Dover, Del. (Aug. 11, 2011) --- Delaware State University's new offensive coordinator is hoping the keys to success he learned with the NFL champion San Francisco 49ers in the early 1980s will pay dividends for the Hornets this season.
"The success of the 49ers was the result of a winning attitude in all areas," said DSU offensive coordinator Arrington Jones, III, who was selected by San Francisco in the fifth round of the 1981 NFL draft. Jones spent most of the '81 season with the 49ers, which defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XVI.
"Everything about the San Francisco organization was geared toward winning; from camp, to practice, to our walk, talk, speech, dress and attitude," said Jones, who also played professionally for the United States Football League's Washington Federals from 1983 to '86.
Jones was tapped by new DSU head coach Kermit Blount to direct the Hornet offense. He served three years as Blount's offensive coordinator when the two men were at Winston-Salem State University.
The Delaware State offense returns seven starters, including junior receiver Justin Wilson, who was selected as the 2011 MEAC Preseason Offensive Player-of-the-Year. In addition, the offense returns running back Jashaawn Jones, a preseason All-MEAC First Team pick.
Wilson was the first player in MEAC history to lead the league in receptions (59), receiving yards (937) and touchdown catches (11) in a season in 2010. Jones was tops on the team and fifth in the MEAC in rushing at 65.8 yards per-game (724 yards) last year.
In addition, the Hornets return their 2010 second leading receiver Darius Jackson and four offensive linemen with starting experience.
The Hornets will be directed by junior quarterback Nick Elko, who enters his first season as the starter, although he has plenty of experience. Elko played in 10 games off the bench in 2010, completing 39-of- 68 passes (57.4%) for 540 yards and seven touchdowns.
"I certainly can't complain about the potential we have on offense," said Jones. "The biggest challenge is getting everyone up to speed with a new system. We were able to get a lot accomplished in the spring, but there's still much to learn in preseason camp."
The Hornets will return to the practice field on Friday at 3:30 p.m.
Delaware State will kick off the 2011 campaign 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.
The Hornets will hold their Media/Meet The Team Day on Sun., Aug. 21 at Alumni Stadium. During the 6:00 p.m. event, fans are invited to greet, and take pictures with, the players and coaches.