Dover product Glover looks promising as Wolverines ‘D’ lineman

After Nick Glover survived his first Wesley preseason last August, coach Mike Drass thinks the sophomore defensive tackle is ready to thrive. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

After Nick Glover survived his first Wesley preseason last August, coach Mike Drass thinks the sophomore defensive tackle is ready to thrive. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

DOVER — Nick Glover wasn’t ready for this a year ago.

The heat, the running, the grueling practices.

The former Dover High lineman quickly discovered that college football is a whole lot different than the high school version.

“Camp is always the toughest part to me,” Glover said before a Wesley College practice session on Wednesday morning. “Always.

“Once you come to camp, if you’re not conditioned, it will backfire on you.”

But, after surviving his first Wolverine preseason last August, Wesley coach Mike Drass thinks the sophomore defensive tackle is ready to thrive.

Glover has lost at least 15 pounds from his 6-foot-1, 295-pound frame. While he only played sparingly as a freshman, he’s being counted on to be one of the Wolverines’ top interior defensive linemen this fall.

Last season, Drass said Glover was like most freshmen. They don’t come in truly understanding how hard it is to play college football.

“Either they get it or they don’t get it,” said Drass. “I hate to say it, but the majority of them don’t get it. But here’s a guy that got it.

“So when you get one that gets it and understands and really sinks his teeth into this, it makes you happy. He’s a great kid and he wants to play football.”

Glover is part of a four-man rotation for Wesley at defensive tackle. That group also includes senior Nmandi Njoku (6-foot-1, 260 pounds), junior Stephen Yorkman (5-11, 255) and sophomore Cameron Miles (5-10, 275).

With graduated seniors Brenton Barnes and Dan Laguerre manning the middle last season, the Wolverines don’t have any defensive tackles who started a game in 2015. Barnes and Laguerre were both second-team All-New Jersey Athletic Conference selections.

Drass said the newcomers are just going to have to step up. Whatever size they are, he believes in his coaching staff’s ability to develop quality defensive tackles for Wesley’s 4-3 defense.

“Other teams say, hey, it’s hard to find big linemen,” said Drass. “We’ve always lived on the fact that we can find them. … You go through the list and we’ve always had great ‘D’ linemen.”

Even though Glover is still the Wolverines’ biggest defensive lineman, Drass likes the fact that he’s quicker and learning to use his hands.

Spending the summer working out has made a big difference said Glover, a third-team All-State pick his senior year at Dover.

“When I came out here, I felt great,” said the Hartly native. “I’m doing all the drills correctly. … I’m a lot faster, stronger and I can move.

“I feel way more comfortable because I know the scheme of the game and know my position really well. I’ve just got to go out here and shine now.”

The pressure of responsibility is a pretty strong motivator, as well.

Young or not, Glover knows the Wolverines are counting on him to get the job this season.

“It feels great,” he said. “You know, when one man goes down, they expect the next man to step up — and that happens to be me. It’s my turn. I’m ready for the challenge.

“He (Drass) expects a lot from me and I know that. I appreciate him giving me this opportunity.”

Heat is on

Practicing in the intense heat of the past week has taken its toll on the Wolverines.

Drass said four players have stayed overnight in the hospital because of dehydration and heat exhaustion.

“I’ve never had that many,” said Drass. “That heat index has been up there every day. We’ve had little periods where it’s been hot over the years. But I don’t think we’ve had seven straight days where it’s been rough.”

Wesley has moved its practices to 7 a.m. or 7 p.m. to avoid the hottest part of the day.

Still searching

Drass said the battle for the starting quarterback job is still up for grabs right now.

Juniors Nick Falkenberg and Dan Kesack along with sophomore Ben Campbell are still in the picture.

“They’re all fighting,” said Drass. “You hope that one of these scrimmages, one guy is on fire and says, ‘That’s my job.’ But, right now, that hasn’t happened.”

Wesley will host Albright in a scrimmage on Aug. 26 at 6:30 p.m. as it gets ready for its season opener against Delaware Valley on Sept. 2.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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