All-State LB Shimko keys Hornets’ football recruiting class

Six high school seniors and a junior college transfer highlighted the Delaware State University football team’s Early Signing Day, announced by coach Rod Milstead on Wednesday.

Six of the seven are defensive players, including All-State linebacker Eric Shimko of Division I state champion Hodgson Vo-Tech, the one instate player DSU locked up early. Shimko’s older brother Brandon Shimko, also a linebacker, competed as a freshman for the Hornets this past season.

“The Shimkos are proof of our commitment to offer opportunities to top players in the state and give them a chance to showcase their talents here at home,” Milstead said. “Eric is a dynamic player with outstanding skills and leadership abilities. We’ve watched him grow over the past couple of years and he’s quite familiar with our program. We are excited about what he will bring to the university and the team.”

Three more of the early signees were linebackers — Ronald Holmes (Darby, Pa./Neumann & Goretti), Jesus Robinson (Washington, D.C./Roosevelt HS) and Aiden Weber (Leesport, Pa./St. Mary’s Ryken). Another player Dylan Gray (Hyattsville, Md./C.H. Flowers) is listed as a defensive end/linebacker.

The final defender to sign is former junior college lineman Kevin Deshields (Bridgeton, N.J./Lackawanna CC).

“It worked out that many of the defensive players we targeted committed early to us and it was important to offer them before it was too late,” Milstead said. “The linebacker additions are intelligent and good athletes, while Deshields brings college experience to our defensive line and will help fill the void left by departing seniors Brandon Carswell and Christian Johnson.

The lone offensive player to commit to the Hornets was offensive lineman Denzel Bryant. Bryant was a three-year standout at Chicago-area Homewood-Flossmoor High School.

“Denzel is a versatile lineman with experience at center and guard,” Milstead said. “He is technically sound and has the ability to step in and contribute right away.”

Milstead says the December signings mark a good start for the Hornets’ 2020 rebuilding efforts.

“We expect to add an equally impressive group during the February signing period,” he said. “And of course, we look forward to bringing in more local talent through Delaware Day recruiting efforts.”