Local college notebook: New Blue Hen QB, Middletown product Wade eyes Blue-White Game today

Middletown High product Darius Wade transferred from Boston College to University of Delaware in the offseason.

CAMDEN — Some of Darius Wade’s biggest plays have come with his legs, not just his arm.

So while he threw for 7,778 yards as an All-State quarterback at Middletown High, he also ran for over 1,000.

“I’ve always been someone who likes a lot of contact,” said Wade. “It adds that whole different element where now, when everything is flying around, you have to make plays. Also, I feel like I’m a bigger, stronger guy so, when I’m supposed to be sacked, I still break a tackle and keep the play alive.”

That being said, Wade doesn’t figure to see any genuine contact when Delaware holds its Blue-White Game today at 3:30 p.m.

But as the new QB in town after transferring from Boston College in the offseason, Wade is expected to be the center of attention in the intrasquad scrimmage that concludes spring football practice.

Wade is battling incumbent J.P. Caruso — himself a transfer from Appalachian State last year — for the starting job. Even in the limited-contact setting (for quarterbacks), Blue Hen fans are anxious to see improvement from the position.

“He’s progressing,” Delaware coach Danny Rocco said about Wade. “He’s obviously got a lot of talent and a lot of experience. He’s one of those guys — like a lot of our players — who show best in live situations.

“We don’t do a lot of things live in the spring. But he’s going to improvise and make plays and create. That’s part of his game that we really haven’t been able to see a whole lot of here this spring.”

Other things have changed beside just the addition of Wade. Rocco has added former James Madison head coach Alex Wood as UD’s quarterback coach while three-year starter Joe Walker is now a full-time wide receiver.

Of course, it’s all new to the 6-foot, 215-pound Wade, who’s a graduate student. He saw his share of changes in his four years at BC.

“I’ve been through this transition before,” said Wade. “I’ve had turnover in staff at Boston College with offensive coordinators leaving and new ones coming in, new terminology coming in … So many times before I had to learn a different offense.

“Coming in, you know the coach is going to have high expectations. But until you really pick up the offense and have full confidence that you know what you’re doing, it’s hard to really create that same level. That’s why I’ve got to work extra hard. Come this summer, I’m going to be constantly grinding with the coaches until they teach me everything they know.”

Delaware’s spring game activities today start with ‘Fandemonium’ at 1:30 p.m.

Wesley has spring game, too

There won’t be anything tackling when Wesley College holds its spring football game on Sunday at 2 p.m.

With NCAA Division III rules not allowing full contact in the spring, Sunday’s session will include lineman drills and a 7-on-7 scrimmage.

While Wolverine coach Mike Drass likes to make the spring mostly about strengthening fundamentals, he also makes it clear to his players that they’re always competing.

“Like we say to our kids all the time, they’re auditioning for spots on next year’s team,” said Drass. “Even (running back) E.J. Lee, who is a returning All-American-type player, has got to prove himself. That’s the biggest thing, whether you’re an All-American or a guy trying to become an All-American, you’re competing with the guy ahead of you.

“And the more you’re able to go out on the field and push yourself and push the guy that’s ahead of you, the better you’re going to be and the better he’s going to be.”

One player who won’t be playing on Sunday but could have an impact in the fall is former Dover High big-play running back Marcellus Pack.

Pack, who officially enrolled at Wesley this week, played for Nassau (N.Y.) Community College after graduating from Dover in 2015. His former Senator head coach, Dante Jones, is an assistant with the Wolverines.

“He’s got two years to play and we’re going to try to find as many different ways to put the ball in his hand as possible,” said Drass.

Notes

• Only a sophomore, Caesar Rodney High grad Rosa’Lynn Burton broke the Wilmington University softball record for career triples this week. The outfielder now has 13 in her career.

• Milford High grad Megan Fry, a freshman shortstop, is leading the DelTech softball team with a .557 batting average, 31 RBI and five homeruns.

Also for the Roadrunners, Madison McGee (Indian River) is batting .452 with 28 RBI while Brooke Stoeckel (Sussex Central) is batting .338 with 24 RBI.

• The Wilmington baseball team won the Bill Giles Invitational on Tuesday with some help from some downstate players. Kendall Small (Dover) went 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored while Nick Macey (Smyrna) was 2-for-5 with two RBI in the Wildcats’ 6-1 win over West Chester at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park.

• A pair of former downstate baseball players are teammates at Lebanon Valley. Jake Williams (Caesar Rodney) is a junior pitcher while Ethan Hurd (Milford) is a freshman catcher.

Williams has a 1-0 record with four starts and six appearances while Hurd has played in three games.

• Delaware and Delaware State will square off in baseball on Tuesday (April 24) in Dover at 3 p.m. The two squads have a total of 30 in-state players on their rosters this season.

• Caesar Rodney High’s Tommy Pomatto and Dover’s Dominic Velazquez were pretty impressive on Tuesday in a pitcher’s duel in which both players struck out 10. A couple years from now, both players may be teammates, however.

Pomatto is headed for Delaware in the fall while Velazquez, just a sophomore, has verbally committed to the Blue Hens. CR sophomore catcher Ryan Rigby has also committed to the Hens.

• The Dave Reynolds Lacrosse Festival, which included seven high school and college games at Miller Stadium last weekend, has raised over $25,000 to help local students attend Wesley. Donations can still be made to the Dave Reynolds Memorial Scholarship Fund (302) 736-2467.

• The eight-player recruiting class that Delaware’s field hockey program announced this week includes three international players. It also included a set of twins, Ashley and Sarah Iannuzzi of Roseland, N.J.

• Delaware State is one of only five NCAA Division I men’s basketball programs without a full-time head coach right now.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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