|« Bearkats back to work||UNCC 49er football is almost here »|
Delaware State's Expectations High
Last fall, Kermit Blount guided Delaware State’s football team to its first winning season since 2007.
This spring, Blount, preparing for his third season as the Hornets’ head coach, has a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship in his sights.
Delaware State began its annual spring football camp on Tuesday. It will include 15 practice sessions, highlighted by the Red/White scrimmage on April 13 at Alumni Stadium.
“I can’t wait,” said Brandon Cunningham, a redshirt senior offensive lineman who was a second team all-conference selection last season. “Spring’s always a great time to get back into it. After a couple of months off, it’s always great to get back onto the field.”
“We just really want to get back to the way we finished up back in 2012,” Blount said. “We want to put it back together and try to keep it going, go back to the basics this spring and try to get these kids better on the field as well as off.”
The Hornets went 6-5 last season and 5-3 in the MEAC, finishing in a tie for third place.
Despite losing MEAC Offensive Player of the Year Nick Elko at quarterback and all-conference wide receivers Justin Wilson and Travis Tarpley to graduation, Blount is not calling this a rebuilding year.
Redshirt junior Cory Murphy, a 2012 junior college transfer, and redshirt freshman Esayah Obado will take the snaps in spring camp. Each was listed on the 2012 Hornet roster but did not see playing time.
“We have to think that we have some young kids that haven’t stepped out yet,” Blount said. “We’ve got to develop a quarterback. Both of these guys [Murphy and Obado] are familiar with our system and have the ability to lead our team. Each has worked hard during the offseason, and I’m eager to see how far they’ve come this spring.”
The Hornets return 12 starters from last year’s team and have more than 70 players participating in spring camp.
“We’ve been waiting all offseason for this to see where we’re at,” said Ernest Adjei, the team’s senior inside linebacker. “We want to make it far more than consistent, we want to make it to the playoffs and then go the national championship. Why not?
“That’s what we’re working for. That’s way I’m glad we have spring ball is to see what we have.”
DSU will open its season Sept. 7 at Delaware. The Hornets then visit another CAA foe, Towson, on Sept. 14. DSU then heads to Fargo, N.D., where they will play two-time Football Championship Subdivision champion North Dakota State on Sept. 21, before playing in its MEAC opener at Savannah State on Sept. 28.
“We’re all working very hard in the weight room. I feel like it has been the hardest that we’ve worked since I’ve been here,” Cunningham said. “This team really wants to get better – 6-5 is good, but I think we really want to be great this year. It shows in the weight room; it shows that everybody wants to contribute and go for it all this year.”
2013 DSU FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Home games in CAPS
Sept. 7 at Delaware, 6 p.m.
Sept. 14 at Towson, TBA
Sept. 21 at North Dakota State, TBA
Sept. 28 at Savannah State*, TBA
Oct. 5 BETHUNE-COOKMAN*, TBA
Oct. 13 NORFOLK STATE* (homecoming), TBA
Oct. 19 at No. Carolina A&T*, 1 p.m.
Oct. 26 at Hampton*, 1 p.m.
Nov. 2 HOWARD* (Hall of Fame Day), TBA
Nov. 16 at Florida A&M*, TBA
Nov. 23 MORGAN STATE*, TBA
* MEAC games