Wesley QBs untested, but Knapp likes what he sees

Wesley QB David Marrocco. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

DOVER — The last thing David Marrocco wants to assume is that everything is written in stone already.

The junior quarterback may have come out of spring football practice atop Wesley College’s depth chart at the position.

But now there’s a whole preseason camp ahead of him before the Wolverines open the season on Sept. 7 at Franklin Pierce.

“It’s open competition right now,” said Marrocco. “I’m going to do what I do, I guess, and just be the best that I can be — and hopefully go into the season as the starter.”

Of course, somebody will start at quarterback for Wesley and, after the graduation of Khaaliq Burroughs, that’s a pretty big question for the Wolverines right now.

None of the QBs on the roster have any significant playing time for Wesley, which opened preseason camp on Thursday. Still, coach Chip Knapp likes his first glimpse of the quarterbacks.

“I feel like we’ve got a lot of talent at that position,” said the veteran offensive coordinator. “They have improved quite a bit. And when you look at each of them, you say that you can win with these guys.

“I’m feeling a little bit more at ease at that position just at the start of camp here.”

Marrocco and senior Jon Mullin have been in the system the longest. But Caesar Rodney High grad Jared Wagenhoffer and freshman Drew Fry, the former Middletown High standout, are also in the picture.

One thing Knapp has tried to impress upon his offense as a whole is that no one player has to carry the entire thing on their shoulders.

“We’re going to have to win as a team,” said Knapp. “We’re not going to put all the pressure on them. When we’ve had established quarterbacks, they’ve had a lot more responsibility put on their shoulders to perform well.

“This year, everyone’s going to have to step up and do their part and not just rely on the quarterback position to be great.”

A year ago, Marrocco saw action in four games. He completed 9-of-16 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown while also running four times for 27 yards.

What Marrocco lacks in playing time, he hopes he can make up for in practice time. After redshirting one year, this is his fourth year in the program.

“You’ve always got to wait your turn,” said the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Marrocco. “Your time will come, pretty much. This is my fourth year. I’ve learned the offense. I feel like I have it down pretty well and I feel a lot more comfortable than my first couple years coming in.

“It takes a while for it to be like muscle memory and knowing the plays.”

“It’s going to come down to what they do in practices and scrimmages,” Knapp said about the competition. “It might be a process that will go into the season, too.”

The wild card in Wesley’s quarterback competition is Fry. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder was the state Offensive Player of the Year last fall.

The biggest thing holding back the highly-regarded youngster right now is his lack of experience in the Wolverines’ offense.

“He’s been impressive just in the short time he’s been here,” said Knapp. “He’s hearing everything for the first time and he’s competing with guys who have heard these things for four years. He’s got to get up to speed and then let his talent show from there.”

Marrocco knows the more competition there is at every position, the better off Wesley will be.

“It keeps you on your toes,” he said. “You can’t get complacent.”

Extra points

Receiver Corterris Simpson was named to the third-team, pre-season d3football.com All-American squad as a kick returner. Last season he was NJAC special teams Player of Year with a 29-yard average per punt return. … Dover High grad Nick Glover, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, is back for a fifth year on the defensive line. … Another former Senator, Marcellus Pack, is switching back to offense this season where he’ll play either running back or some receiver. Also a kick returner, he saw time at defensive back last fall.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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