Former Dover Senator Pack aims for success at Wesley

Marcellus Pack finished the 2013 season with 19 TDs in 10 games as the Senators went 9-3 and reached the DIAA Division I state semifinals. Delaware State News file photo

DOVER — The world, of course, can feel like a pretty complicated place at times.

All Marcellus Pack knows is that everything in his world seems to fall into place when he’s on a football field.

“When I’m playing football, that’s when everything is simple,” said the former Dover High running back. “That’s when everything makes sense. Life just makes sense when I’m on the field.

“I know I’m going to have to work (for a living) after this is over. But I’ve still got time to play so I’m going to give it my all.”
Now 23 years old, Pack says he’s ready to put everything he has into playing football for Wesley College.

Five years after he made a big impact in his one season with the Senators, Pack is back in Dover, suiting up for the Wolverines in preseason camp. He spent two years playing for Nassau Community College in New York and then two years out of football.

But seeing that Pack has already been timed at 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash, the 5-foot-11, 185-pounder apparently hasn’t lost a step.

Wolverines coach Chip Knapp remembers some of the things Pack did at Dover High in 2013 after moving in from Baltimore.

Marcellus Pack

“He was a big play waiting to happen,” said Knapp. “He was a real exciting player.”

Knapp said the biggest question right now is finding the right place for Pack.

The Wolverines already have a standout running back in junior E.J. Lee. So Pack is lining up at slot receiver where he can either catch the ball or take handoffs.

Of course, Pack will also return kicks and punts. He scored 21 total touchdowns in his second year at Nassau.

“If we can get the ball in his hands, he’s going to be dynamic,” said Knapp. “We have to do some good coaching to figure out how to get him the ball.

“He’s got a long way to go learning the offense. That’s going to be the big challenge. We just can’t load his plate too much right now. We’ve got to be smart coaches and figure out easy ways to get him touches.”

Former Dover coach Dante Jones also coached Pack in Baltimore. He was a big reason Pack came to Dover and also helped convince late Wesley coach Mike Drass to take a chance on the youngster last winter.

At the time, Drass said he thought Pack had matured a great deal since high school.

“I can definitely say I’ve grown up as far as maturity in the classroom and on the field,” said Pack. “I didn’t used to study plays but now I’m studying my plays and my playbook, staying in shape.

“As the days go on and I learn the plays, I get more comfortable. It’s a lot to take in but I’m going to get it. I believe in myself.”

In the first week of practice, Knapp likes the attitude he’s seen from Pack.

“He has a vocal, upbeat kind of personality,” said Knapp. “He’s brought good energy to the practices so far.”

In his first game at Dover High, Pack announced his presence with six touchdowns. He finished with 19 TDs in 10 games as the Senators went 9-3 and reached the DIAA Division I state semifinals.

Those were good times for Pack. He recently worked a football camp on the old Dover High field.

“It felt good to be back on the field,” said Pack. “It brought back a lot of memories. I think every day was a good moment — just to be outside of Baltimore was a good moment.”

And Pack would like to be able to help the Wolverines the way he helped the Senators.

“I’ll do anything possible to get on the field and find my niche on the team,” he said. “I just feel like I can be that game changer. When we’re down, I just feel like I can be that person to turn it around — get momentum back on our side.

“I’m definitely excited,” said Pack. “Sometimes it still feels like a dream, coming out here and putting that helmet on. I still can’t believe it.”

Wesley brings in new assistant

After losing to Mount Union several times in the NCAA Division III playoffs, Wesley is pretty familiar with the Purple Raiders’ success.

The Wolverines are hoping new offensive line coach Pat Mahoney can help bring Mount Union’s kind of success with him. He replaces Jeff Braxton, who took a job at Delaware State earlier this summer.

Mahoney played both offensive and defensive line with the Purple Raiders, graduating in 2011. After coaching at his alma mater, he spent the last three seasons at Division II Concord.

Arthur Smith, Wesley’s second-year secondary coach, is also a former Mount Union player and coach.

“He’s young, he’s got the good energy and he’s excited about coaching,” Knapp said about Mahoney, who comes from a coaching family. “He’s going to be an asset to the program.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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