Delaware State Hornets 2009 NCAA Football Preview

<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Delaware State Hornets

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference


2008 Record: (5-6, 5-3)

2008 Bowl: none

Coach: Al Lavan (34-22 at Delaware State, 36-23 overall)

Offensive Coordinator: Doug Sams

Defensive Coordinator: Rayford Petty


Returning Leaders

Rushing: Jaashawn Jones, RB, 31 yards

Passing: Anthony Glaud, QB, 523 yards

Receiving: Larrone Moore, WR, 319 yards

Tackles: Avery Grant, S, 68

Sacks: Joe Mendes, DE, 3.5

Interceptions: Francis Adjei, CB, 3; Jerome Strums, S, 3


Other Key Returnees: TE Jahmel Bashir, DT Adnre Caroll, WR Zach Charles, LB Mike Gable, DT Tyron Hurst, WR Erick Jones, OT Mike Maloney, G Jermaine Morrison, G Marcus Ponder, LB Josh Pope, C Nick Richmond, LB Eric Sewell

Key Losses: OT Adrian Brown, WR Eddie Brown, LB Kevin Connor, WR William Griggs, RB Kareem Jones, WR Derrick McNeil, CB James Romain, DE Akiel Russell, DT Ronn Spinner, RB Chris Strother, LB Jackie Watkins, DE Alimayo Wilder, QB Vashon Winton


The non-conference portion of Delaware State’s 2008 season did not go very well, but they ended up 5-3 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play and were among a large group of teams in second place behind South Carolina State. The offense will have to go through an overhaul after losing a majority of their skills players, but the group was not that productive last year anyway.



In the meantime, the Hornets will have to rely on their defense to win games. The main problem the team had last year was getting pressure in the opposing backfield. And now defensive ends Alimayo Wilder and Akiel Russell are gone. Former linebacker Joe Mendes will move to an end spot and the team will need him to be a formidable force on the line. That will leave some holes in the middle of the defense and Coach Lavan needs Ahmad Harris and Mike Gable to emerge as senior leaders of the unit. The true strength of this defense is in the secondary and that is mostly due to the return of strong safety Avery Grant. The 5-11 junior is the team’s leading returning tackler and should turn into a star in the MEAC. With seniors Jerome Strums, Greg Ligon and Francis Adjei joining Grant in the secondary, the Hornets should once again have one of the best pass defenses in the FCS.



Quarterback Vashon Winton threw eight touchdown passes and 14 interceptions last year. His ineffectiveness led to Anthony Glaud being thrown into the mix. Now a junior, Glaud should be ready to handle the full time starting job. Glaud completed nearly 63 percent of his 75 pass attempts a year ago and connected on two touchdowns. But the passing game will not be nearly as effective with a new quarterback and without receivers Eddie Brown and Derrick McNeil. Those two were the only two players on the team to catch more than one touchdown pass. That means players like Larrone Moore, Darius Jackson and Zacharri Charles have to step up if the passing attack is going to be halfway decent. DSU would like to rely on the ground game while the passing attack is retooling, but there are not any experienced backs left on the roster. Former fullback Jason Randall might get the starting gig now or an even younger and less experienced player like former quarterback Nick Elko will get some carries.


The Bottom Line:

Delaware State needs to get their offense moving if they want to be a contender in the MEAC. The good news is that four starters are back on the offensive line and the offense cannot really be that much worse than they were last year. If the experienced line can give Glaud and the running backs some room to operate, Delaware State will be in the mix for a conference title.


2008 Team Stats:

Rushing Offense: 136.45 (65th in nation, 6th in conference)

Passing Offense: 167.64 (85, 5)

Total Offense: 304.09 (94, 5)

Scoring Offense: 20.00 (90, 6)

Rushing Defense: 145.18 (57, 4)

Pass Defense: 143.18 (5, 2)

Total Defense: 288.36 (13, 3)

Scoring Defense: 20.73 (27, 4)

Turnover Margin: .00 (57, 4)

Sacks: 1.36 (95, 7)

Sacks Allowed: 1.82 (53, 2)