Hornets reload football roster as they eye improvement

dsu carter sept. 2015 by .

Kenny Carter

DOVER — With a full year to recruit, Coach Kenny Carter has reloaded the Delaware State football roster.

Carter’s second recruiting class has 19 players, and could add a few more in the upcoming weeks. That is nearly double his first Signing Day class of 10 players last year, when he only had two weeks to recruit since landing the DSU job.

The Hornets are coming off a 1-11 record in Carter’s debut season, but he said the rebuilding year did not hamper recruiting.

“We knew what we inherited and we explained that,” Carter said. “We explained the direction that we’re trying to go and we showed them on official visits. … They understand what the vision is and what we’re trying to do. Every young person wants to play early, they know if somebody is struggling than the opportunity to play early is there.”

This class includes 11 offensive players and eight on defense. Carter said he is still looking to fill out three to four more available spots.

The most pressing need for Carter was at quarterback. The Hornets played three quarterbacks last year and were the lowest scoring team in the MEAC (14.4 points per game).

Carter signed one quarterback and two players listed as athletes who could possibly play QB. The quarterback is Daniel Epperson, a transfer from San Bernardino Valley College. Epperson will be a junior next season and is already on campus to participate in spring drills.

Epperson threw for 2,767 yards and 27 touchdowns last season at San Bernardino. He is joined in the class by athletes Fatu Sua-Godinet (Kamehameha High in Honolulu) and Keenan Black (Concord High, N.C.).

They will compete with Kobie Lain for the starting job. Lain, the prized piece of Carter’s first recruiting class, started a pair of games last season.

“We were very deficient at the quarterback position last year,”  Carter said. “Up until the last two games, when Kobie came on and started to do the things we expected him to do when we signed him last year.”

Two local products will be Hornets next season.

Jeff Campbell, a member of Smyrna High’s Division I championship team, and Mike Williams, from Cape Henlopen, signed with DSU as a defensive lineman and linebacker, respectively.

“We’re always going to recruit in-state,” Carter said. “We’re going to try to go after the best players in the state. We felt like we did that and we did it by addressing needs.”

The offensive and defensive lines were a priority for Carter. He signed four offensive linemen, two tight ends and four defensive linemen.

On the offensive line, Peter Borum (Lackawanna College), Kaiden Crawford (Simon Gratz High in Philadelphia), Joshua Fala (Sierra High in Manteca, Calif.) and Cade Pedro, who also went to Honolulu’s Kamehameha High, signed on Wednesday. Raymie Ferreira (Cedar Crest High in Lebanon, Pa.) and Isiah Williams (Cardinal Hayes in Bronx, N.Y.) are the two tight ends.

Campbell, Ulises De Los Santos (Union City High, N.J.), Garfield Heslop (Monroe College, White Plains, N.Y.) and Juwan DeVone, who also is from Cardinal Hayes, make up the defensive linemen.

“We needed guys that could reestablish the line of scrimmage,” Carter said.

Two other players, both linebackers, are already on campus for spring practice. Ted Noble and Brian Cavicante, from a junior college and a prep school, could slot into the Hornet linebacking core next to Malik Harris.

“They look just like Malik Harris,” Carter said. “Hopefully they play like him and we think they will.”

Defensive back Marlon Carter (Phoebus High, Hampton, Va.), running back Mike Waters (Imhotep Charter, Philadelphia) and running back Nyfease West (North Penn High, Landsale, Pa.) round out the class.

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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