Senators’ Peace picks Central Connecticut State

Dover’s Vonnie Peace. Delaware State News file photo

DOVER — Growing up, Vonnie Peace and his family didn’t have all the money in the world.

So when the Dover High standout started thinking about playing college football, the idea of getting an NCAA Division I scholarship became really important to him.

“I came up through hard times,” Peace explained. “I always wanted to be that one kid to make it out and create my own legacy for the youth coming up under me. I wanted them to see that you can do something positive. It’s not always about the negative.”

It was a pretty big deal then for Peace when he verbally committed to Central Connecticut State over the weekend. The All-State running back told Blue Devils’ coaches of his decision when he was taking an official visit to the NCAA FCS Division I program on Saturday.

Getting a football scholarship to a Division I program means Peace won’t have to pay for college.

“I told my mom and my grandma that they don’t have to pay,” he said. “It was absolutely exciting.”

Peace also said that finally making his decision “relieves a lot of stress off my back.”

Being a little undersized was probably the biggest reason the 5-foot-10, 185-pounder didn’t get more interest from bigger schools. Peace certainly put up big enough stats in high school. He finished his career with the Senators with 4,860 rushing yards, 967 receiving yards and 976 kick return yards.

Peace, who runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, scored a total of 92 touchdowns for Dover.

“The goal is get kids a free or cheap college education,” said Senators’ coach Rudy Simonetti. “And he’s got that. I think he’s going to do great things at the next level. He’s going to work his tail off.

“They liked his change of direction ability and his overall athleticism. They liked his exceleration through the hole and his vision. And they liked his character, most importantly.”

Central Connecticut State went 11-2 last fall, setting a school record for wins in a season and winning the Northeast Conference title. The Blue Devils lost to CAA member Albany, 42-14, in the first round of the FCS playoffs.

“They welcomed me into their family,” said Peace. “I most definitely have a chip on my shoulder. I just want to prove everybody wrong and just be the best man on the field and off the field.”