|Malcolm Williams will likely take on a bigger role this season for Delaware State. (AP photo)|
What Happened In 2013: Delaware State finished 6-5 overall, good for a third-place tie in the MEAC with a 5-3 conference record. DSU started with a non-conference win against VMI, lost three in a row, and then won four straight conference games before losing two out of their final three contest, including a heartbreaking overtime loss to North Carolina Central.
Who Won’t Be Back: Much of the Hornets offense. Gone is quarterback Nick Elko, who was named MEAC Offensive Player of The Year after setting DSU records for completions (259) and passing yards (2,828) in his senior season. Also gone will be his two favorite targets, Travis Tarpley and Justin Wilson, both All-MEAC performers.
Who To Watch: With such big holes to fill at the quarterback and receiver positions, there will be plenty of eyes on players at these positions. Both QBs who will participate in spring ball, junior college transfer Cory Murphy and redshirt freshman Esayah Obadao, are mobile quarterbacks, reminiscent of some of the quarterbacks Kermit Blount coached at Winston-Salem State.
At receiver, 6’3, 200 pound Milton Williams is a big target that should see plenty of work with whoever is under center.
While quarterback and receiver positions work themselves out, expect the running backs to see plenty of work. Blount has a reputation for stockpiling running backs and he has a few solid ones in Malcolm Williams (497 yards), Dae-Hon Cheung (410 yards) and Najee Jackson (7 touchdowns).
Who They’ll Play: DSU will jump straight into the fire, with four consecutive road games to start the year, including in-state rival Delaware. In fact, the Hornets will only play four home games against eight road games. One of those road games will come against two-time defending FCS Champion North Dakota State.There is no chill to this schedule.
What To Expect: The competition at the QB and WR position will definitely be something to watch during the spring. Looking towards the fall, look for Blount to rely heavily on his trio of running backs to steady his offense. Defensively, the Hornets should be solid as they have two of MEAC’s elite defenders in linebacker Ernest Adjei (93 tackles) defensive back Davon Moore (97 tackles, 4 interceptions). Expect a more ball control-centered offense until Blount builds confidence in his passing game.
Will DSU take a step back with all the missing parts on offense? Will the early part of the schedule overwhelm the Hornets?