A surprising number of injuries have plagued the first few days of preseason practice for the University of Delaware Blue Hens football team.
After a disappointing 2011, the UD football team returns to Newark with expectations for a much better performance in the 2012 campaign. The team is ranked 15 in the Sports Network’s Division I Football Championship Subdivision preseason national poll.
UD head coach K.C. Keeler says, after the first eight days of preseaon practice, the team is already facing some adversity. “We’ve had more injuries than I’ve ever seen in my 20 years as a head football coach.” He says it’s especially surprising considering the limited amount of time the team has spent in full contact work. “We only had one scrimmage and we’ve only done probably 20 snaps of live work where you actually take a player to the ground.”
The injuries have hit the team’s linebackers particularly hard. “Basically three of our top six linebackers have not made it through the first eight days of training camp,” Keeler said. For senior LB Paul Worrilow, the injuries are an opportunity for some newcomers to make a name for themselves. “It’s really upsetting, but at the same time we’ve got a lot of depth. It’s a chance for the younger guys to come up and really seize an opportunity and take control.”
The big question remains who will be the team’s starting quarterback. Keeler says it’s still a toss-up. “No one has seized this opportunity,” he says. “The good news is I think we have three guys who can win in this league.” Keeler says the bad news is trying to figure out which of the team’s three QB’s should get more reps at practice and can be one of the top four or five quarterbacks in the league. He expects to make a decision on that within the next week.
The Blue Hens open their season on Thursday night, Aug. 30, when they host West Chester at Delaware Stadium in Newark.