DSU football notebook: Freshman Woodley making big impact as receiver

DOVER — When Bizzett Woodley first arrived at Delaware State, head football coach Rod Milstead wasn’t planning on playing him in more than four games.

Milstead wanted to redshirt Woodley, giving him an extra year of eligibility.

But Woodley kept catching touchdowns and that plan went out the window.

Woodley leads the Hornets in touchdown catches with six. He caught one in their victory last Saturday against Bethune-Cookman to snap a seven-game losing streak.

Delaware State will play its final Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference contest on Saturday at home against Norfolk State. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Woodley will enter that matchup with a little more attention.

He was featured on ESPN’s “You Got Mossed” segment before Monday Night Football, hosted by Randy Moss. Woodley’s one-handed catch for a touchdown, while falling out of bounds, against Bethune-Cookman was the No. 1 play on the countdown.

“I knew I had to make the catch somehow,” Woodley said. “Coach always believes in me and gave me an opportunity. He trusts me to get the ball so I had to go get it.”

It’s been a breakout season for the 6-foot-5 wide receiver out of Chantilly, Virginia.

Milstead only projected Woodley to play in four games to ensure he could redshirt. The freshman forced the coaching staff’s hand with a touchdown in the season opener and has played in every game this year.

“We were hoping he would be a guy who could help us in the red zone,” Milstead said. “He’s worked so hard in practice and in games to show us, he didn’t need a redshirt. He’s ready now. That’s a great thing to have at our level.”

“He’s done it the right way,” Milstead added. “He’s a great student, comes from a great family and works really hard every single day. He knows what he excels at and knows what he needs to work on. His ceiling is unreal with how good he could be.”

Woodley has 21 receptions on the season. He is second behind senior Kwannah Kollie in receiving yardage with 319.

“At first I didn’t expect to play right away but I started getting more playing time,” Woodley said. “I was getting better as a player and developing. Then I expected to be more of an impact player.”

Bertrand-Hudon impresses again

One week after his first 100-yard game, Thomas Bertrand-Hudon received his first career start.

He responded with another 100-plus yards.

Bertrand-Hudon ran for 133 yards against Bethune-Cookman — a career-high. He also tied a school record with 36 carries in the game.
He also became the first Hornet with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games since Jaashawn Jones in 2010.

Bertrand-Hudon has been a hidden gem for the Hornets, joining them last season as a walk-on out of Mont Saint-Halaire, Quebec.

He said he was discovered by last year’s running back coach Keiki Misipeka.

“Shoutout to him, he brought me here as a walk-on and I just kept playing,” Bertrand-Hudon said. “They brought me in as a fullback, moved me to tailback and I’ve just been showing them what I can do. I knew my style of running and was waiting for my opportunity. Once I got it, just brought my cards to the table and ran with it.”

Bertrand-Hudon got his opportunity after injuries to Richard Harris and Bryant Dallas.

“We’ve been watching him in practice since last year and we knew he was a special back,” Milstead said. “It’s just the right timing for him now. He’s made that position his own. He’s only going to get better.”

Praise for Carswell

After ending the seven-game losing streak, Milstead spoke about how pleased he was his seniors were able to celebrate another victory before graduation.

That included graduate transfer Brandon Carswell. He transferred from Savannah State and has solidified the DSU defensive line in his final season of eligibility.

Carswell had two tackles for loss against Bethune-Cookman as the DSU defense posted its best outing of the season.

Carswell has 37 total tackles on the season, including 14 for a loss which is second in the MEAC. He also has recorded 4.5 sacks, good for sixth in the conference.

“He’s unreal,” Milstead said. “If you’re talking about first team All-MEAC he’s got to be in that equation. We’re blessed to have him and what he brings on and off the field.”

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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