Dover, Del. (Aug. 20, 2019) --- Delaware State is hoping to follow-up its 2018 success running the football with an even more potent ground game this season. The Hornets were second in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in rushing at 187.9 yards per game last season. DSU’s rushing yards per-game and total run yards (2,067) were the most by the team since 2006. Hornet runners also tallied nine games of 80-or-more yards, including three 100-plus yard performances.
Delaware State’s top 2018 rusher Brycen Alleyne (646 yards; 5 TDs) has graduated, however, the next two leaders have returned.
Bryant Dallas (sr.; 5-8, 200) was second on the Hornets with 349 yards and one touchdown on 72 carries last season. Dallas rushed for 308 yards in the last six games, averaging 5.0 yards per carry during the span, and highlighted by a career-best 84 yards in the week nine victory over Savannah State.
The Hornets are expecting a healthy Mike Waters (sr.; 5-8, 205) to begin the season. Waters was limited to five games due to injury in 2018. Despite missing six games, he was third on the team with 338 yards rushing, including 107 yards vs. St. Francis (Pa.) a week after opening the season with 92 yards against FBS Buffalo. Waters ran for a DSU freshman record 820 yards as a freshman in 2016.
Delaware State is also expecting backfield contributions from Richard Harris (sr.; 6-0, 210), Thomas Bertrand-Hudon (r-fr.; 6-0, 220), David Bowman (so.; 5-6, 160) and Taj Washington (r-fr.; 5-11, 190).
Harris is in his second season with the Hornets after transferring from Div. III Dean College (Mass.) in 2018. He rushed for nearly 800 yards in nine games, including a 212-yard performance, in 2016 at Dean.
Bertrand-Hudon was a Canadian high school standout before enrolling at DSU, but did not see action with the Hornets in 2018
Bowman was a regular in the Hornet secondary as a freshman in 2018, ranking fifth on the team with 49 tackles, but was moved to the offensive backfield in the spring. While at Milford (Del.) High School, he set school records for yards from scrimmage (6,068), rushing yards (5,600) and touchdowns. Bowman rushed for 2,083 yards as a high school senior.
Washington saw limited action as a true freshman in 2018, rushing for 33 yards on six carries (5.5 ypc).
“I believe each of our of backs are versatile runners, good blockers and capable of contributing in the passing game,” said Hornets’ running back coach Jeff Braxton. “Our backs have put some good work in this summer, and I’m hopeful we can continue the progress we made in the running game last season.”
Coach Braxton on Hornets’ top 2019 runners:
Bryant Dallas – “Very consistent. Good speed. Runs well between the tackles and does a good job in pass protection. He also catches the ball well out of the backfield.”
Richard Harris – “One of our bigger backs. A very hard and powerful runner. Good pass protector with pass catching skills.”
Thomas Bertrand-Hudon – “Extremely versatile. Can run between the tackles and outside as well. Good speed and strength.”
Mike Waters – “Very explosive; he’s a mixture of our other backs. A proven runner. Can pick up the tough inside yards and run outside as well.”
David Bowman – “Very dynamic, fast and explosive. Good strength. Will give us a nice change of pace when he’s in the game.”
Taj Washington - “Hard runner with good speed and pass catching skills.”
The Hornets will play a record seven home games this season. The home opener is Sep. 14 against Lincoln (Pa.). The Faith and Community Day contest is set for 4:00 p.m. at Alumni Stadium. DSU’s annual homecoming game is the following Saturday (Sep. 21 @ 2:00 p.m.) against Howard.