UD’s Jarmon has good outlook on season

Jamie Jarmon (: Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell)

NEWARK — Jamie Jarmon didn’t have any trouble finding the football this time.

The Delaware wide receiver rose up smoothly over a defender to snare the 20-yard pass from J.P. Caruso for a touchdown on Saturday morning.

“Oh yeah man, that was a great feed,” Jarmon said after the scrimmage. “That was a great feed.”

It’s hard to say whether or not the former Indian River High standout would have made that catch a year ago.

But, after getting contact lenses just before the start of the Blue Hens’ preseason camp, there’s no question that Jarmon saw the ball better.

The correction in his eyesight suddenly opens up a whole new world for Jarmon. It also probably explains why the third-year wideout had a couple notable dropped passes earlier in his career.

Both times, Jarmon had been open behind the defense but couldn’t pull in the throws. Apparently his vision bothered him the most when he was trying to judge long passes.

Now all that has changed.

Jamie Jarmon

“It’s kind of like the difference in watching regular cable and HD,” Jarmon explained. “It’s a big difference.

“I realized I was losing the ball. But I’d always feel like it was because of a focus thing or something. … It’s like night and day (now).”

While only senior Diante Cherry has put up solid receiving numbers for Delaware over the past two seasons, Jarmon has just 26 catches for 280 yards in his first 21 games.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder — who never played the position before his freshman year — still hasn’t caught a touchdown pass, either.

First-year Blue Hen coach Danny Rocco, though, thinks Jarmon might be ready to have a breakout season.

“He’s just a lot more confident out here,” said Rocco. “There’s probably a lot of factors that go into it. I think just the more that he is back into the rhythm and routine of being a football player. … I do think his contacts have helped him with his confidence more than anything. He’s making plays out here on a daily basis.

“I think he’s in the position right now where he has a chance to be one of the better receivers in this league this year.”

Jarmon, of course, played pro baseball in the Texas Rangers’ minor-league system before enrolling at Delaware two years ago. He’s 23 years old now.

Apparently, though, he’s ready to see things in a whole new way.

“I don’t have to second-guess myself at all,” said Jarmon. “If the ball’s coming, I know I can snatch it.

“It’s been tough but you’ve got to also look, I’ve played receiver for two years out of my life. I’m still learning a lot and getting a lot better. These eyes are definitely a great addition.”

Jarmon has scored one TD at Delaware on a running play. But, with his new outlook, he says it’s just a matter of time before he pulls in his first touchdown pass.

“It’s going to happen,” said Jarmon. “I’m not pressing it to happen, but I know it will.”

Spruill in the mix now

The Hens’ depleted running back corps has gotten some much-needed reinforcement with freshman Khory Spruill now in the mix.

The youngster had been kept out of earlier scrimmages as he recovered from an injury.

But the 6-foot, 215-pounder had a couple nice runs on Saturday. Rocco said it’s just a question of getting the DeMatha High grad up to speed.

“I like what Spruill is doing,” said Rocco. “He’s a ball carrier. He’s big, he’s working himself back into shape. We’re going to play him. We’ll see how this thing shakes out.”

With Kareem Williams still sidelined with a hand injury, Kani Kane (Sussex Tech) and Spruill got many of the carries on Saturday. Rocco tried to limit starter Thomas Jefferson’s action as the junior deals with a knee injury.

Running back is a position where a first-year player can have an immediate impact.

“I’ve been watching it forever in this league,” said Rocco. “At Richmond we had a couple freshmen come in and play well early.

“He might not take on the entire offense but he can be productive in your core offense.”

Extra points

The Hens are slated to hold their last scrimmage on Tuesday at 7 p.m. as they prepare for the Aug. 31 season opener against Delaware State. … With the season getting closer, Rocco was notably more vocal during Saturday’s scrimmage. “Push through adversity,” he yelled during a break. … Rocco summed up the scrimmage by saying, “I think we took turns looking good on both offense and defense.”

 

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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