Delaware Football Announces 2016 Recruiting Class
NEWARK, Del. -- For the 2016 football recruiting class, the University of Delaware went with quality over quantity - along with a distinct local flair.
Last February University of Delaware football head coach Dave Brock had 21 student-athletes sign NCAA National Letters of Intent, but on Wednesday he announced a small but mightly class of eight high school standouts who will attend UD on a scholarship and compete for the Blue Hens this coming fall.
In addition to the eight recruits, Brock also announced that Troy Reeder, a former in-state Player of the Year at Salesianum and a starting linebacker at Penn State University last fall, is currently enrolled at Delaware and will take part in spring drills beginning in April.
The list of eight high school signings represents the lowest number since Delaware’s 2005 class, which included just five recruits.
“This is a great day for Delaware football and we are exciting about the young student-athletes that we have added to our program,” said Brock, who will enter his fourth season at the helm of the Blue Hens in 2016. “This is a small group in quantity but with tremendous quality. With a small class like this, we really focused on the players we wanted and as always our strategy was to build great relationships with the families. We added the right people.”
Of the nine players introduced Wednesday, four hail from inside the Delaware borders, including Reeder, his younger brother, linebacker Colby (Salesianum School), defensive end Stefon Woodruff (St. George’s HS), and wide receiver Chichi Amachi (William Penn HS). Troy and Colby are the sons of former NFL running back and 1984 Blue Hen team captain Dan Reeder.
“When we got here we made a strong commitment to recruit in-state players and build a consistent program by having the best players in the state come here,” said Brock. “We’ve been able to do that and certainly accomplished that this year. We believe that the better job we do in-state, the better our program will be. We want to stay within a five-hour radius and certainly we had a lot of success in New York as well this year.”
This class includes some of the top young football talent in the region. In addition to the four from the First State, the group includes three student-athletes from New York, one from New Jersey, and one from Maryland. The list of newcomers also includes three defensive linemen, two linebackers, two defensive backs, one wide receiver, and one offensive lineman.
The group collectively earned numerous honors and were part of several perennial outstanding high school programs. All nine student-athletes received all-conference or all-area honors, eight were All-State selections, eight served as team captains, eight of them led their teams to the state playoffs, including three to the state championship title, and five earned special academic notice, including two National Honor Society students.
Delaware, which lost just 12 players (five scholarship) to graduation from last year’s 4-7 team, will return 26 players with starting experience, including 16 on offense, and will once again feature one of the nation’s deepest and most talented running attacks and a young but experienced defense that ranked among the league leaders in numerous statistical categories in 2015. The Blue Hens will open an 11-game slate on Sept. 1 when they host in-state foe Delaware State at 7 p.m. at Delaware Stadium as part of the First State Cup.
“I think we will be an exceptional football team - a playoff football team - this coming season,” said Brock. “I think we have recruited very well.”
Spring drills will begin on Thursday, Apr. 7 and will continue until the annual Blue-White Spring Game on Saturday, May 7 at Delaware Stadium. The team will return to Smyrna High School for its annual Downstate Day on Saturday, Apr. 16 and the always popular Fandemonium VII will take place prior to the spring game on May. Further details on all events will be announced later this winter.
Season tickets are now on sale in-person at the Delaware Ticket Office and online at www.bluehens.com. Single game tickets will go on sale at a later date.
Below are biographies on the incoming student-athletes with comments from Brock and their respective high school coaches.
CHIGOZIRIM “CHICHI” AMACHI • 6-2 • 180 • Wide Receiver • Bear, Del. (William Penn HS)
High School: Enjoyed an outstanding career as a wide receiver, defensive back, and kick returner at nearby William Penn High School for head coach Marvin Dooley...was a two-way All-State selection as a senior in 2015, earning notice as a wide receiver (second team) and kick returner (first team)...two-time All-Blue Hen Conference selection as a wide receiver...as a senior, compiled 1,046 all-purpose yards and 11 touchdowns...had 547 receiving yards and 420 kick return yards in 2015...on defense, had 21 tackles, five interceptions, and 10 pass breakups as a senior...led William Penn to a 9-2 record and a berth in the state semifinals in 2015...team was No. 3 in the final state rankings...led team to 2014 state title...outstanding student who earned the All-Blue Hen Conference Academic Award.
Personal: Chigozirim O. “Chichi” (“chee-chee”) Amachi (“uh-ma-chee”)...born June 29, 1998...avid video game player....plays the piano...favorite professional sports team is the NBA’s Golden State Warriors...plans to major in engineering at Delaware...son of Okechukwu (father) and Enyioma (mother) Amachi...father is an engineer and mother is a clinic manager at the University of Pennsylvania...has an older brother and older sister.
Recruiting Coach: Dave Brock
Coach Dave Brock Says: “Chichi is a dynamic player who comes from a great in-state program, William Penn. He has a great skill set and an outstanding combination of size and speed. He makes plays and runs well after the catch. He will add versatility to our receiver corps.”
AARON DONALSON • 6-2 • 215 • Defensive End • Syracuse, N.Y. (Christian Brothers Academy/Coastal Carolina/Dean JC)
High School: Transfer from Dean Junior College (Franklin, Mass.) and Coastal Carolina...will have sophomore eligibility at Delaware...two-year standout as a linebacker and defensive end at Christian Brothers Academy for head coach Joe Casamento...served as team captain both seasons...earned second team All-State honors as a senior in 2013...two-time first team all-conference and first team All-Central New York selection...led teams to sectional titles in 2012 and 2013 and regional title in 2012...recorded 88 tackles, 15 sacks, 10 pass breakups and five forced fumbles as a senior in 2013 when he also had seven touchdown receptions...had 80 tackles, 14 sacks, five forced fumbles, and eight pass breakups as a junior in 2012.
Previous Schools: Redshirted as a member of the Coastal Carolina football team in 2014 for head coach Joe Moglia...played in 2015 at Dean Junior College for head coach Todd Vasey...At Dean, played in nine games at outside linebacker and recorded 48 tackles, five sacks, three forced fumbles, and five pass breakups...earned first team all-conference honors.
Personal: Aaron Lamar Donalson....born Apr. 27, 1996...undecided on a major but plans to minor in communications...enjoys reading, playing basketball, and video games in his spare time...favorite NFL team is the Philadelphia Eagles...son of Linda Donalson and Rodney Fair...one of three children...father is a probation officer and mother is an operating room tech...father played basketball at Oneonta State College (86’) and mother played volleyball and basketball at St. Lawrence University (85’)...she was the school’s first 1,000-point scorer...brother, Jared, was an all-conference basketball player at Cayuga (N.Y.) Community College (2013)...cousin, Lamera, played women’s basketball at La Salle University.
Recruiting Coach: Dennis Dottin-Carter
Coach Dave Brock Says: “Aaron is a hybrid player with a number of dynamic qualities. He has elite pass-rushing ability and we will be looking for him to come in and help immediately on our defensive front. Improving our pass rush was a priority and Aaron was the player we wanted.”
JAMIL GILMORE • 6-4 • 280 • Offensive Line • Piscataway, N.J. (Piscataway HS/Salisbury School)
High School: Three-year two-way standout lineman at Piscataway High School for head coach Dan Higgins...two-year starter...earned honorable mention All-State honors as a senior in 2014...second team All-Area and first team all-division selection...honored as an outstanding MSG Varsity Lineman...played for Middlesex County in the Snapple Bowl as a senior and was selected as his team’s captain...led team to a 7-4 record and a berth in the state semifinals in 2013 and a 9-2 mark and a state semifinal appearance in 2014...earned 2015 Piscataway HS Mark Mills Award for Leadership, Desire, and Pride.
Previous School: Played one post-graduate season at the Salisbury (Conn.) School for head coach Chris Phelps in 2015...starter who led squad to an 8-1 record and the Erickson League title...team advanced to New England Prep Football Championship Game.
Personal: Jamil (“juh-meal”) Omoryi Gilmore...born Feb. 28, 1997...plans to major in criminal justice and would like to pursue a career in law enforcement or forensic studies...enjoys fishing and cooking in his spare time...fan of the NFL New York Giants...son of Joe and Joanne Gilmore...has an older brother...father is a New Jersey State compliance official and mother is a finance manager...brother, Jalen, was a captain and all-conference basketball player at Emory Oxford University in Georgia.
Recruiting Coach: Sean Devine
Coach Dave Brock Says: “Jamil is a big, strong, athletic offensive lineman who has the opportunity to come and compete for playing time immediately. He is a versatile guy who can play either offensive guard or tackle.”
NIJUEL HILL • 5-10 • 175 • Cornerback • Baltimore, Md. (Calvert Hall HS)
High School: Standout player at Calvert Hall under head coach Donald Davis...two-year starter who served as team captain as a senior...earned second team All-Metro honors as a senior in 2015 when he also received second team all-conference honors...was a Big 33 All-Star game nominee (Maryland vs. Pennsylvania All-Stars) and participated in the 2015 Crab Bowl (Baltimore vs. Washington, D.C. All-Stars)...registered 55 tackles and one interception in 2015 and 50 tackles and one interception in 2014...was also a member of the track & field squad at Calvert Hall.
Personal: Nijuel (“nigel”) Isaiah Hill...born Oct. 29, 1997...enjoys playing ping-pong and golf in his spare time....favorite NFL team is the Pittsburgh Steelers...son of Derrick and Tonya Hill...plans to major in accounting at Delaware...mother is an accountant and father is a railroad engineer...father played college football for two years at Bloomsburg (Pa.) University...oldest of three children, including pair of twins.
Recruiting Coach: Tony Lucas
Coach Dave Brock Says: “Nijuel is a dynamic athlete at cornerback who has a great skill set. He is explosive and fast and an excellent player at the point of attack. He is an exceptional defender and a physical player in the run game.”
SALVATORE MAURO • 6-3 • 250 • Defensive End • Staten Island, N.Y. (Bergen Catholic HS)
High School: Standout at New Jersey power Bergen Catholic High School for head coach Nunzio Campanile...his assistant coach was former UD outstanding defensive end Dominic Santoli (2001-04)...team was ranked as high as No. 2 in the state during the 2015 season when it advanced to the NJSIAA Non-Public, Group 4 Playoffs semifinals for the second straight year...served as team captain as a senior...three-year starter on defensive line...two-time second team All-State selection (2014, 2015) who also was a two-time second team All-Bergen County pick and a two-time All-Metro selection as a defensive lineman...for his career collected 181 tackles and 25 sacks, including 50 tackles (seven sacks) in 2015, 56 tackles (10 sacks) in 2014, and 75 tackles (eight sacks) in 2013...honor roll student...member of Hearing Our Heroes Club and Green Club.
Personal: Salvatore “Sal” Mauro (“mar-oh”) II...born Apr. 27, 1998....undecided on major but would like to study business or accounting...enjoys playing sports with his brothers and riding all-terrain vehicles in his spare time...fan of the New York Giants (NFL), Rangers (NHL) and Yankees (MLB)...son of Sal and Cathy Mauro...father owns a trucking business...has two younger brothers.
Recruiting Coach: Tim Weaver
Coach Dave Brock Says: “Sal is an outstanding player from an elite program, Bergen Catholic. He has everything we look for in a defensive lineman. He has an incredible motor and is equally outstanding against the run and the pass. He will have the chance to challenge for early playing time.”
TIM POINDEXTER • 5-11 • 205 • Safety • Bronx, N.Y. (Cardinal Hayes HS)
High School: Two-way standout as a running back and safety at Cardinal Hayes High School for head coach C.J. O’Neil...Cardinal Hayes is the same program that produced former Blue Hen offensive tackle and current Cleveland Browns player Erle Ladson...projected as a safety at Delaware...ranked as one of the top players in the state as a senior...team captain as a senior when he led Hayes to a 9-3 record, a state playoff berth (AAA Catholic runner-up), and a No. 11 state ranking in 2015...three-year starter...earned third team All-State and first team All-Bronx and first team all-city honors as a senior...as a running back, rushed for 1,372 yards and 17 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2013.
Personal: Timothy Nayquan “Tim” Poindexter...born May 28, 1998...plans to major in business and has career aspiration to be an accountant...son of Geormari Cruz (mother)...mother works for the Department of Education...has a younger brother.
Recruiting Coach: Tim Weaver
Coach Dave Brock Says: “Timothy comes from a great high school program at Cardinal Hayes in New York City. He is one of the most physical players and tacklers that I have seen on film in the last several years. He is an explosive, run-and-hit player who plays at full speed every snap. He has the chance to be an impact player for us.”
COLBY REEDER • 6-3 • 225 • Outside Linebacker • Hockessin, Del. (Salesianum)
High School: Enjoyed an outstanding career as a defensive back and running back at nearby Salesianum School for head coach Bill DiNardo...served as captain as a senior...top player in the state of Delaware as a senior in 2015 when he was named DIFCA State Defensive Player of the Year, Gatorade Player of the Year, and Maxwell Club Player of the Year (inaugural award winner)...earned the DeLucia Award as the top player in the Delaware Catholic League...earned All-State honors at defensive back in 2014 and 2015 and All-State notice at running back in 2015...three-time All-Catholic League selection on defense and twice on offense...rushed for 2,010 yards and 33 touchdowns, posted 70 tackles, four forced fumbles, one interception, and six blocked field goals in 2015...rushed for 925 yards and 17 touchdowns and recorded 128 tackles and seven forced fumbles in 2014 as a junior...led Salesianum to three straight state tournament appearances, including a state title in 2013 and a state runner-up finish in 2015...National Honor Society student who carries a 3.8 grade point average and earned honor roll distinction every semester.
Personal: Colby Austin Reeder...born Feb. 3, 1997...plans to major in business or finance at Delaware...enjoys weightlifting, hiking, fishing, boating, swimming, and basketball in his spare time...favorite NFL team is the Pittsburgh Steelers...son of Dan and Cheryl Reeder...has one brother, Troy, who has transfered from Penn State where he played for two seasons...father is a Delaware native (Christiana HS), and a 1986 Delaware graduate who served as captain of the 1984 Blue Hens for head coach Tubby Raymond...played fullback and linebacker at Delaware and played two seasons in the NFL with the Los Angeles Raiders (fifth round draft pick) and Pittsburgh Steelers as a fullback...Dan is now a commercial real estate broker...mother played basketball at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College (‘86) and led the team to the 1982 NCAA III national championship.
Recruiting Coach: Dave Brock
Coach Dave Brock Says: “Colby is an outstanding player from an elite program at Salesianum. His high school career, including an outstanding senior year, speaks for itself with all of his player of the year honors (DIFCA, Gatorade, and Maxwell Club). He is an incredibly versatile player who will add elite athleticism to our roster at linebacker and special teams.”
STEFON WOODRUFF • 6-3 • 235 • Defensive End • Newark, Del. (St. George’s HS)
High School: Standout two-way lineman at St. George’s Vo-Tech High School for head coach JD Maull...served as team captain as a senior in 2015...four-year varsity player and three-year starter who led team to career record of 43-6...team won at least 10 games all four years and captured Blue Hen Conference Flight B titles in 2012, 2014, and 2015...team advanced to the state Division II Tournament each year and finished as state runner-up in 2013 and 2015 and advanced to the semifinals in 2014...played defensive tackle, defensive end, and offensive tackle...two-time All-State player, earning first team honors on defense in 2014 and 2015 and second team honors on offense in 2014...three-year All-Blue Hen Conference selection...for his career collected 150 tackles, 40 tackles for loss, 21 sacks, and six forced fumbles...had 52 tackles, 15 TFL, 6.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and returned two interceptions for touchdowns as a senior in 2015...also competed in track & field at St. George’s for head coach Kai Maull...placed third in the shot put at the 2015 state meet...two-time Academic All-State selection.
Personal: Stefon (“stuh-fahn”) Edward Woodruff...born Mar. 31, 1998....plans to major in nursing at Delaware...career goal is to become a pediatric nurse...enjoys playing basketball in his spare time...favorite NFL team is the Dallas Cowboys...son of Laura Liebal...mother attended Delaware and is a property manager...has five siblings.
Recruiting Coach: Dave Brock
Coach Dave Brock Says: “Stefon is another homegrown player from an outstanding high school program at St. George’s. He has an incredible amount of upside. He has tremendous athletic ability and versatility for a defensive lineman and we feel he will be an outstanding player on our defensive line for many years.”
HS Coach Maull Says: “Stefon for three years of starting on our defense caused nightmares for opposing coaches and quarterbacks. Stefon has a great first step and comes off the edge hard. We are excited to see Stefon play for the Blue Hens.”
TROY REEDER • 6-2 • 250 • Inside Linebacker • Hockessin, Del. (Salesianum School/Penn State)
High School: Transfer from Penn State...will have sophomore eligibility at Delaware and will take part in 2016 spring drills...four-year letterwinner at Salesianum School for head coach Bill DiNardo...captain for Salesianum team that captured the 2013 DIAA Division I state championship and was 2012 state runner-up...two-time All-State selection at middle linebacker...earned first team All-State honors at running back as a senior...2013 DIFCA Defensive Player of the Year...compiled 76 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries during his final season...rushed for 1,154 yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior...won the DeLucia Sportsmanship Award...recorded more than 2,000 yards rushing and a combined 54 touchdowns (37 rushing, 17 passing) in his career...added 280 tackles, 12 sacks, and five interceptions...rated as a four-star prospect by ESPN and a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Scout.com, and 247Sports.com...ranked among the top 35 linebackers in the nation...No. 2 recruit in the state of Delaware...prep All-American and three-time All-State lacrosse player at Salesianum for head coach Bob Healy...led Salesianum to three straight state lacrosse titles from 2011-13...helped the 2013 lacrosse squad to a No. 17 national ranking...member of the Principal's List and a National Honor Society member.
Previous School: Played for two seasons at linebacker for head coach James Franklin at Penn State...sat out as a true freshman in 2014 when the Nittany Lions went 7-6 and defeated Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl...started at outside linebacker in 11 games as a redshirt freshman in 2015 when Penn State went 7-6 and advanced to the Taxslayer Bowl vs. Georgia...earned first team Freshman All-Big 10 and second team Freshman All-American honors...ranked fourth on the team with 67 tackles and added 5.5 tackles for loss and an interception...honor student at Penn State where he was a Dean’s List student, was selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 2 team, and was named Academic All-Big 10.
Personal: Troy Daniel Reeder...born Sept. 13, 1994...plans to major in business or finance at Delaware...career objective is to work in real estate investment and development...enjoys boating, fishing, skeet shooting, and hiking in his spare time...favorite NFL team is the San Diego Chargers...son of Dan and Cheryl Reeder...has one brother, Colby, who is a member of the 2016 Delaware football recruiting class and was the state Delaware Player of the Year at Salesianum in 2015...father is a Delaware native (Christiana HS) and a 1986 Delaware graduate who served as captain of the 1984 Blue Hens for head coach Tubby Raymond...played fullback and linebacker at Delaware and played two seasons in the NFL with the Los Angeles Raiders (fifth round draft pick) and Pittsburgh Steelers as a fullback...Dan is now a commercial real estate broker...mother played basketball at Elizabethtown (Pa.) College (‘86) and led the team to the 1982 NCAA III national championship.
Recruiting Coach: Dave Brock
Coach Dave Brock Says: “Troy was an elite player and student at Penn State and we are thrilled to welcome him home to our football program. We expect him to have the opportunity to be an impact player at linebacker and special teams. He comes with outstanding high school and collegiate credentials.”
2016 University of Delaware Football Recruiting Class
|Name||Pos.||Ht.||Wt.||Hometown||High School (Last School)
|"Chichi" Amachi||WR||6-2||180||Bear, Del.||William Penn|
||DE||6-2||215||Syracuse, N.Y.||Christian Brothers Acad. (Coastal Carolina/Dean JC)|
||OL||6-4||280||Piscataway, N.J.||Piscataway (Salisbury, Conn. School)|
||CB||5-10||175||Baltimore, Md.||Calvert Hall|
||DE||6-3||250||Staten Island, N.Y.||Bergen Catholic|
||S||5-11||205||Bronx, N.Y.||Cardinal Hayes|
||ILB||6-2||250||Hockessin, Del.||Salesianum (Penn State)|
||DE||6-3||235||Newark, Del.||St. George's|