Dover, Del. (Aug. 5, 2011) --- Delaware State University's 2011 summer football camp, the first under new head coach Kermit Blount, gets underway next week. The players will hit the field at Alumni Stadium for a conditioning session on Monday (Aug. 8) at 5:00 p.m. The first official practice is set for Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. Blount has scheduled seven two-practice days, the first set for Aug. 13. A full contract scrimmage is scheduled for Aug. 20.
Blount expects to welcome nearly 50 letter winners, including 17 returning starters, to his first summer camp with the Hornets.
The offense will return eight starters, among them the MEAC's top receiver, the team's leading rusher and an experienced quarterback.
The defense is expected to feature seven returning starters, although it must replace an All-MEAC First Team lineman who was the team's top tackler last season.
The Hornets offense unit is led by 2011 MEAC Preseason Player-of-the-Year Justin Wilson (r-jr., 6-1, 180), who was the first player in league history to lead the conference in receptions (59), receiving yards (937) and touchdown catches (11) in 2010. Wilson ranked 16th among all NCAA-FCS players in receiving yards (85.2 pg) and tied for 35th in receptions (5.4 pg). In addition, he set a Delaware State single-season record for receptions. He had 33 catches for 569 yards and seven touchdowns in the last four games of the 2010 season.
Running back Jashaawn Jones (sr. r-sr., 6-2, 220) was also named to the 2011 Preseason All-MEAC First Team. Jones enters the season with 1,387 yards and 12 touchdowns in his career at DSU. He was Jones tops on the team and fifth in the MEAC in rushing at 65.8 yards per-game last season.
Nick Elko (r-jr. 6-2, 205) is expected to inherit the starting quarterback job after serving as the No. 2 the past two seasons. Elko completed 39-of-68 passes (57.4%) for 540 yards and seven touchdowns in 10 games last year. He ranked second in the MEAC in passing efficiency (149.2) and was seventh in the league in passing average (54.0 ypg) in 2010.
Tight end Ryan Langdon (jr. 6-4, 240) was named to the 2011 Preseason All-MEAC Second Team. Langdon collected 11 catches for 103 yards in 2010.
Replacing tackle Andre Caroll, a 2010 All-MEAC First Team and SportsNetwork All-America Third Team selection, is a top priority for the Hornet defense. Caroll, now with the NFL's Cleveland Browns, led the Hornets with 96 tackles and 13.5 tackles-for-loss last season.
The line will feature two returning starters, left end Olusegon Ayanbiola (jr., 6-2, 235) and tackle Darrell Brown (sr. 6-2, 280). Ayanbiola collected 37 tackles and a team-high five sacks in 2010. His season was highlighted by a career-high 3.5 sacks and eight total tackles vs. North Carolina Central. Brown recorded 28 tackles, including three backfield stops and a sack, last season.
Aaron Richardson (jr. 6-2, 220), George Bansah (jr., 6-1, 270) and Quinton Fortes (jr., 6-3, 240) are also returning letter winners along the line. Richardson had 27 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss, while Bansah and Fortes recorded 16 tackles each in 2010.
The linebacker corps appears solid with the return of Brandon Harvey (sr., 6-1, 220) and Quentin Ferguson (r-sr., 5-11, 205) who were among the team leaders in tackles last season.
Harvey was second on the Hornets (10th in MEAC) in tackles at 7.5 per-game (83 total tackles) in 2010. He also recorded eight tackles-for-loss, one sack, two pass deflections, three fumble recoveries and one forced fumble last season. Ferguson was fourth on the Hornets with 56 tackles, including 8.5 backfield stops, last year.
Herman Hinton (jr. 6-2, 210), Marquis Spann (sr.; 6-2, 205) Chris Johnson (sr., 6-2, 215),) and Alex Perry (so., 5-11, 220) are other experienced linebackers on the team.
Calvin Miner (jr. 5-11, 195) is expected to start at the rover position this season. Miner was ninth on the Hornets with 34 tackles in 2010. He also recorded two pass break ups and two deflections last season.
Delaware State will kick off the 2011 season on Sep. 3 at Virginia Military Institute (VMI). Game time is 1:30 p.m. in Lexington, Va.
Hornets will play their home opener the following Saturday (Sep. 10) against Shaw University. Kickoff is 6:00 p.m. at Alumni Stadium.