NEWARK — Jamie Jarmon was a baseball player the first time Dave Brock heard his name.
But the new Delaware football coach quickly heard how talented Jarmon was when he was playing quarterback for Indian River High.
“If you fast-forward back to 2011 and he was a committed football player and baseball wasn’t a factor,” said Brock, “I think he would have been as heavily recruited a kid as maybe had come out of Delaware in a long time.”
So Brock let IR coach Ray Steele know that, if Jarmon ever decided he wanted to play football again, the Blue Hens were interested.
And that’s how it all worked out.
On Wednesday, Jarmon officially became a Delaware football player as he was announced as part of a 22-man recruiting class that Brock and his staff signed.
The Hens’ second straight class of over 20 recruits, Brock was clearly excited about the talent level of the group overall. It includes great football names like Adderly (Nasir Adderly is the cousin of Herb Adderly, the Pro Football Hall of Famer) and Papale (Vinny Papale is the son of former Eagle Vince Papale, who the movie “Invincible” chronicled).
“It’s really a great day for Delaware foootball,” said Brock, who’s in his third season as the Hens’ head coach. “I couldn’t even express how excited we are as a program. It was really an exhausting and exhaustive process.
“What a success today was. … We signed an incredible class of young men who are going to represent Delaware football in terrific fashion — not only on the field but in the classroom and in the community.”
For downstate fans, seeing Jarmon back in a football uniform may be one of the most intriguing aspects of the 2015 signings.
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound quarterback was the state Offensive Player of the Year in 2011 when he led the Indians to the DIAA Division II state title. The 21-year-old spent three seasons in the minors after the Texas Rangers drafted him in the second round out of high school.
Ironically, Brock compared Jarmon’s situation to that of Dave Shinskie. A decade ago, Shinskie was a Delaware football signee who decided to play pro baseball instead.
He later played college football at Boston College, when Brock was an assistant coach there.
“They called him ‘grandfather’ and all types of things,” said Brock. “He was 25 or 26 years old. He started for a couple years, got his degree, took us to a couple bowl games and was a pretty good story. I’ve got an affection for former baseball players.
“We had some great conversations,” Brock said about Jarmon. “We had an opportunity to talk about the philosophy that we’re going to have here and how we’re going to do things. He was really, really excited about coming.”
With the graduation of three-year starter Trent Hurley, the Hens’ quarterback situation is wide open right now. Brock said Jarmon, who is already taking classes and will take part in spring practice, is part of the picture.
But Brock said he also wants to be patient with Jarmon as he works himself back into football.
“I’ve never seen him throw a football (in person),” said Brock. “And won’t see him (throw) until spring practice starts (on March 24). We know he’s a dynamic athlete. He’s a multi-dimensional talent whether it’s catching the ball, running with the ball, playing defense. … just a dynamic, dynamic athlete and playmaker. To have the ability to add somebody with his skill set to the program is tremendous.
“The key for us is to get him in here, get him comfortable and put him in a position where he’s going to have a chance to be successful. You have to have patience. Fortunately for him, and this program, I do. … We’re not going to anticipate that he’s going to be a savior or anything like that. I don’t think that’s a realistic view of it.”
In keeping with Brock’s plan to have a well-balanced roster, the recruiting class included five defensive linemen, four offensive linemen, four defensive backs, three linebackers, two wide receivers, two quarterbacks, one tight end and a running back.
Brock has now brought in 43 recruits in the last two years. Eight of them are offensive linemen and seven of them are defensive linemen.
Rebuilding Delaware’s lines is a priority, said Brock.
“We want to become a line-of-scrimmage football team,” said Brock. “You’ll see an incredible commitment from us on the offensive and defensive lines. We’ve had significant depth issues in both lines in the last two years. We’ve worked really hard to adress those in recruiting.
“To me, that’s where you ultimately are going to win games. You have to have the guys up front.”
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