Lineman Glenn was born to be a Blue Hen

Justin Glenn (No. 61), shown carrying the state flag before last year’s Pitt game, has been around Blue Hen football ever since he can remember. His father, Tony, was a former player and assistant coach with the Blue Hens. The younger Glenn, now a senior offensive lineman at Delaware, can’t imagine playing anywhere else. (UD sports information/Mark Campbell)

Justin Glenn (No. 61), shown carrying the state flag before last year’s Pitt game, has been around Blue Hen football ever since he can remember. His father, Tony, was a former player and assistant coach with the Blue Hens. The younger Glenn, now a senior offensive lineman at Delaware, can’t imagine playing anywhere else. (UD sports information/Mark Campbell)

NEWARK — The way Justin Glenn sees it, he was “born here.”

He can’t say that literally but his mom was going to Delaware football games when she was several months pregnant with him.

“I’ve been here ever since then,” said Glenn.

That’s because Glenn’s father, Tony, was a former player and assistant coach with the Blue Hens.

The younger Glenn, now a senior offensive lineman at Delaware, can’t imagine playing anywhere else.

Not that he’s had a picture-perfect career.

Glenn is here as a walk-on at Delaware (1-2 Colonial Athletic Association, 2-4 overall), which hosts New Hampshire (1-2, 3-3) on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

The 6-foot-3, 285-pounder has only played sparingly as a backup guard. But he has no regrets.

“I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world,” said Glenn, an A.I. duPont High grad. “If I had the chance to relive my senior year of high school, I’d do it all over again and then come back here for five years.

“It was my choice. I knew where I wanted to come — and it was always here.”

Tony Glenn was a second-team All-American center at Delaware in 1977. He’s now well-known around the state as the executive director of the DFRC, which runs the Blue-Gold All-Star Football Game.

Having graduated in May, the younger Glenn is working on his master’s degree in exceptional children and youth.

“It definitely rubbed off on me,” Glenn said about his father playing at Delaware. “It’s been really awesome to see him on the field as a coach and having him bring me into the locker room. It definitely motivated me to want to play here.”

Glenn can remember sitting in the Delaware Stadium stands as a youngster, watching his dad coach and seeing if he could find him on the sidelines.

Even if he couldn’t be an All-American like his father, Glenn is proud that fe followed in his dad’s footsteps.

Justin is one of only seven seniors on this year’s squad as well as one of 20 in-state players. He got to lead the team onto the field, carrying the state flag, when Delaware played at Pittsburgh last season.

“I always tried my very best every single training camp and every spring ball,” said Glenn. “I always felt like there was a spot for me somewhere. I kept looking for that spot, whether it be on offense or special teams.”

Wary of Wildcats

Delaware coach Dave Brock compares stopping UNH’s deceptive offense to playing a shell game on a New York City street corner.

“You’ve got the cups and the ball and New Hampshire’s really good at not letting you find the ball,” said Brock. “You have to find it and you really have to focus on doing your job. You have to focus on understanding exactly what you’re supposed to look at. Because they’re going to ‘splash the water.’

“The slight of hand are not difficult or challenging at all for them to do. But, if you’ve got somebody looking in the wrong place, all of a sudden you’ve got a guy behind you and you’ve got a huge play.”

Remember, New Hampshire learned some of its tricks from its former offensive coordinator, current Eagles coach Chip Kelly.

The Wildcats’ style of offense is one reason they’ve made the NCAA Division I FCS playoffs 11 straight years, the longest current streak in the country. The Hens are 1-5 against UNH since 2006 although that one victory came in the 2010 playoffs.

New Hampshire’s playoff streak is in jeopardy after falling to William & Mary, 34-18, on Saturday.

“The season starts now,” said Wildcats coach Sean McDonnell. “We have to run the table if we’re going to get where we want to go.”

The Hens are talking a lot about “eye discipline” this week.

“They try to get your eyes off of where they need to be,” said linebacker Jalen Kindle. “They try to get your eyes off your keys and try to catch you sleeping for just a split second. Once you do that, they try to take advantage of it. We’re just going to focus all week and be locked in.”

Extra points

Delaware lost starting receeiver Tre Brown to a season-ending knee injury in the loss at Rhode Island last week. The redshirt freshman is the fourth receiver the Hens have lost since the spring. …  Running back Jalen Randolph (knee) will be a game-time decision this week after missing the last two games. … Saturday’s game is part of Parents & FamilY Weekend, an occasion that usually draws a big crowd. … The CAA will be the national spotlight on Saturday when ESPN brings its Game Day show to James Madison before he unbeaten Dukes host Richmond. It will be just the sixth non-FBS stop in the show’s history. “I think it’s great for the CAA,” said Brock. “I think it will bring ana incredible amount of national attention to the league and this level of football.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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