September 1, 2014

DelVal - 2014 Football Season Preview

Photo courtesy of DelVal Sports Information
The Delaware Valley College football team comes under new leadership in 2014 as 2003 graduate Duke Greco was promoted to head coach after eight years as the Aggies' offensive coordinator. Those eight years has seen the squad capture four Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) championships, make three trips to the NCAA Division III playoffs (second round each time) and win a pair of Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) South Atlantic Bowl titles.

Last year, Delaware Valley reached the postseason for the sixth consecutive year as the Aggies made an appearance in the ECAC Southeast Bowl. They finished the year with a 7-4 overall record, including a 6-3 mark in the MAC. Those three conference setbacks were by a combined 13 points, including two contests that went to overtime

Delaware Valley was picked to finish second in the MAC preseason coaches' poll, but Greco and his squad, which includes 12 returning starters (six offense, five defense, one specialty) have their eyes set on one spot higher than that. The season kicks off on Saturday, September 6 (1:00 p.m.) when Delaware Valley travels to Montclair State University for a non-conference game. Following a bye week, the Aggies will begin nine straight weeks of MAC play by hosting Wilkes University for the first home night game in program history on September 20 (7:00 p.m.).


Three-year starter and three-time all-MAC honoree (second team in 2011, first team in 2012 and 2013) Aaron Wilmer is back for his senior year and Delaware Valley is 25-7 in the 32 games that he has been under center.

Last year, he took the field in nine games and completed 153 of 269 passes for 2,113 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also rushed 101 times for 366 yards and three trips to the end zone. With career totals of 507 completions, 6,929 yards and 54 touchdowns, Wilmer is closing in on second place in school history in all three categories (2009 graduate Mike Isgro is second in all three with 610 completions, 7,336 yards and 61 touchdowns.

Three-time all-conference and two-time all-region selection Kyle Schuberth has graduated after finishing as the school's second all-time leader in rushing yards (3,764), rushing touchdowns (45) and total touchdowns (46).

Senior Chris Smallwood, who transferred in from Division II West Chester prior to last season, has the edge for the starting role. Last season, he carried the ball just 30 times but netted 148 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught 11 passes out of the backfield for 108 yards and one score.

Senior Joe Meehan returns to his starting fullback position and serves primarily as a blocker. He had one carry for one yard last year and caught two passes for 13 yards.

Rasheed Bailey enters the 2014 campaign as the team's co-captain and 15 catches shy of becoming the 11th Aggie to hit the 100-reception mark for a career. In fact, his numbers have risen each year as he had just five catches as a freshman and followed with 29 grabs for 365 yards and two touchdowns in 2012.

Last year, saw Bailey earn all-MAC accolades (first team) as he nearly became just the fourth player in program history to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards as he led Delaware Valley with 51 receptions for 977 yards and eight trips to the end zone.

Three other wideouts who saw significant time in 2013 return in senior Danny Lopez, junior Bobby Martarella and sophomore Tyler Bing. Lopez caught 10 passes for 138 yards while Martarella hauled in nine balls for 109 yards and three touchdowns. Bing had 10 grabs for 79 yards and also rushed 23 times for 97 yards and one touchdown.

Senior Max Stella was an all-conference pick (honorable mention) at tight end as he caught 11 passes for 93 yards and one touchdown and also paved the way for Schuberth with his blocking. Fellow senior James Norton is also back at tight end. He hauled in 10 passes for 78 yards and one score last season.

Two starters are back up front for Delaware Valley in junior Josh Wallace and senior Rodney Linder. Wallace was a first-team all-MAC and all-ECAC selection last year as the 6-foot-4, 285-pounder started all 11 games at left guard. He is expected to move to left tackle this year. Linder started every contest at right guard for the second straight year in 2013 and the 6-foot, 285-pounder helped the Aggies average 30.8 points and 425.9 yards per showing.

Sophomore Trevor Stover (6-5, 300) is back after seeing significant time last season, including a pair of starts. He is slated for the starting unit at right tackle this season. Senior Matt Long (5-10, 270) is expected to start at center while sophomore Dave Driscoll (6-2, 275) has moved over from the defensive side of the ball and is slated for the starting left guard position.


Senior Quinton Bryant is the lone returnee up front after the nose guard recorded 44 tackles, 1.5 sacks and one fumble recovery a season ago.

Bernard Avery is back for his final campaign in a Delaware Valley uniform. He was third on the team a season ago with 76 tackles and he also added three sacks.

Junior Rashaad Lighty moved from linebacker to defensive end last year, but is back at his familiar position in '14. He notched 43 tackles and three sacks up front. Frank Law moved into a starting linebacker position at the tail end of his freshman season and he returns as well. Law had 37 tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles for the year.

Just one starter from last year is back in the secondary, but that returnee is first-team all-MAC and all-ECAC strong safety Danny Wynne. After posting just 22 tackles as a freshman in 2012, Wynne led the way with 112 tackles last year, including 68 solo stops. He also had three pass beaks, two forced fumbles, one interception and one blocked kick. Wynne will serve as a co-captain in 2014.

Akmed Muhammed was with the Aggies in 2012 and has returned after a one-year hiatus. He saw time at cornerback in 10 games in '12 and finished with 10 tackles.

Two-time all-conference (honorable mention) placekicker Brandon Snyder is back for his senior campaign. Last year, he hit nine of 15 field goal attempts, including the game-winning, 25-yarder with no time remaining at Albright. Snyder was also 40-for-43 on extra-point attempts for 67 points. His 126 career points has him 57 shy of second place on the Delaware Valley all-time list. Snyder may also take over the punting duties in 2014

Michael Anusky was an all-MAC special teams pick (honorable mention) after averaging 6.8 yards per punt return as a sophomore. Bing averaged 21.6 yards on nine kickoff returns last year and also returned two punts for a total of 16 yards.