Local college notebook: College grid teams still building for the future

Delaware football coach Danny Rocco has been offering scholarships for his next recruiting class this week. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

The immediate future of college football is up in the air right now.

With the coronavirus pandemic shutting down schools, there’s only speculation about when the sport will be able to resume activities.

But that doesn’t mean that college programs aren’t still building for the future beyond this coming fall.

For instance, the biggest programs in the country continue to make their bids for Middletown High quarterback Braden Davis.

Davis, who will still be only a junior this season, added offers from Michigan State and Auburn this week. In early March, Davis visited LSU, Clemson, Georgia and Tennessee — all in just a week.

In February, Davis added an offer from Oregon to his stockpile. He might end up being the most highly sought-after QB nationally in his class.

At Delaware, the Blue Hens picked up an interesting offensive lineman in Howard University transfer James Prince. The 6-foot-4, 275-pound freshman is the son of former Bison head coach Ron Prince.

The elder Prince lasted just one season at Howard before being suspended and then resigning among allegations that he verbally abused his players.

James Prince, who presumably will have to sit out next season because of NCAA transfer rules, was named a freshman All-American last fall for the Bison.

According to social-media posts, Delaware also made several scholarship offers to recruits in their next recruiting class this week.

Blue Hen coach Danny Rocco said he looks at the whole recruiting picture before bringing in new players.

“I have historically been one of the last — if not the last — guys to offer scholarships to high school student-athletes,” Rocco said in an interview on Bluehens.com this week. “The reason for it is I really believe that the more information you can gather, the deeper your evaluation can be, the more efficient you’re going to be.

“We want to be able to evaluate everybody before we fall in love with anybody. A lot of schools aren’t like that. They see a player, they like him, they offer him. … Then you have nine coaches on the road and they’re all offering guys that they see and they like.

“Then you don’t really know how the board is stacked,” Rocco continued. “We’ve done it like the NFL does it. We have a draft board. And we will not offer anybody until we see what the whole pool looks like.”

Delaware State also recently made some offers to its potential 2021 freshman class.

The Hornets, with new offensive coordinator Steve Azzanesi, offered Davis Warren, a 6-foot-2, 180-pound quarterback from The Peddie School in New Jersey. Warren said it was his first offer.

Wait worth it for Leatherbury

Shane Leatherbury knew his real opportunity at the NFL wouldn’t come until after the draft ended.

But the former Delmar High football standout was nervously ready as soon as it finished a few weeks ago.

“After the draft, I was just staring at my phone, just waiting,” Leatherbury said in an interview on Towson football’s Twitter feed.

“I know sometimes it takes hours, sometimes it can take until the next day. Literally, like two minutes after the draft ended I was texting my agent. I was just anxious for something to happen.”

In the end, the former Towson receiver had free agent offers from both Arizona and Baltimore. He chose the Cardinals because he figured they gave him the best opportunity to make the team.

Like with everything else right now, Leatherbury will only have virtual meetings with the Cardinals until they’re able to start practicing for real.

Hens add basketball transfer

The Delaware men’s basketball team has picked up Logan Curtis, a 6-foot-3 guard who is transferring from East Carolina.

A former standout at Baltimore’s Calvert Hall, Curtis will have three years of eligibility remaining after sitting out next season.

Curtis appeared in 21 games for ECU as a freshman, averaging 1.6 points and 0.6 rebounds while playing seven minutes per contest. The highlight of his season was netting 18 points against CAA foe James Madison on Nov. 30. He sank six three-pointers to go with three assists in the contest.

At Calvert Hall, Curtis was named to the 2018-19 MIAA All-A Conference Team, and earned second-team All-Baltimore Catholic League honors as a senior after receiving honorable mention accolades the previous year.

Curtis should help fill a void in two season when the Blue Hens will lose three guards to graduation.

“Logan is an athletic guard who knows how to play and has the ability to be a lockdown defender,” said UD coach Martin Ingelsby. “He will use this upcoming season as a year to grow on and off the court while getting acclimated to our system and style of play.”

DSU hires grid assistant

Delaware State has hired former Savannah State coach Jonas Jackson as its defensive line coach in football.

Jackson most recently served as defensive line coach at NCAA Division III Albany State (Ga.) last fall.

From 2013-18, he was an assistant coach/coordinator at Savannah State while the Tigers were an NCAA Division I FCS program and member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

A player at Eastern Michigan, Jackson’s coaching resume also includes stints as an assistant at Illinois State (2008), La Salle (2006-07), Temple (2005-06; grad extern) and Arizona Western (2000-04).

“Jonas Jackson has a proven record of success as a defensive strategist, teacher and recruiter,” said DSU head coach Rod Milstead. “His experience at many levels of the game will be valuable to our coaching staff and program.”

Senator among DSU recruits

Dover High defensive player Bryanna Stamas was one of 12 high school players signed as part of Delaware State’s recruiting class in women’s lacrosse.

The dozen signees make up the largest group for the Hornets since their inaugural season in 2013. The list includes six defenders, three attackers, two at midfield and one player listed at two positions.

“I’m extremely pleased with the quality of players who have committed to join our program,” said coach Pamella Jenkins, whose first season with the Hornets was cut short due to the pandemic. “Most of the young ladies we have signed for next season were multi-sport athletes in high school and have the potential to contribute right away.”

Besides Stamas, DelState has added Nahkaleigh Hayes-Jones (Manchester, N.J.); Nylah Kelso (Alcoa, Tenn.); Mica Lambert (Bronx, N.Y.); Rosella Nardi (Kingston, N.Y.); Laura Omotosho (Atlanta, Ga.); Mayerlin Santos (Plantation, Fla.); Kamryn Sharief (Winslow Twp., N.J.); Chloe Tuck (Bronx, N.Y.); Naomi Wells (Orange Park, Fla.); Caitlyn Wilson (Allen, Tex.); and Starr Williams (Bowie, Md.).