After injury, Obado looking to lead Hornets at QB

DOVER — There’s no limp in Esayah Obado’s step anymore.

In fact there’s a little extra spring in it as Delaware State University held its first practice of the new football season on Friday.

Obado missed the entire 2014 season with a lower back injury. He was named the starting quarterback but suffered the injury a week before the opening game.Esayah Obado_

He returned for the start of spring camp and swears he’s fully recovered for the fall.

“I’m definitely healthy,” Obado said. “I’m just ready for the season. My back is fine. I’m in the position I need to be to be the starting quarterback.”

And as things stand now Obado, a junior, is the frontrunner for the starting job according to first-year coach Kenny Carter.

Obado impressed Carter in the spring — highlighted by a Spring Game performance where he threw four touchdowns and zero interceptions.

“He earned that job in the spring,” Carter said.

Obado will still be pushed by freshman Kobie Lain, one of Carter’s first recruits to the program whom he holds in high regard, and Gilbert Rivera.

Rivera came to DelState last season when he transferred from East Los Angeles Community College and was supposed to be the backup until Obado went down which pressed Rivera into service. Rivera played in 10 games, averaged 89.8 yards passing a game, eventually shared time with dual-threat quarterback Marlon Kelly and the Hornets slumped to a 2-10 season which led to coach Kermit Blount’s contract not being renewed.

Carter, who was named Blount’s replacement in January, said he was pleased with the progress of Lain and Rivera over the summer and the pair will still have opportunities to show what they can do in this camp.

“We loved what Kobie did during the summer,” Carter said. “He’s got a very good skillset. We’ll see what happens with him and Gil who also got better over the summer.”

Obado was also able to stay at DSU over the summer where he worked with his wide receivers on timing routes and scramble situations.

“It was a very productive summer for us and I hope it shows during the season,” Obado said.

There’s been a lot of starting and stopping during Obado’s DSU career.

DelState was the only Division I school to offer him a scholarship out of high school and he redshirted in 2012. The following season he lost the battle for the starting job to Cory Murphy, another junior college transfer.

He still was able to appear in four games that season and even started once, but he was pulled at halftime of that game at Florida A&M for Murphy who engineered a late comeback for a DelState victory. Despite that game experience, Obado has yet to thrown a collegiate touchdown although he has rushed for one.

Obado was all set to take over for Murphy last year until his season was ended before it started. His injury sent the Hornets into a tailspin as they lost their first four games.

But it’s a fresh start for Obado this year under a new coach and in a new system.

“I want to bring another level of focus this season,” Obado said. “I want to motivate players after the bad season we had last year. I’m back, the guys are motivated and I want to see us have a sense of urgency during these practice.”

“I’m always learning,” Obado added. “A lot has been put on my plate but I’m ready for this new system. It’s been a learning process but it’s been fun.”

Staff writer Tim Mastro can be reached at or 741-8224.

Follow @TimMastroDSN on Twitter.

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