrated.

“I told the guys, we’ve been here before,” said safety Nasir Adderley, referring to the Hens’ last-minute stop at Stony Brook. “We’re capable of pulling that off. We just weren’t able to get it done.”

Starting at its own 35 on the ensuing possession, Delaware did pick up a pair of first downs to reach the Towson 44 with just three second left. With the Hens set to try a hook-and-lateral, though, quarterback J.P. Caruso’s final pass was dropped.

Delaware linebacker Troy Reeder (9) and lineman Blaine Woodson (73) bring down Towson running back David Bryant. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

Caruso completed just 6-of-15 passes for 43 yards for Delaware, which lost senior receiver Diante Cherry to a first-half dislocated shoulder. The Hens did run for 229 yards as Sussex Tech High grad Kani Kane posted his second-straight 100-yard game (22 carries-113 yards).

But probably Delaware’s biggest regret came earlier in the fourth quarter.

With the Hens leading 14-11, the Tigers dropped a punt that linebacker Colby Reeder recovered on the Towson 12 with 11:10 remaining.

On a third-and-seven from the nine, Caruso hit tight end Charles Scarff on a fade route. The ball appeared to hit the 6-foot-5, 270-pound senior in the hands but he couldn’t pull it in.

“I’ll look at the film,” said Rocco. “We had the right matchup, I think we had a good ball. I’m not saying he had both hands on it but I’m not sure he didn’t. That’s a play that we’ve got to make in a situation like that.”

Scarff caught a three-yard TD pass from Caruso in the second quarter for the Hens’ first points of the day.

This time, Delaware had to settle for a 26-yard field goal from Frank Raggo and only a 17-11 advantage.

“There’s no excuse for not putting up (more) points right there,” said Caruso. “That fumble was a gimmee. That was big. We could have ended it right there if we just got it into the end zone.

“The defense deserves for the offense to put up more points than we did today because they played really well..”

The second half had started much better for the Hens.

Holding a 7-3 lead, Delaware took the second-half’s opening kickoff and marched right down the field, covering 71 yards on just six running plays.
Kareem Williams (12 carries-80 yards) bolted 30 yards around the right side for a TD that seemed to put Delaware in relative control at 14-3.

“We came out strong in the second half,” said Kane, who carried the ball four straight times to start the third quarter for a gain of 32 yards. “After that, it kind of fell off.”

“I was very animated in the locker room (at halftime),” said Rocco. “It’s kind of an odd place to be sometimes where you do feel like one unit came ready to play and they performed at a high-enough level to win. And then, the other unit, really wasn’t and didn’t.

“They came out and responded on that first drive. But, again, it just dissipated.”

When the Tigers scored on a 39-yard pass play and added the two-point conversion late in the third quarter, Towson was still very much in the game, trailing only 14-11.

Rocco said again after the game that he thinks eight victories would put Delaware in the playoffs. But, to get to eight, the Hens will have to win at Maine, at home against Albany and then at Villanova.

“We’re obviously disappointed,” said Adderley. “But we’ve just got to stick together.”

“We’re going to stay together as a team,” said Caruso. “We’re going to come back, starting tomorrow and Tuesday and get better. We’re not going to let this hold us back.

“We’re not out of it. We need three wins. Now it just got a little bit harder.”

Extra points

Towson turned the ball over three times while the Hens didn’t turn it over at all. … Delaware had interceptions from safeties K.C. Hinton and Adderely. Adderley’s pickoff was a highlight-reel, one-handed, falling-backawards catch that was already shown on ESPN. … Nose tackle Bilal Nichols had a team-high nine tackles. … After his big game last week, receiver Jamie Jarmon had only one catch for five yards and two carries for 11 yards. … Rocco said he was optimistic that Cherry’s shoulder injury won’t keep him out of next week’s game.

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Last Minute Touchdown Leads Towson to 18-17 Upset Over No. 23 Blue Hens
By Delaware Athletics
Oct 28, 2017

TOWSON, Md. -- Just one week after an exhilarating double overtim victory over Richmond vaulted the University of Delaware into the Top 25, heartbreak hit on Saturday evening as the No. 23 ranked Blue Hens gave up a touchdown in the final minute and dropped an 18-17 Colonial Athletic Association football verdict to Towson at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

The Blue Hens (5-3, 3-2 CAA), who had a three-game win streak snapped, led almost the entire game until the Tigers (3-5, 1-4 CAA) won it on a 14-yard fade pass into the end zone from quarterback Ryan Stover to Sam Gallahan with just 35 seconds left in the game. The Tigers snapped a four-game losing streak.

Despite the setback, Delaware remains in the hunt for a post-season playoff berth as wins against Maine, Albany, and Villanova over the next three weeks would give Delaware eight wins and virtually assure a spot in the 24-team tournament.

Delaware, which had taken a 14-3 lead on the first drive of the second half on a 30-yard run by Kareem Williams (#32 at left) and had gone up 17-11 on a Frank Raggo 26-yard field goal witih 9:43 left to play, had one last chance to score but were stopped at the Towson 44-yard line as a pair of passes by J.P. Caruso fell incomplete.

The last minute victory was nothing new in the series as five of the last seven matchups between these two longtime rivals separated by just an hour's drive have been decided by a touchdown or less, including Delaware's wild 32-31 comeback win in 2013 when the Hens scored 15 points in the final 48 seconds to win.

Delaware's defense, the league's No. 4 ranked unit, was strong once again as the Blue Hens held Towson to just 304 total yards and forced three turnovers. Unfortunately, the UD offense could not take advantage.

Delaware's Colby Reeder recovered a fumble by Towson's Coby Tippett on the Tiger 12-yard line following a muffed punt return with 11:10 left but had to settle for Raggo's field goal after the offense managed to pick up just three yards on three plays.

After the teams traded possessions, Towson finally put the game-winning drive together, going 52 yards on eight plays capped by the game-winner from Stover to Gallahan. Stover threw for 187 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another 56 yards on the day.

Delaware junior Kani Kane led all runners with 113 yards on 22 carries - his second consecutive 100-yard effort - while Williams finished with 80 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Delaware finished with just 264 total yards, on 43 of them through the air.

Defensively for Delaware, senior defensive tackle Bilal Nichols finished with a team-high nine tackles while junior safety Nasir Adderley (#23 at right/ENP Photography) recorded eight tackles and intercepted a pass, a highlight reel version in which he leapt high to reach the ball and brought it down with one hand. Junior linebacker Troy Reeder also added eight tackles while junior defensive back K.C. Hinton recorded his first career pick in the first half.

HEAD COACH DANNY ROCCO
"I don't know if it was a letdown. We got one of Towson's better games this season and we played hard on defense. I thought our defensive played well enough on the road to come up with a win. We continue to lack explosive plays for touchdowns. We had some good runs today but we just didn't get enough from the passing game. We have to go back to work this week and improve from our performance tonight."

QUARTERBACK J.P. CARUSO
"We have to play better and smarter and it starts with me. We left a lot of yards out there. Our defense played well but our offense just didn't get it done. But we won't let this (loss) hold us back. Our road got harder but we aren't out of it. We just have to come out this week and work hard."

On settling for a field goal on the drive in the fourth quarter
"We have no excuse for not putting up more points right there. We could have ended it and we didn't. That was big."

HEN SCRATCHINGS
• After Towson's Aidan O'Neill converted a 33-yard field on Towson's first drive of the day, Delaware came back to take a 7-3 lead into halftime on Caruso's three-yard pass to tight end Charles Scarff (at left) on the first play of the second quarter
• Delaware drove 71 yards for a touchdown on the opening drive of the second half as Kane and Williams combined for all of the yards on the ground
• Delaware moved into the national Top 25 rankings for the first time since the 2014 season and were looking to equal its first four-game win streak since 2012
• Junior wide receiver Jamie Jarmon, who scored three touchdowns in the 42-35 double overtime win over Richmond last week, had his school-record tying streak of five straight games with a touchdown reception snapped but did extend his pass-catching streak to 13 straight games dating back to the 2016 season
• Delaware defensive tackle Blaine Woodson started his 41st straight game
• Raggo has now hit on 8 of 12 field goal attempts this season and extended his successful PAT streak to 57 straight
• Adderley, who entered the game ranked No. 7 in the NCAA in interceptions, now has a team-high five interceptions with four of them coming in the last three games
• Delaware will play its second straight CAA road game next Saturday when they travel to Portland, Maine to take on the Maine Black Bears on Nov. 4 at 2 p.m.

==============================================

Hens stun No. 11 Richmond in 42-35 win
Oct 22nd, 2017 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News 

Receiver Jamie Jarmon is flipped as he vaults into the end zone on a five-yard run. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

NEWARK — When Kyle Lauletta’s 40th pass of the day went whistling through the end zone, landing harmlessly on the Delaware Stadium turf, the celebration was on.

Blue Hen football players were running everywhere, hugging each other, jumping on each other, laughing.

This current group of Hens haven’t had many moments like this and they were going to try to enjoy every bit of it after upending No. 11 Richmond, 42-35, in double overtime on a memorable homecoming Saturday afternoon.

“It was just really a nice sight to see,” said junior safety Nasir Adderley. “Just the celebration on the field at the end of the game, the crowd was amazing all night. We finally did it. We finally got that signature win we’ve been looking for.”

“It was everything that we could dream of — the celebration in the locker room, the celebration on the field after the game was over,” agreed senior defensive tackle Bilal Nichols. “This is what we worked hard for. So it definitely was good to get the taste of what we can be and where we can go.”

A much-anticipated Colonial Athletic Association contest, where the biggest storyline was first-year Delaware coach Danny Rocco facing his former team, was filled with twists and turns.

Offensively, Delaware’s victory ended up being headlined by a pair of former Sussex County high school stars. Indian River’s Jamie Jarmon scored three touchdowns, including two on the ground and ran for 103 yards, while Sussex Tech’s Kani Kane ran for a season-high 109 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries.

Junior running back Kani Kane, from Sussex Tech, dives into the end zone in the second OT for the game-winning touchdown. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

In the end, it was Kane’s one-yard scoring leap that gave unranked Delaware (3-1 CAA, 5-2 overall) its winning points in the second overtime. That drive was kept alive when quarterback J.P. Caruso (13-of-22, 130 yards, 3 TDs) hit receiver Vinny Papale with a 10-yard pass on a third-and-seven.

Kane’s 11-yard run to the one set up his own touchdown.

The Spiders (2-2, 4-3), needing a TD of their own on the ensuing possession, then picked up a first down on the Hens’ 10.

But after the next two plays netted five yards, Richmond’s Lauletta (23-for-40, 295 yards, 4 TDs) was trying to scramble back and away from Delaware’s pass rush when he slipped down for a 19-yard loss to the 24.

Facing a fourth-and-goal from there, all the Richmond standout QB could do was fire a pass into the end zone for the game-ending incompletion.

“It was an extraordinary football game played between two really good football teams,” said Rocco, who was the Spiders’ head coach for the past five years. “We were just a little more fortunate tonight than Richmond was.”

While plenty of different people contributed to Delaware’s win, clearly it was the Hens’ sputtering offense that delivered in some key moments on Saturday.

Safety Nasir Adderley returns one of his two interceptions in Saturday’s game. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

Delaware was trailing 28-21 late in the third quarter when it put together a 13-play, 61-yard march to tie the contest. The Hens converted a fourth-and-one and then a third-and-13 before Jarmon scored on a five-yard sweep.

The former Indian River quarterback leaped just as he was hit at the three, somersaulting just inside the pylon and landing on his back. The hard-earned touchdown knotted the score at 28-28 with 10:06 remaining in regulation.

Handing the ball off to Jarmon on the sweep was a new wrinkle for Delaware’s offense. In the first quarter, the junior receiver took a handoff and out-sprinted several Richmond defenders for a 74-yard touchdown run that gave the Hens a 14-7 lead.

“That’s all credit to my teammates,” said Jarmon. “They gave me green grass and I just ran.”

“He was extraordinary,” Rocco said about Jarmon. “I’ve been kind of saying this about him — how gifted he is, how strong he is, how explosive he is. I think tonight you got a real good look at the depth of his game.”

In the first overtime, Delaware fell behind again, 35-28, on Lauletta’s picture-perfect 20-yard TD pass to Dejon Bissett.

The Hens, though, answered with a seven-play scoring drive. Caruso had plenty of time before finally finding tight end Charles Scarff for a three-yard TD pass that knotted the score.

“I think Caruso came into his own there late in the game,” said Rocco. “He made a couple really critical throws and took some hits and just showed that ‘it’ factor. This football team, I think, can rally around that.”

In the long-term view, the Hens hope Saturday’s upset might help them get in the NCAA Division I FCS playoffs when it’s all said and done. Delaware hasn’t made the playoffs since reaching the national championship game in 2010.

It’s the first time the Hens beat a Top-15 team since knocking off No. 7 Towson in 2013.

“I told the team in the locker room how extraordinarily proud I am of them and of our coaches,” said Rocco. “But I told them, if we remain focused and we remain united, the best is yet to come.”

But Saturday was also about Rocco and six of his assistant coaches facing their old team for the first time. And while Rocco didn’t want it to be about him, his new players made it their motivation anyway.

“We’ve got Coach’s back,” said Nichols. “We knew he really wanted this game — the whole coaching staff. We made sure that, not only did we play for each other, but we played for them also.

“We figured that if wanted the game just half as bad as they did, that we were going to get it.”

Extra points

Delaware has won three straight games for the first time since 2014. … Adderley had a pair of interceptions for the Hens. … Delaware had a chance to win the game with a 37-yard field goal with 29 seconds left in regulation but Richmond blocked the kick. … Jarmon tied the school record by catching a TD pass in a fifth straight game. He was also the first Delaware receiver to run for 100 yards in a game since Michael Johnson in 2013. … Linebacker Anthony Jackson had a team-high seven tackles. … Richmond had won its last 10 overtime games. That included a memorable five-OT, 62-56 win over the Hens.

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Jarmon Lifts Blue Hens to Thrilling 42-35 Double Overtime Homecoming Win Over No. 11 Richmond

By Delaware Athletics
Oct 21, 2017

NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware football team celebrated Homecoming in style Saturday afternoon as the Blue Hens posted a thrilling 42-35 double overtime win over No. 11 Richmond at Delaware Stadium.

Delaware (5-2, 3-1 Colonial Athletic Association), which won its third straight game and earned its second consecutive win over a Top 25 opponent, went ahead on a one-yard scoring dive by junior fullback Kani Kane (#29 at right) to open the second overtime and the defense took over from there, sealing the deal with a big stop of the Spiders (4-3, 2-2 CAA). 

The victory gave Delaware an emotional triumph for first-year head coach Danny Rocco, who served as head coach of the Spiders the previous five seasons.

Delaware junior wide receiver Jamie Jarmon stole the show for the Blue Hens as he scored three touchdowns, including a 74-yard run late in the first quarter in which he outraced a hord of UD defenders down the right sideline, a 19-yard reception from junior quarterback J.P. Caruso just before halftime, and a five-yard run around end with 10:06 left in regulation that tied the game at 28-28. Caruso, a first-year transfer from Appalachian State, was making just his second career start.

Jarmon rushed four times for 103 yards and caught three passes for 41 yards. On his score that tied the game in the final quarter, he took a handoff from Caruso on a speed sweep around the end, was hit at the three-yard line, and did a full flip into the end zone for a highlight-reel touchdown.

Delaware had the chance to win in regulation when a bad snap on a punt by Richmond gave the Hens the ball on the UR 27-yard line. After three running plays by Delaware and three timeouts by Richmond, Delaware kicker Frank Raggo had his 37-yard field goal attempt blocked.

Richmond opened the scoring in overtime on a 20-yard fade pass in the end zone from Kyle Lauletta to Dejon Brissett, but Delaware came right back to force a second overtime when Caruso (#9 at left) hit junior tight end Charles Scarff on a three-yard scoring pass.

The Hens clinched it in the second overtime when Kane, who finished with a game and career-high 109 yards on the ground, ran 11 yards to the one and then dove over the top into the end zone from one-yard out.

Delaware's defense preserved the win, forcing Lauletta into two incomplete passes and getting a sack from senior tackle Bilal Nichols. Lauletta's fourth-and-goal pass from the 24 on the final play of the game was batted down by UD junior cornerback Malcolm Brown.

Delaware piled up 418 total yards and converted on 8 of 16 third-down attempts. Caruso, starting just his second game at Delaware, hit on 13 of 23 passes for 130 yards and three touchdowns.

Lauletta, who entered the game leading all NCAA FCS passers in yards per game (391.3) and total offense, hit on 23 of 40 passes for 295 yards and four touchdowns but was intercepted twice, both times by Delaware junior safety Nasir Adderley (at right)

DELAWARE HEAD COACH DANNY ROCCO:
"This was an extraordinary game between two really good football teams who played hard and played well. We were just a little more fortunate today. This was a signature win for us. Our kids fought hard for their coaches and their teammates. Our first drive was huge and we showed what we are capable of doing. I thought J.P. (Caruso) came into his own today, made some critical throws, and showed the 'it' factor. I am so proud of this team and our coaches. If we remain focused and continue to work hard the best is yet to come. We needed a signature win and we went out and got it. We go home relevent tonight."

ROCCO ON FACING HIS FORMER TEAM:
"It was a little more emotional tonight than I was prepared for but it was a really special."

CO-CAPTAIN BILAL NICHOLS:
"This is what we work so hard for and gives us a taste of what is possible here. Last year we lost some close games but this year we have that belief and that faith in each other. It was great to win this one because we know Coach Rocco really wanted this game, even though he never made it about him."

JAMIE JARMON:
"It was great tonight to pull our (the offense) weight and not rely on the defense. Our coaches preached all week that we had to get off to a good start and we did. Our defense fought them blow for blow."

HEN SCRATCHINGS
• Jarmon snared a touchdown reception for the fifth straight game, tying the UD record set by Bob Norris (1986) and James Anderson (1987). He also became the first UD wide receiver to run for over 100 yards in a game since Michael Johnson had 123 vs. Rhode Island in 2013. Jarmon's 74-yard run was also the second longest ever for a wide receiver in UD history behind Johnson's 78-yard romp in that same game vs. URI in 2013
• Delaware snapped a three-game losing streak in the series against Richmond
• Richmond had a streak of 10-straight overtime wins snapped. The string included a 62-56 five-overtime win over the Joe Flacco-led Hens at Delaware Stadium in 2007
• The Hens are now 46-17 (.730) all-time on Homecoming, including a 3-0 mark vs. Richmond, and have won six of the last eight games overall
• Delaware has now won three straight games for the first time since 2014 and three straight conference wins for the first time since 2013
• Adderley now has a team-high four interceptions and has forced five turnovers this season
• Delaware will continue action next Saturday, Oct. 28, when the Hens head to Towson for a 4 p.m. CAA matchup. The Hens will be looking to match its first four-game win streak since the 2012 season.
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Rocco angle adds intrigue to Richmond-Delaware clash:

By SCOTT GARBARINI
STATS Writer - stats.com

(STATS) - The shock and awe has subsided, though the tension still lingers some.

October games are almost always big deals in CAA Football, especially ones involving teams with legitimate postseason aspirations such as No. 11 Richmond and Delaware. Yet there's a little added drama to Saturday's showdown between the longtime league rivals, simply because the Blue Hens' new head coach just happens to be the Spiders' old one.

Danny Rocco's cross-conference change of address raised many an eyebrow among FCS fans and observers this past winter, not to mention the impact the stunning move had on other programs. It's also made the schools' 32nd meeting one of the most anticipated in the series' history as well as on this season's CAA schedule.

"It'll be a little bit different," Richmond senior quarterback Kyle Lauletta acknowledged. "But I'm excited for it and I think everybody's been waiting for it for a long time."

While Rocco's first matchup with his former employer has been the dominant and obvious storyline, it's probably overshadowed the significance of the game itself. Both the Spiders and Blue Hens sport 4-2 overall records and 2-1 marks in CAA play, and in a league where as many as eight teams still harbor viable postseason hopes, Saturday's winner will greatly enhance its playoff credentials while delivering what could turn out to be a fatal blow to the other's.

Rocco has tried his best during the week to downplay the reunion angle, though he admits there will be some measure of sentiment when he sees all those familiar faces on the opposing sidelines at Delaware Stadium.

"I've really tried my darndest to just stay focused on the process and maintain my priorities and focus on the routine that we have here in place," he said. "I think it's always the game day that is the experience. Those are where the moments occur.

"These are student-athletes that we had recruited (at Richmond), had been in their homes, we had relationships with and then we had a lot of success together. I have great appreciation for what they've done for me, both the university and the student-athletes that we coached, and I think it was a mutual experience."

Rocco's five-year run at Richmond indeed yielded its share of great memories, with the Spiders reaching the FCS playoffs in the final three of those seasons and advancing to the national semifinals in 2015. Which is why so many questions were asked when he opted to leave a program that had re-established itself among the subdivision's upper tier for Delaware, a football-centric school long on tradition and potential but short on results in recent years.

His arrival has re-energized a fan base that had remained loyal through six consecutive non-playoff seasons since Delaware made the 2010 national title game, but had grown frustrated with the program's lack of progress. The Blue Hens appear to be back on an upward climb, however, after beginning October with an impressive 24-20 road win at now-No. 22 Stony Brook and following up with last week's 17-0 league victory over William & Mary.

Delaware held the Tribe to 196 total yards and 11 first downs in the latest strong performance from a defense that's limiting opponents to 14 points per game, sixth-best in the FCS. The unit also posted its third straight outing of allowing fewer than 100 passing yards, a stretch it began by keeping top-ranked James Madison's high-powered attack in check on Sept. 30.

"They're hard to move the ball on," Spiders coach Russ Huesman said. "They're where they're supposed to be, they're physical, they can run. It's probably the best defense I've seen on film that we've played by a long shot."

Delaware's defense may be facing its sternest test to date as well. With All-America candidate Lauletta at the controls, the Spiders are averaging an FCS-leading 392.7 passing yards per game and rank third overall in total offense (510.8 ypg). Lauletta is completing a career-best 65 percent of his attempts while throwing for three or more touchdowns in four of Richmond's six games.

"I think he's taken the next step in his development, his evolution in terms of his ability to be efficient," Rocco said. "He's one of the most competitive young people I've ever been around. That's really the one thing that makes him special."

Lauletta, Richmond's career leader in passing yards (9,076) and touchdowns (64), admits he'll have a little extra fire for the game - though it has nothing to do with having to compete against his ex-coach. The native of suburban Philadelphia - roughly an hour's drive from the Delaware campus - was largely overlooked by the Blue Hens' previous staff despite a distinguished high school career.

"They're a school that didn't really recruit me as much as I would have liked out of high school, so I've always carried that chip on my shoulder," he said. "That's something that still hasn't left me."

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Blue Hens blank W&M 17-0 for first shutout in six years
Oct 14th, 2017 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

NEWARK — Yes, Delaware wishes its offense was better at this stage of this season.

And, yes, the Blue Hens know they’ve got to score points if they’d like to keep winning.

But as long as Delaware’s defense keeps playing as well as it did in a 17-0 shutout of William & Mary on Saturday afternoon, the Hens will gladly take the victory as they head back to the offensive drawing board.

In a game played before a Parents Day crowd of 18,721, Delaware (2-1 CAA, 4-2 overall) won its second straight game while matching its victory total for each of the past two seasons.

By posting the program’s first shutout since 2011, the Hens own that two-game winning streak largely because they haven’t allowed a point in their last six quarters.

“I think that was our first complete game that we were able to put together,” said junior linebacker Troy Reeder. “Our emphasis as the game kept moving on was, we saw that zero up on the scoreboard and we wanted to keep it there.”

Delaware’s Jamie Jarmon pulls in a 27-yard touchdown pass from J.P. Caruso in the second quarter of Saturday’s win. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

“Today the defense really stole the show,” said coach Danny Rocco. “They were outstanding. They played with great passion, great energy. Our defense is playing with confidence right now.”

As much as Rocco enjoyed the victory, however, the first-year Delaware coach also warned that relying too much on the defense is a tough way to live.

“We all know the reality of this game and playing in this league,” said Rocco. “There are going to be days — we just know it — where you’re going to need 24, 28 or 31 (points) to win a football game. We’ve got to find ways to get to 24, 28 or 31 to be able to secure victory.

“They asked me about the score (at halftime) and I said, ‘I’d end it right now if I could. I’ll take 10-0 and go home.’ It’s not rocket science. I just want to win — 10-0, what’s there to complain about?

“But, on another day, 17 points won’t be enough.”

With that in mind, the Hens finished with just 195 total yards. That’s the fewest yards for a Delaware team in a win since 2001 when the Hens managed just 172 yards in a 10-6 victory over Richmond (which was also coach Tubby Raymond’s 300th win).

The Tribe (0-3 CAA, 2-4 overall) picked up just 196 yards. And the two teams also combined for only 21 first downs while punting the ball 20 times between them.

Delaware’s most successful drive came early in the second quarter.

Blue Hen safety Ray Jones looks to make a tackle in Saturday’s game against William & Mary. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

After the Hens’ defense pinned William & Mary deep in its own end of the field, a 13-yard punt return by Jamie Jarmon set up Delaware at the Tribe 38. Five plays later, quarterback J.P. Caruso (7-for-20, 78 yards) found Jarmon wide open on a deep crossing pattern.

The Indian River High grad snared the ball in his outstretched arms for a 27-yard touchdown pass that gave the Hens a 7-0 lead.

It was the fourth straight game that Jarmon (two receptions-37 yards) has caught a scoring pass, which ties for the third-longest such streak in school history.

“I was looking at the safety and I was like, he’s going to do exactly what we’ve been planning it to be all week,” said Jarmon. “When I saw him back up and not go across the middle, I instantly knew, this is six.

“It just honestly feels good to be able to provide a little spark and just contribute. I like having the ball in my hands.”

Delaware was able to tack on a much-needed field goal on the last play of the first half.

With the Tribe at its own 21, Blue Hen safety Nasir Adderley jumped a short route and appeared to have his hands on an interception. But the ball ricocheted off him and landed in the arms of freshman linebacker Colby Reeder at the William & Mary 18.

Frank Raggo made the turnover pay off by booting a 35-yard field goal to give Delaware a 10-0 advantage at intermission. The Hens’ offense just wishes it could have contributed more.

“It starts with me,” said Caruso, who was making his first collegiate start. “I’ve got to get better. I missed a lot of opportunities and a lot of plays that could have helped us put up more points.

“Even though we didn’t put up a lot of points today, I’m very happy that we won. That’s all that matters here. … I’m really happy for the guys and really thankful for the defense we have.”

The only points of the second half also came off a turnover in the fourth quarter.

The Tribe’s Jalen Christian was fielding a punt when he bobbled it into the hands of Adderley, who was the first defender downfield. The fumble recovery set up the Hens at the William & Mary 14.

Delaware simply gave the ball to Kani Kane (12 carries-49 yards) on four straight plays and the Sussex Tech High grad finally bulled his way in for a touchdown with only 5:52 left in the game.

It was the team-leading fifth TD of the year for the junior running back, who only joined the team as a walk-on over the summer.

“If you back the clock up to last spring, our running back situation looks a whole lot different,” said Rocco. “This young man, Kani, was just a guy we thought, ‘Hey, maybe he can play fullback?’ Maybe he can add a little bit of depth?’

“He’s getting better every week. He’s gaining some confidence every week. His best football is ahead of him.”

With Delaware hosting Richmond for homecoming on Saturday, this figures to be a strange week for Rocco. He was the Spiders’ head coach for the past five seasons after all.

“It will be one week where I won’t need a flip card to know who the other guys are,” Rocco quipped. “I can just roll the film and I’ll know who they are.”
Rocco is a little more focused on his current team right now.

“We’re 4-2, 2-1 in the CAA — we’re relevant here in October,” he said. “And we’re hopeful to remain relevant as we get further into the conference schedule.”

Extra points

Delaware did use former starting QB Joe Walker on several plays. He lined up at quarterback with Caruso set up as a wide receiver. Walker ran the ball on all four plays, finishing with 24 yards. … Adderley later did have an interception, returning it 45 yards. He also knocked down a couple passes, including one on a fourth-down stop. … William & Mary started a true freshman QB for the first time since 1975. Shon Mitchell completed 18-of-36 passes for 101 yards with two interceptions.

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Defense Dominates as Blue Hens Blank William & Mary 17-0
By Delaware Athletics
Oct 14, 2017

NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware defense rose to the ocassion once again Saturday afternoon as the Blue Hens held William & Mary to just 196 total yards and forced three turnovers in a 17-0 Colonial Athletic Association football victory before a spirited Parents & Family Weekend crowd at Delaware Stadium.

The Blue Hens (4-2, 2-1 CAA) won their second straight game and improved to 3-1 at home this season as they intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble. The shutout was Delaware's first since a 21-0 victory over William & Mary in 2011 at Delaware Stadium, a span of 68 games.

Delaware gained just 195 yards itself but used the outstanding defensive effort and a solid performance on special teams to post the victory before a season-high crowd of 18,721.

Junior quarterback J.P. Caruso (left/photo by Mark Campbell), who made his first career start for the Blue Hens, threw for 78 yards and tossed a 27-yard scoring strike to junior wide receiver Jamie Jarmon with 9:01 left in the second quarter for all the points the Blue Hens would need.

The Blue Hens made it 10-0 just before halftime as junior Frank Raggo converted a 45-yard field goal as the clock expired. The score was set up by an interception by redshirt freshman linebacker Colby Reeder at the Tribe 26-yard line.

William & Mary (2-4, 0-3 CAA) lost its third straight game despite a solid defensive effort itself, holding the Blue Hens to just 10 first downs and a season-low 195 yards. Freshman quarterback Shon Mitchell, making his first career start, hit on 18 of 36 passes for 101 yards but was intercepted twice.

Delaware concluded the scoring when junior Kani Kane (team-high 50 yards rushing) used a big second effort to bull into the end zone from one-yard out with 5:52 left in the fourth quarter for a 17-0 lead. That score was set up when junior safety Nasir Adderley (at right/photo by Jesse Caris), who earlier returned an interception 45 yards, recovered a muffed punt by the Tribe's Jalen Christian at the W&M 14-yard line. Adderley also had six tackles and two pass breakups.

HEAD COACH DANNY ROCCO:
"I was really pleased with the way this team responded at home. Our defense really stole the show today. They played with great passion, great energy, and great confidence. We have a great structure on defense in place and the players are buying in. I also knew our special teams would be important today and they were really solid. Our offense had a few good drives today but we just couldn't sustain it. We still have a lot of work to do. We were +3 today (in turnovers) and you are not going to lose many games when you do that."

LINEBACKER TROY REEDER
"We are building (on defense) week in and week out. This was really our first complete game on defense today. We are developing and that has been our emphasis. I looked up and saw zeros on the scoreboard and I wanted to keep it like that."

HEN SCRATCHINGS
• Delaware has now held opponents scoreless for six straight quarters and for 91:38 minutes since last week's 24-20 win over Stony Brook
• Delaware's 195 total yards was its lowest total in a victory since the Blue Hens managed just 172 yards in a 10-6 win over Richmond on Nov. 10, 2001 at Delaware Stadium. That victory marked head coach Tubby Raymond's 300th career win
• Jarmon has now caught four touchdown passes on 18 receptions this season and has caught a touchdown pass in three straight games, the third longest streak in UD history and the longest by a UD player since All-American Eddie Conti during the 1998 campaign
• Former Delaware captain and current Carolina Panthers starting safety Mike Adams was the Honorary Captain and took part in the pre-game coin toss
• Delaware entered the game ranked last in the NCAA in punt returns (-0.3 yards per return) but Jarmon returned two for 28 yards, including a season-long 15-yarder
• Junior punter Nick Pritchard punted 10 times for a 40.4-yard average and had five land inside the William & Mary 20-yard line
• Junior RB Thomas Jefferson upped his career rushing yardage total to 1,798 to move into 20th place on the all-time UD list
• Delaware will continue action next Saturday, Oct. 21, when the Hens host CAA foe Richmond for Homecoming at Delaware
Stadium. The game will match UD head coach Danny Rocco against the team he served as head coach for the previous five seasons. Delaware will be looking to win three straight games for the first time since 2014.

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Hens stage 2nd half rally, shock No. 23 Stony Brook 24-20
Oct 7th, 2017 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

The Hens’ Kareem Williams eyes yardage downfield against Stony Brook. (Photo courtesy of Stony Brook sports information)

STONY BROOK, N.Y. — For 30 minutes, Delaware was heading nowhere.

The Blue Hens’ offense was scuffling enough that coach Danny Rocco changed quarterbacks.

And Delaware’s usually-tough defense was playing soft.

In short, trailing No. 23 Stony Brook by 13 points at halftime, there was no reason to believe that Delaware had a comeback left in it.

But, seemingly out of nowhere, the Hens ran off the final 17 points of the contest to stun the Seawolves, 24-20, in a Colonial Athletic Association football matchup on Saturday night in LaValle Stadium.

The game ended with Stony Brook (3-1 CAA, 4-2 overall) facing a fourth-and-13 at the Delaware 18. But, just as QB Joe Carbone tried to scramble out of the pocket, he was gang-tackled by linemen John Nassib, Blaine Woodson and Bilal Nichols at the 19.

The Hens went sprinting off the field in celebration after the stop with just 26 seconds left. Delaware (1-1 CAA, 3-2) just had to take a knee to polish off its first road upset of a top 25 team since 2013.

UD switched to J.P. Caruso at quarterback in the first half. (Photo courtesy of Stony Brook sports information)

“Oh man, I’ve got so many emotions running through my head,” said quarterback J.P. Caruso, who entered the contest on the third series of the night. “I’m so proud of this team, so proud of these coaches for believing in me.

“This is the best feeling in the world right now,” said the Appalachian State transfer, who was all smiles. “I’m so happy. But we’ve got a long way to go.”
“I can’t even express how I’m feeling right now,” said junior cornerback Malcolm Brown. “A win like this, I think, is pivotal for this team. Hopefully we can use this as some momentum to spark us the rest of the year.

“But the emotions that I’m feeling right now — and the emotions that are in this locker room right now — I can’t even explain.”

Brown made the play that seemed to swing momentum in Delaware’s favor.

With the Hens trailing 20-10 in the third quarter, linebacker Troy Reeder stripped a Stony Brook ballcarrier after a short run. The fumble landed in Brown’s hands.

After managing to elude a Seawolf tackler and still stay inbounds, the junior cornerback then just had to sprint the rest of the 45-yard return for the touchdown with 4:04 left in the third quarter. Brown also said linebacker Anthony Jackson made a key block on the return.

“I did the easy part,” Brown said with a smile. “I saw it in the air. … I knew it could be a big play if I was to score. I knew it could change the game.
“The defense needed it and I was the person there at the time. It was a big play.”

When the Hens’ defense gave its offense the ball right back, Delaware marched 80 yards on seven plays for the winning touchdown.

Junior running back Kani Kane, the Sussex Tech High grad, broke off a 32-yard run to the Stony Brook six. Then, on the next play, Kane (7 carries-57 yards) took the ball around left end and fought his way to the pylon, just breaking the plane for the six-yard touchdown run that gave Delaware its 24-20 advantage.

“I was waiting all game,” said Kane. “I had an opportunity to take it and I took it.”

The Seawolves had three more possessions with a chance to pull off their own comeback. The Hens forced punts on the first two drives.

Delaware punter Nick Pritchard’s 60-yard punt then pinned Stony Brook back its own nine with 3:12 and one timeout remaining.

Stony Brook almost drove the length of the field, reaching the Delaware 15 with 47 seconds and no timeouts left.

The Hens hit a Seawolf runner for a three-yard loss on first down before two incompletions set up the fourth-down stop.

The shutout second half was redemption for the Hens’ defense, which struggled in the first half in allowing Stony Brook to build a 20-7 lead.

“It was really the only half this year that I thought we were soft on defense,” said Rocco. “And I called them out in the locker room at halftime. I made it very clear that what I just witnessed was 100-percent unacceptable.

“I told them after the game that two of the most important things that we have to do in life and football is you’ve got to be able to respond. Our team responded in the second half. And you’ve got to be able to finish. We finished in a big way here today.”

Rocco pulled starting QB Joe Walker after the Hens went three-and-out on each of their first two possessions of the game.

Caruso then gave Delaware an immediate spark when he found Jamie Jarmon for a 23-yard scoring pass to tie the score at 7-7 early in the second quarter. Caruso got away from a few pass rushers, rolled to his right and found Jarmon, who made a leaping catch in the end zone.

But the momentum was short-lived.

The Seawolves needed just five plays to drive 65 yards for a TD to back the lead at 14-7. Stony Brook then added a 55-yard scoring march just before halftime to take a 20-7 lead into halftime.

It was far from a perfect performance for Caruso. He completed 7-of-14 passes for 80 yards with the TD and an interception.

Caruso did show some quickness, running for another 65 yards on nine carries.

After the contest, Rocco said he and his coaches will just keep evaluating the quarterback situation and that Walker is still very much in the picture.

“He (Caruso) was a little more decisive when he decided to pull the ball and run it,” said Rocco. “Obviously, he has a lot of work to do. He made some significant mistakes — really almost to the point that I considered going back to Joe.”

Following Saturday’s win, though, Caruso was all smiles. A backup at Appalachian State, he felt like he’d waited a long time for a night like this.

“We weren’t playing smart football in the first half,” said Caruso. “In the second half we came together and said, ‘You know what? Let’s do something.’

“In the second half, we showed that we’re not a soft team. We’re a team that fights for each other. We’re all brothers. We’ll fight for the man right next to us. That’s what we did in the second half.”

Extra points

A blocked PAT kick by linebacker Colby Reeder after Stony Brook’s last TD ended up being huge at the end, when the Seawolves couldn’t kick a field goal to tie. … Nichols also got a piece of a missed 36-yard field goal attempt by the Seawolves. … A week after hitting a school-record 55-yard field, Frank Raggo hit a 50-yarder on Saturday. … Kareem Williams ran for a team-high 75 yards on 16 carries. … Safety Nassir Adderley and Troy Reeder each had a game-high 12 tackles. … Before he left the game, Walker became the 18th player in UD history with 3,000 yards of total offense. … The Hens are home the next two weeks, starting with a 3:30 p.m. game against William & Mary on Saturday.

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Football Rallies for Pivotal Victory, Downs #23 Stony Brook 24-20
By Delaware Athletics
Oct 7, 2017

STONY BROOK, N.Y. – The University of Delaware picked up the signature football win it’s been searching for Saturday night as the Blue Hens rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit and downed No. 23 ranked Stony Brook 24-20 at LaValle Stadium.

Malcolm Brown’s picked up a fumble and raced 45 yards for a touchdown with 4:04 left in the third quarter to pull the Blue Hens to within three points and fullback Kani Kane’s six-yard scoring burst just two minutes into the final stanza proved to be the game-winner as Delaware (3-2, 1-1 CAA) picked up the pivotal Colonial Athletic Association win.

Stony Brook (4-2, 3-1 CAA), which entered the game tied atop the CAA standings with an unbeaten mark in league play, had a four-game win streak snapped despite leading 20-7 at the break.

Delaware’s defense came up big down the stretch as the Blue Hens held the Seawolves out of the end zone on the final drive of the night to clinch the victory. Delaware’s defensive line trio of Blaine Woodson, Bilal Nichols, and John Nassib sacked SBU quarterback Joe Carbone at the UD 18-yard line on a fourth down play in the final seconds to preserve the victory.

Stony Brook gained possession on its own nine-yard line with 3:12 left to play and drove 73 yards on 14 plays, converting six first downs on the way. But the Blue Hen defense stiffened, forcing two incomplete passes and the final sack to save the day.

Blue Hen junior quarterback J.P. Caruso (at right), a first-year transfer from Appalachian State, took over for starter Joe Walker in the first quarter and led the Hens to the victory as he completed 7 of 14 passes for 80 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for 65 yards.

His scrambling 23-yard scoring strike to Jamie Jarmon with 12:37 left in the first half tied the game at 7-7 before the Seawolves took a 20-7 lead into intermission thanks to two scoring throws from Carbone to Ray Bolden.

Kareem Williams led the Delaware ground game with 75 yards on 16 carries while Kane finished with 57 yards, including a 32-yarder that set up his game-winning touchdown. Diante Cherry and Charles Scarff also caught three passes each for the Hens.

The defense had seven tackles for loss, a sack, and four pass breakups with safety Nasir Adderley and linebacker Troy Reeder leading the way with 12 tackles each. It was Reeder who stripped the ball from SBU running back Donald Liotine and forced the fumble that Brown picked up and took to the end zone to spark the comeback.

Delaware junior kicker Frank Raggo came up big for the second straight week to also spark the rally. Just one week after connecting on a school-record 55-yard field goal vs. JMU, he nailed a 50-yarder on Saturday with 8:47 left in the third quarter to pull the Hens to within 20-10.

HEAD COACH DANNY ROCCO
“We would have taken the win any way we could get it. We played poorly in the first half and didn’t have any rhytmn. I made it very clear at halftime that what I had witnessed was unacceptable and we had to focus on winning football games and that first-half effort was not going to do it. I told them after the game that one of the most important things we have to do in life and in football is to be able to respond. And we responded in the second half. We responded with some energy and with some leadership and then we finished in a big way here today. “

J.P. CARUSO
"I have so many emotions running through my head. I am so proud of this team, so proud of these coaches for believing in me. It’s a nice feeling. We have a long way to go and we know that. We have to go to practice tomorrow and fix up our mistakes because we have a long road ahead. The ball hasn’t been bouncing our way out and little things have made us lose games. We have been fixing those and we probably had our best week of practice this week. We knew this was the biggest game we had so far and everyone came together and said ‘lets start winning some games.’“

MALCOLM BROWN
“The special thing about this team, this defense in particular, is that we didn’t give up and we came away with the win. We preach every day that we have to stay together and keep playing. A win like this is pivotal for this team and hopefully we can use this as momentum to spark us for the rest of the year.”

HEN SCRATCHINGS

Delaware snapped a six-game losing streak vs. Top 25 teams, earning a win for the first time since a win over No. 25 William & Mary on Oct. 3, 2015. It was also the Hens’ first victory over a Top 25 team on the road since a 32-31 victory over No. 7 Towson in 2013
Delaware will return home to Delaware Stadium to face William & Mary for Parents & Family Weekend next Saturday, Oct. 14, at 3:30 p.m.
Delaware made its first-ever visit to Stony Brook and its first visit to Long Island since 2008 vs. Hofstra. The Hens have now won six straight games on Long Island since the 1969 season
Walker, who played the first two series before giving way to Caruso, went over 3,000 career total offense yards during the game
Woodson started his 38th straight game
Delaware played the game without three starters on defense – CB Justin Watson, LB Charles Bell, and DE Cam Kitchen. All three are out with season-ending injuries suffered earlier this season.

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#1 Dukes Tie CAA Win-Streak Record with 20-10 Win at Delaware

9/30/2017 -  Jmusports.com

NEWARK, Del. – Junior running back Trai Sharp rushed for a career-high 185 yards and top-ranked James Madison forced three turnovers to grind out a 20-10 Colonial Athletic Association football victory at Delaware on Saturday at Delaware Stadium.

The Dukes increased the nation's longest win streak to 17 games, which tied the all-time CAA record - set by Richmond in 2008-09. That is also tied for the 13th-longest win streak in FCS history.

JMU improved to 5-0 on the year and 2-0 in CAA play, while the Blue Hens fell to 2-2 and 0-1.

QUICK HITS

Sharp ran for 185 yards on 36 carries, tallying a 5.1 yards per carry average. His long of 59 set up his six-yard touchdown carry in the first quarter.
Redshirt senior Andrew Ankrah recorded his first career touchdown on a 23-yard fumble recovery in the second quarter. He finished with five tackles, including two for loss, and a sack.
Playing in his first game this season, senior linebacker Brandon Hereford recorded a team-high 11 tackles and a sack.
JMU's defense held Delaware to just 229 yards of offense and blanked the host Hens for the final 42:07.
Raven Greene collected his third takeaway of the season with his second interception of the season in the second quarter. He also forced a fumble early in the second half when UD was driving in JMU territory.
Junior kicker Tyler Gray sealed the win with a career-long, 48-yard field goal with 2:50 remaining.

WHERE THE GAME TURNED

Trailing 10-7 after having just punted to Delaware, Andrew Ankrah picked up a fumble on a backwards pass and ran it 23 yards for his first career touchdown, giving the Dukes a 14-10 lead with 6:53 to go in the first half.
On the ensuing drive, Raven Greene picked off UD quarterback Joe Walker with 3:46 to go in the second, resulting in three points off a Tyler Gray field goal in the closing seconds.
That fueled JMU's defense into the second half, where it did not give up any points to the host Blue Hens.

THE DAGGER

After forcing UD into a three-and-out with just under seven minutes to go, Trai Sharp rushed for 23 yards on five consecutive plays to set up a Tyler Gray field goal.
Gray drilled a career-long, 48 yarder from the left hash to put the Dukes up 10, at 20-10 with only 2:50 to play.

TRAI HAS A DAY
Trai Sharp carried the load on offense, tallying 36 of the Dukes' 54 rushes on the day, as he finished with 185 yards. He began his career performance by ripping off a massive 59-yard rush to put the dukes inside the 10. On the very next play, he pounded it in the end zone from six yards out to give JMU a 7-3 lead. It was Sharp's second 100-yard rushing performance of the year and the fourth of his career.

NO DOUBT ON DEFENSE
In the second half, JMU's defense gave up just 79 yards of total offense while holding the Hens scoreless. JMU gave up just four first downs the entire half, along with three straight three-and-outs. This was the fourth consecutive game JMU has held its opponent to under 300 total yards of offense.
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Hens battle but fall 20-10 to No. 1 Dukes in CAA opener

Sep 30th, 2017 · by Andy Walter · Delaware State News

Delaware defensive backs Ray Jones (7) and Nassir Adderley (23) tackle JMU’s Terrence Alls on Saturday. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

NEWARK — Many times on Saturday afternoon, Delaware stood toe-to-toe with James Madison, slugging it out with the best FCS football team in the country.

But that wasn’t good enough.

Too many times, the No. 1-ranked Dukes were the ones who made the biggest plays.

And when JMU also got the biggest call of the day, it was all too much for the Blue Hens to overcome as they fell to the defending national-champion Dukes, 20-10, on an overcast, windy day at Delaware Stadium.

The hard-earned victory was the 17th in a row for JMU (2-0 CAA, 5-0 overall) and second straight over Delaware (0-1, 2-2), which was playing its Colonial Athletic Association opener.

“I know we played hard,” junior linebacker Troy Reeder said after making 12 tackles. “There’s no question in my mind, without even watching the film yet, I know we played as hard as we could. I think we could play a better game.

The Hens’ Kani Kane, a Sussex Tech High grad, stiff-arms a JMU defender on a 37-yard run. Kane finished with a season-high 81 yards on 13 carries. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

“We’re a veteran group,” he added. “We need to play and execute to the best of our ability every play — no letdowns. Especially against a team like that, it only takes a play or two for them to increase their lead.”

“At the end of the day, we didn’t perform well enough to win,” said senior nose tackle Bilal Nichols. “That’s all it comes down to. We lost. We can’t look at it as we played well because we didn’t play well enough to win, obviously.”

As for the crucial call, that came with 6:53 left in the second quarter and Delaware leading 10-7.

The Hens were at their own 30 when quarterback Joe Walker threw a swing pass to running back Kareem Williams. The ball went off the hands of Williams, who reacted as if it was an incomplete pass.

But JMU defensive lineman Andrew Ankrah scooped up the bouncing ball and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown. The fumble call stood after video-replay officials looked at it.
Replays showed it was a close call either way.

“Certainly I thought that play was the most pivotal play in the ballgame — and probably did win the game,” said JMU coach Mike Houston. “It really swung the momentum heavily in our favor. And, with the way we were playing defensively, you knew that there weren’t going to be a whole lot of points scored.”

Delaware coach Danny Rocco said he didn’t get a good enough look at the play to know what happened. He said only that the play is designed as a forward pass.

“I’m not saying they missed the call,” said Rocco. “It was bang-bang. No doubt, it was the biggest play of the football game.”

Turnovers, as usual, ended up being a huge part of the game.

Delaware linebacker Troy Reeder chases after James Madison QB Bryan Schor in Saturday’s game. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

Delaware turned the Dukes over on each of their first two possessions. Reeder’s interception and Cam Kitchen’s fumble recovery gave the Hens the ball at JMU’s 42 and 41, respectively.

But the Hens ended up with only three points out of the two turnovers, getting a school-record 55-yard field goal from Frank Raggo.

In the second quarter, Delaware was facing a second-and-four from the Dukes’ 39. JMU safety Raven Greene, though, intercepted a pass down the sidelines to end the threat.

Then, on the first drive of the second half, a 29-yard return by Khory Spruill set up the Hens at the Dukes’ 47. Two first downs later, Sussex Tech High grad Kani Kane (13 carries-season-high 81 yards) gained seven yards on a first-down run but fumbled the ball at the JMU 15 at the end of the play.

Delaware’s third turnover of the game also ended its last legitimate scoring opportunity of the afternoon.

The Hens hung in until the end, though, before Tyler Gray’s 48-yard field goal with 2:50 left in the game sealed Delaware’s fate.

After back-to-back, three-and-outs by the Hens’ offense in the second half, Rocco even tried switching to QB J.P. Caruso. But the Appalachian State transfer didn’t fare any better, completing only 2-of-7 passes for 42 yards.

“We were looking for a spark,” said Rocco.

Walker completed 5-of-11 passes for 47 yards while also running for 46 yards on 13 carries, many of which were designed running plays.

Delaware’s lone touchdown came early in the second quarter when Walker rolled out to his right before coming all the way back to his left and firing a 15-yard scoring pass to Indian River High grad Jamie Jarmon in the back of the end zone.

Maybe one of Delaware’s more impressive feats came in the third quarter.

Frank Raggo lines up his school-record 55-yard field goal in the first quarter. (Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

The Hens’ defense endured a 21-play, 74-yard drive by the Dukes that lasted for 9:35. JMU converted three fourth downs on the march — one on a fake punt, one of a juggling catch and one on a penalty.

But Delaware stopped the Dukes at its own 11. And, when JMU missed a 28-yard field, the Hens still trailed only 17-10.

“It was 21 plays?,” Reeder said when asked about the drive. “I think it says a lot about the guys that that wasn’t what we were thinking about. I would have guessed 10 (plays) probably.
“I know we played hard,” Reeder said later. “That’s a mentality that I think is a building block just because I know guys are going to give the effort.”

Extra points

With both teams struggling with the gusty wind at times, JMU kept the ball in the hands of running back Trai Sharp, who finished with 185 yards on a workmanlike 36 carries. … Delaware lost senior linebacker Charles Bell to an undisclosed injury in the first half. Bell was able to walk off the field, with assistance. But he was later taken to an ambulance in a wheelchair. … Kitchen left the game with an injury late in the game. … Defensive lineman Blaine Woodson also had 12 tackles for the Hens with linebacker Jalen Kindle adding 10. … Raggo’s 55-yard field goal broke the school-record 54-yarder booted by Steve Leo against Navy in 1992. It was the third-longest in CAA history. … JMU quarterback Bryan Schor completed 10-of-19 passes for only 93 yards but picked up some big first downs with his scrambling. He ran for 39 yards on nine carries. … The Hens have had three fake punts run against them successfully this season.
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Blue Hens safety Ray Jones serves as role model for Wilmington youth football players

Kevin Tresolini, The News Journal Sept. 26, 2017

The University of Delaware didn’t have a football game this past Saturday.

But Ray “Buck” Jones, the Blue Hens’ junior safety out of Hodgson Vo-Tech, was quite content to be standing alongside a football field.

Located at Wilmington’s Eden Park, near the intersections of Terminal and New Castle avenues and flanked by industrial parks and Interstate 495, it was a green oasis of camaraderie and competition.

Jones was clearly a popular – and inspirational – figure to players from the Wilmington Titans Youth Athletics program, some of whom are coached by his father, Ray Sr.

Many of those same players had flocked to Delaware’s season-opening game against Delaware State on Aug. 31 in Newark to see Jones play, and posed for a pre-game photo with him right there on Tubby Raymond Field.

They had also benefited from his coaching, as Jones sometimes attends practices when time permits, runs drills and teaches fundamentals to the players. During the summer, at a park near his family’s home in Northeast Wilmington, Jones would set up orange cones and put his 13-year-old brother Deshonne Moore and his friends, teammates and neighbors through various football-related exercises.

In a city teeming with gang activity, a record number of shootings and the nation’s highest rate for adolescents killed or injured by gun violence, Jones knows his efforts go well beyond football. He wants the kids around him to know there’s a positive path that leads to a promising future, too, and they can follow it, just as he did.

“Stay out of the streets,” Jones said Saturday morning while the Titans under-8 team played the Chiefs, a Philadelphia squad, in a United Tri-State Athletic League game. “The streets ain’t nothing but trouble.

“I never was into the streets. I was always outside playing around but I was never into the street life. I just focused on football and school.”

The Titans, in their black uniforms with orange and yellow trim, eye Jones with heroic admiration but also brotherly love. Their banter with him is lively and often humorous.
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Ray Jones and Wilmington Titan Gavin Blalock show some muscle. (Photo: Kevin Tresolini, The News Journal)

Jones teases 6-year-old Gavin Blalock about being caught from behind on a long run.

“I was tired,” Blalock responded.

“You’re not conditioned enough yet, eating all that candy,” Jones said.

Sharlet Blalock, Gavin’s mother, can’t help but appreciate the dialogue.

“Gavin loves Buck,” she said. “My boys love him. He’s such a good role model and a positive influence. They follow football and they like to come see him play for Delaware. He works out with them when he’s home.”

She calls Gavin “a diehard,” who frequently watches football on TV and the computer and already has eyes set on playing college football at Mississippi.

“I’m heading to UD when I grow up,” 10-year-old brother Gary countered.


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Delaware Announces 2017 Athletics Hall of Fame Class; Six to be Honored at Sept. 29 Ceremony
By Courtesy of Delaware Athletics
09-21-17

NEWARK, Del. – A group of six former University of Delaware Athletics standouts who represent 10 different Blue Hens sports and whose prestigious careers include emergency room physician, veterinarian, engineering professor, athletics administrator, teacher, and coach, make up the newest induction class of the University of Delaware Athletics Hall of Fame.

The 21st induction class will be honored in an invitation-only ceremony and reception for family and friends next Friday, Sept. 29, at the Bob Carpenter Center. The honorees will also be recognized at halftime of the Delaware vs. James Madison University football game at Delaware Stadium the following afternoon, Sept. 30.

The Class of 2017 features representatives from every decade since the 1940s and the sports of football, baseball, field hockey, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s indoor track & field, men’s and women’s outdoor track & field, and rowing. Four of the inductees are Delaware natives and five of them still reside in the area.

The six-person class includes the first-ever rower named to the UD Athletics Hall of Fame in Dr. Jenni Buckley; record-setting football wide receiver Courtney Batts; All-American cross country and track distance runner and former U.S. Field Hockey team member Dr. Sandy Gibney; standout baseball player and current Blue Hen associate baseball head coach Dan Hammer; longtime UD swimmer, coach, and director of athletics Edgar N. Johnson; and NCAA qualifying swimmer Dr. Art Mayer.

Below are biographies of the Class of 2017:

COURTNEY BATTS
(Football, 1994-97; Baseball, 1995; Football Graduate Assistant Coach, 1998-99) 

In the proud tradition of University of Delaware football, few players can match the pass receiving exploits of Courtney Batts.

A native of Philadelphia, Batts consistently shredded opposing defenses with his sure hands and blazing speed and finished his career with a host of pass receiving records.

A 1998 physical education Delaware graduate, he played wide receiver for Hall of Fame head coach Tubby Raymond and led the Blue Hens to an impressive four-year mark of 38-11-1 that included three straight NCAA Tournament appearances, most notably a trip to the national semifinals in 1997 when the team went 12-2.

A four-year starter, he never missed a game and along the way set 10 school records, including receptions in a season (60) and career (179), pass receiving yards in a career (3,522), and career touchdown receptions (27).

He was a two-time All-Atlantic 10 Conference selection and was named the UD Outstanding Senior Male Athlete of the Year in 1998. He also played one season of baseball and led the Blue Hens to an America East title and NCAA Tournament appearance in 1995 as a second baseman.

Batts, who served as a graduate assistant coach with the UD football program in 1998-99, is now in his 18th year working in the education field and currently serves as an algebra teacher in the Baltimore City School System. He resides in the Baltimore area with his wife, DanYelle, son, Courtney, and daughter, Morgan.

DR. JENNI BUCKLEY
(Rowing, 1999-2001) 

The first-ever rower to be inducted into the UD Athletics Hall of Fame, Dr. Jenni Buckley joined the squad during its second year of existence and was an immediate standout on the water for the Blue Hens. 

A native of Wilmington, Del., she was a member of the novice heavyweight eights boat in 2000 and led a crew that captured first place in every event it competed in during the spring, including the top finish at the prestigious Dad Vail Regatta where she helped lead the overall team to a runner-up finish for head coach Amanda Kukla.

As a senior in 2001, she was named the team’s UD Alumni Association Team Most Valuable Player as a member of the lightweight varsity eights crew that won the Dad Vail title and helped the team capture the overall regatta crown from among 150 schools.

An outstanding student in mechanical engineering, she recorded a perfect 4.0 GPA and earned her degree from UD in 2001. She later earned her master’s (2004) and doctorate (2006) degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Buckley has served as an associate professor in mechanical engineering at the University of Delaware since 2011 and was presented the Trabant Award for Women’s Equity at UD in 2016. She teaches a range of courses as part of the undergraduate curriculum and conducts research in biomechanics as well as engineering education, focusing particularly on issues of equity and inclusion.

She lives in Newark, Del. with her partner, Dr. Amy Trauth, also a professor at UD, and their two children, Galen and Addy, who are aspiring Blue Hens.

DR. SANDY GIBNEY, M.D.
(Field Hockey, 1979; Cross Country, 1980-82; Indoor Track & Field, 1979-80; Outdoor Track & Field, 1980-82)

Whether it was running an open course, competing on the track, or playing with a stick in hand, Dr. Sandy Gibney excelled in everything she tried during an impressive career at Delaware. 

An eight-time letterwinner, Dr. Gibney was a member of the U.S. National Field Hockey team and played one season at UD for head coach Mary Ann Hitchens, leading the squad to a 10-4-2 mark in 1979.

She then made the full-time switch to running and never looked back, becoming one of the all-time great distance runners in school history. She competed twice at the national cross country championships, earning All-American honors with a 16th place finish in 1981.

A native of Wilmington, Del., she also excelled for the outdoor track & field squad for three seasons, competing in the 5,000 meters at the 1980 national championships. Gibney set nine outdoor records during her career, including UD standards in the 800m, 3,000m, 5,000m, two-mile, and three-mile events.

A 1983 (physical education and health sciences) and 1986 graduate (master’s in physiology) of UD, Dr. Gibney earned her medical degree in 1994 from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. She currently serves as Associate Chairman of Emergency Services and Liaison Trauma Director at St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington.

She and her husband, Rick Schuder, himself a former UD track & field runner in 1977-79, reside in the Wilmington area.

DAN HAMMER
(Baseball, 1993-96; Baseball Assistant Coach, 1997-2005; Baseball Associate Head Coach , 2006-Present)

As an outstanding player and well-respected coach, Dan Hammer has played an integral part in the success of Delaware baseball for nearly three decades.

A native of North East, Md., Hammer was a standout infielder for the Blue Hens in 1993-96 for Hall of Fame head coach Bob Hannah and led the squad to a record of 158-60, two conference titles, and NCAA Tournament appearances in 1995 and 1996.

He served as co-captain for the two NCAA teams, was named All-Region in 1994, was twice named All-North Atlantic Conference, selected team MVP in 1996, and was a member of the NCAA Regional All-Tournament team in 1996.

A 1996 UD graduate (engineering technology and technical management), Hammer finished his illustrious playing career with 26 home runs, a .360 batting average, and a .536 on-base percentage and ranked among the all-time UD Top 10 in games played (203), at-bats (717), runs (217), hits (258), doubles (62), total bases (412), and walks (144).

He joined the Blue Hens coaching staff in 1997 and was promoted to associate head coach for head coach and UD Athletics Hall of Famer Jim Sherman in 2006. During his coaching tenure, he has led the Blue Hens to 17 winning seasons, five conference titles, and NCAA appearances in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2017.

In all, 37 Blue Hens players have gone on to play at the professional level during his time at UD, with several of those players reaching the Major Leagues.

Hammer and his wife, Jenni, reside in Elkton, Md. with their son, Luke, and daughter, Katy. Jenni is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in educational leadership at Delaware.

EDGAR JOHNSON
(Men’s Swimming & Diving, 1962-66; Men’s Cross Country Head Coach, 1971-79; Women’s Swimming & Diving Head Coach, 1979-84; Men’s Swimming & Diving Head Coach, 1981-84; Director of Athletics & Recreation Services, 1984-2009) 

Over a span of five decades, as a standout swimmer, multiple-sport coach, and Director of Athletics, few individuals have devoted as much time and talent to Delaware Athletics than Edgar Johnson.

A native of Wilmington, Del., Johnson was a record-breaking swimmer in 10 events and two-time captain who earned UD degrees in 1967 (physical education & health education) and 1970 (master’s in guidance and counseling).

He joined UD Athletics in 1969 and served in a variety of roles, including assistant swimming & diving coach, assistant athletic trainer, assistant track & field coach, instructor in physical education, associate professor, and head coach for the men’s cross country and men’s and women’s swimming teams. His women’s swimming teams won an incredible 42 straight dual meets and placed ninth at the 1981 AIAW national championships.

As athletics director he enjoyed a distinguished 25-year career in which he led the Blue Hens program to new heights, directing UD from the East Coast Conference to the America East Conference and to its current home in the Colonial Athletic Association. Delaware captured 10 consecutive America East Commissioner’s Cup Awards, won 83 conference titles, and appeared in 32 NCAA Championships during his tenure. He was inducted into the UD Wall of Fame in 2011 and received the prestigious James Lynah Service Award for contributions to college athletics by the Eastern College Athletic Conference in 2014.

The Edgar Johnson Award, which is presented each year to the UD senior male letterwinner who best exemplifies the characteristics of hard work, dedication, fairness, and striving for excellence, is named in his honor.

He and his wife, Karen, a 1972 UD graduate, reside in Newark, Del. They have a son, Chris (Delaware ’95), who played football for the Blue Hens under Tubby Raymond, and a daughter, Sarah (Delaware ’98, ’08). They have three grandchildren.

DR. ART MAYER, V.M.D.
(Men’s Swimming & Diving, 1949-53)

One of the most accomplished swimmers in UD history, Dr. Art Mayer was a record-breaking conference champion for the Blue Hens in 1949-53.

A native of Newark, Del., Dr. Mayer didn’t begin the sport until he arrived at UD but quickly flourished in the pool, setting three freshman records and never stopping. For his career, he set 10 school and 13 pool records at one time or another and captured four Middle Atlantic Conference individual titles.

He won the MAC freshman 300-yard medley title in 1950, the MAC 150-yard individual medley and 200-yard backstroke titles in 1952, and took first place in the 300 medley relay and second place in the 200 backstroke at the 1953 MAC meet.

As a senior co-captain for head coach and UD Athletics Hall of Famer Harry Rawstrom, he became the first UD swimmer to compete at the NCAA Championships, participating in the 200 backstroke and 150 individual medley at Ohio State.

A 1953 agriculture graduate of Delaware and a 1957 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (veterinary medicine), he was a well-respected veterinarian for over 50 years in Newark, Del.,

Dr. Mayer co-founded the UD Master’s Swim Program in 1975, participated in the Delaware Senior Olympics, and was a national and world-record holder during a career that spanned three decades. He was inducted into the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame in 2013.

He has four children, two of them UD graduates, 12 grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. His uncle, the late Winnie Mayer, was a member of the inaugural UD Athletics Hall of Fame class in 1997.

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Long-time Athletic Director, former swim and cross country coach Edgar Johnson among UD hall-of-famers

Kevin Tresolini, The News Journal Published Sept. 22, 2017

Long-time athletic director Edgar Johnson heads a group of six who’ll be enshrined in the University of Delaware Athletics Hall of Fame next weekend, UD announced Thursday.

Johnson, a successful cross country and swim coach before serving as AD from 1984-2009, will be joined by Courtney Batts, Jenni Buckley, Sandy Gibney, Dan Hammer and Art Mayer in Delaware’s 21st Hall of Fame class.

EAGLES:Davis tries to overcome impoverished background

BLUE HENS:Field hockey coach inspired by late mother's memory

They’ll be honored during an invitation-only ceremony Friday night, Sept. 29, at the Carpenter Center and at halftime of Delaware’s 3:30 football game the following day against James Madison.
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Former Delaware athletic director and 2017 Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Edgar Johnson. (Photo: News Journal file)

The 2017 inductees:

Jenni Buckley: First rower to be enshrined. Dickinson High grad rowed on novice heavyweight eights boat in 2000 that won every race, including Dad Vail Regatta, where Delaware placed second in team standings. Was voted team MVP as a senior in 2001 when lightweight varsity eights won Dad Vail title and sparked Blue Hens to overall regatta team championship. Now an associate professor in mechanical engineering at Delaware.

Courtney Batts: Philadelphia native was a four-year starter at wide receiver from 1994-97 who never missed a football game and set 10 school records, including receptions in a season (60) and career (179), career receiving yards (3,522) and career touchdown catches (27). Senior team reached NCAA semifinals. Was two-time All-Atlantic 10 selection and UD Outstanding Senior Male Athlete. Also played one season of baseball for 1995 team that won America East title and reached NCAA Tournament. Now an algebra teacher in Baltimore City School System.

Sandy Gibney: Concord High grad starred in both field hockey, in which she was a U.S. team player, and as a runner at Delaware from 1979-82. Played just one field hockey season, 1979, before concentrating on distance running on UD’s cross country and track teams. Placed 16th in 1981 national cross country championships. On the track, she qualified for the 1980 nationals at 5,000 meters and set UD records at that distance as well as in the 800, 3,000, two-mile and three-mile. Her 16:53.0 in the 5,000 remains No. 2 all-time in UD history. Now a physician who serves as associate chairman of emergency services at St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington.
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Dr. Sandy Gibney at St. Francis Hospital. (Photo: News Journal file)

Dan Hammer: North East, Maryland, native starred on 1993-96 UD baseball teams as an infielder, including serving as captain for 1995 and 1996 squads that reached NCAA Tournament. Finished UD career with 26 home runs, .360 batting average and .536 on-base percentage and was among all-time UD Top 10 in games played (203), at-bats (717), runs (217), hits (258), doubles (62), total bases (412) and walks (144). Named All-Region in 1994, two-time All-North Atlantic Conference choice, team MVP in 1996 and NCAA Regional All-Tournament pick in 1996. Has been on UD baseball coaching staff since 1997, including associate head coach since 2006.

Edgar Johnson: Salesianum School alum was athletic director from 1984-2009, overseeing Blue Hens’ climbs from the East Coast Conference to the North Atlantic Conference/America East to the Colonial Athletic Association. Delaware earned 10 consecutive America East Commissioner’s Cup Awards for overall excellence, won 83 conference titles and appeared in 32 NCAA championships. Before that, was men’s cross country coach from 1971-79, women’s swimming coach from 1979-84 and men’s swimming coach from 1981-84. Women’s swim team won 42 straight meets and placed ninth at 1981 AIAW national championships. Set 10 records himself as a UD swimmer before graduating in 1967. Taught in UD sport management program after retiring as AD. Edgar Johnson Award is annually given in his honor to a senior male athlete “demonstrating the characteristics of hard work, dedication, fairness and striving for excellence.” 

Art Mayer: Didn’t know how to swim when he arrived at UD but was a quick learner. Newark native set 10 school and 13 pool records and won four Middle Atlantic Conference titles from 1949-53. In 1953 became first Blue Hen to compete in NCAA Swimming Championships, qualifying in 200 backstroke and 150 individual medley. Later operated a veterinary center in Newark and was a national- and world-record holder as a masters swimmer.

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Miscues Doom Cornell Football At Delaware

9/16/17 - http://www.cornellbigred.com/

NEWARK, Del. — Delaware turned five Big Red first half turnovers into 27 points and never looked back, topping Cornell 41-14 on Saturday afternoon at Delaware Stadium. The Blue Hens improved to 2-1 on the season, while the visitors dropped their 2017 opener to fall to 0-1.

Junior quarterback Dalton Banks completed 23-of-35 passes for 247 yards and a touchdown, but was also intercepted three times. He found 12 different receivers, with 13 different Big Red players making at least on catch. Freshman Eric Gallman III hauled in a 27-yard touchdown to get the Big Red on the board, while senior Josh Sweet punched in a second score from 2-yards out in the waning seconds. Senior James Hubbard caught three passes for 58 yards, including an acrobatic 47-yard grab (see it here). In all, the offense put up 315 yards against a stout Delaware defense.

Cornell's defense was game despite finding itself in short fields. Of Delaware's first five scores, only one drive needed more than 21 yards. Sophomore Jordan Landsman, making his first collegiate start, had a pair of sacks and six total tackles, while senior Daniel Crochet had five stops, his first career interception (click here to see the interception) and a tackle for loss. Crochet's classmate, captain Kurt Frimel, had three tackles for loss and a pass breakup among his team-best nine tackles.Returning All-American Nick Gesualdi added nine stops and both junior Reis Seggebruch (click here to see Segeebruch's sack) and sophomore William Baker had sacks.

The Big Red fumbled on its very first play from scrimmage and the Blue Hens pounced on the football just 18 seconds into the game. Two plays later, needing just four yards to the end zone, Kani Kane scored the first of three touchdowns on the day, this one coming from 3 yards out. He would go on to add first half scoring runs of 1 and 3 yards as the home team built a 27-0 lead at the break.

Once settled at halftime and used to game speed after spotting Delaware two games, the Big Red played the Blue Hens even after the break. Delaware took the air out of the ball after the break, allowing the road team just four possessions - two of which Cornell scored touchdowns on and a third where it reached the end zone before turning it over on downs.

Kareem Williams ran 15 times for 121 yards to lead the Delaware offense, while Joe Walker completed 20-of-30 passes for 202 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His favorite target was Jamie Jarmon, who caught eight balls for 84 yards and a 12-yard touchdown. Frank Raggo connected on a pair of field goals and had a third try blocked. Defensively, Charles Bell notched a game-high 12 tackles and Troy Reeder notched nine tackles with 1.5 for a loss and a forced fumble.

Special teams was an advantage for the Big Red, as sophomore Nickolas Null averaged 48.0 yards on three punts in his first game replacing All-American Chris Fraser. Sophomore David Jones returned four kickoffs for 95 yards and also made five tackles in his first varsity action.

Quotable
"We gave up the ball five times in the first half and they scored 27 points off them. They won by 27 points. Obviously we didn't play well in the first half, especially offensively. I think defensively, given the field position I think they did some nice things. Those guys don't play in the Ivy League. I obviously want to win every game we play, but that's not a league game.There's going to be a lot of positive things to show and some stuff we need to clean up and improve on."
David Archer '05, the Roger J. Weiss Head Coach of Cornell Football

"These guys, they are probably one of the better teams we'll play all year, and we played with them in many facets of the game for long stretches. That's a huge positive to take into next week's game at Yale."
Kurt Frimel, senior linebacker and team captain

"We are so much better than that, and that's not what our identity is or a reflection on what we expect to become. It was a disaster of a game.We just literally gave them the ball, handed them the ball. We're going to come out and get a lot better this week. I know how good we are and how talented we are. Not everyone is able to see all those practices and the work we put into the offseason. To see our defense go out there and play well and knowing what our offense can do and will do, I have full confidence that we're going to clean this up."
Dalton Banks, junior quarterback

Beyond The Box
• A number of Big Red players made their first varsity starts: Sophomores William Baker (DL), Michael Gillooley (DL), Jordan Landsman (DL) and Davy Lizana (WR); juniors David D'Amelio (OL), J. Edward Keating (OL) and Mason Manning III (OL);.and senior Theo Goosen (OL).
• Making their first varsity appearances: Freshmen Eric Gallman III (WR) and Phazione McClurge (CB); sophomores William Baker (DL), John Fitzgerald (TE), Michael Gillooley (DL), George Holm (OL), David Jones (CB), Jordan Landsman (DL), Davy Lizana (WR) and Owen Peters (WR); and juniors Oscar Boochever (TE), David D'Amelio (OL), Gustavo Dorsett (WR) and Cyrus Nolan (DL);
• Sophomore Nickolas Null, in his first game replacing All-American and four-time first-team All-Ivy League punter Chris Fraser, averaged 48.0 yards on three punts with one downed inside the 20.
• Freshman Eric Gallman scored on a 27-yard touchdown reception.
• Senior Daniel Crochet registered his first career interception.
• Senior running back Josh Sweet had his first touchdown since scoring in a contest at Sacred Heart during the 2015 season.
• Junior quarterback Dalton Banks moved into 11th place on the school's career passing yardage list with his 247-yard day, giving him 2,761 for his career (23 yards shy of the top 10).
• With nine tackles, senior captain Kurt Frimel surpassed the century mark (102 career tackles).
• After tallying 44 all-purpose yards, junior Chris Walker surpassed 1,000 for his career (1,003).