Earlier in the season we took a look at some of the incoming recruits, and how they could effect the Blue Hens this year. Many of them, however, were instead redshirted, saving a year of eligibility and allowing each player to reach their full potential. This is a look at some of this year's redshirted players and how they've looked and progressed in practice throughout the year.
QB William Campbell 6-3 231 Fr Lake Stevens (Lake Stevens WA) 2.0 of 3.5 [Hybrid]
Easily one of the most exciting recruits of last year was the explosive quarterback William Campbell, as an incoming freshman he did contend a bit for the starting role, but ended up falling a bit short and was instead redshirted. The coaches stated that the main reason Campbell lost the QB battle was due to his awareness and ability to quickly scan the field and make a decision. For many high school quarterbacks it can be difficult to make the change from HS to college, because of how fast the game moves. Campbell has all of the physicals you would want from a quarterback, the arm strength, the accuracy, some running skills. Over the course of this season Campbell has worked extensively on his pocket awareness and knowing when to check-down or throw balls away. He had a tendency to try and roll out and run very early in plays. Coach Osu said, "He's developing a very good sense of the when the pocket's collapsing and when to get out and run. You can definitely tell he's made some serious strides in his time here." Barring any kind of offseason injuries or setbacks, Campbell should be set to be the starting quarterback next fall, unless incoming freshman Carter Schultz has anything to say about it.
RB Elias Bailey 5-11 194 Fr Slippery Rock Area ( PA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Speed]
When we last looked at Elias Bailey he was a back with some serious upside and a lot of speed, but not much else. When we look at Bailey now we see, well, honestly the same thing. Bailey's development has been pretty seriously hindered, by losing RB's coach Andrés Pardo to the offensive coordinator position. While Bailey looked decent to start the season, he hasn't been getting nearly as much 2nd team playing time as Richard Schaffer and Bruce Johnson, Juniors and Sophomores respectively. With head coach Osu now running much of the offensive substitutes and playing time in practice, some of the young talent has become a bit of an afterthought with his "win now" mentality. Despite all of this Bailey still has a very high ceiling, and has managed to distance himself from follow redshirt Mateo Underwood. He may find himself with some snaps next year after NFL prospect Barack Holmes departs, but the running backs room is only getting more crowed with 4 star RB Mark Williams coming in.
WR Tyrod Terry 6-0 225 Fr Ocean City (Ocean City NJ) 1.0 of 3.5 [Target]
Tyrod Terry is another player that was very raw coming out of high school, but the coaching staff had very high expectations for him. Terry had a very good spring, and many fans questioned why he wasn't on the depth chart to start the season. At the time coach Osu said, "To be honest I think receiver is one of the positions that we have the most young talent at. I love how Tyrod went out there and competed, it came down to him and a few other guys, but at the end of the day we went with seniority and decided we'd rather have Tyrod for a longer period of time at a high level. After a year out we think he will be able to start as a redshirt freshman next year." That plan seems to have worked well for the blue hens as many receivers have broken out and had good games this year, and Terry has also progressed extremely well. One of Terry's only weaknesses was his route running and agility. He got in the gym, and has worked a lot on the practice field. Terry is now lauded as one of the best route runners on the whole team by the wide receivers' coach. Next season we expect Terry to be at least 4 deep on the depth chart, and with another really good spring he may even jump up into the three spot.
ILB Hugo Navarro 6-2 223 Fr Polytech (Woodside DE) 1.0 of 3.5 [Will]
Navarro is a very interesting player for the Blue Hens because he hasn't really gotten that much playing time for the practice squads, but has still impressed in the little time he got. With the new defensive system there is only one spot on the field for an interior linebacker. As the season has progressed Navarro has slowly gotten more and more respect from this coaching staff that thought he was good, but Navarro has way exceeded where they thought he would be at this point in the year. Coach Osu said of Navarro, "Hugo was a late, but very welcomed addition to the recruiting class last year. He's very impressive in his coverage skills, he could just do a little better with play recognition and filling holes. I have no doubt that one day he will be a great starting player for us. Honestly, our coaching staff didn't expect much from this somewhat small kid from our home state. Hugo has showed us exactly what hard work will get you, and I feel great about his future." With Eddie Mills Jr. returning next year, and a few more talented players behind him, it may be a few years till Navarro gets his chance. Either way Delaware natives everywhere are watching and waiting for the hometown kid to get his chance.
CB Jeffrey Hollis 5-10 160 Fr Mount Carmel Area (Mount Carmel PA) 1.5 of 3.5 [Zone Coverage]
Jefferey Hollis has been the best story out of all of those who have redshirted this year. In our spring preview we explained how Hollis suffered a terrible injury in the last game of his senior season. That injury led to somewhat of a slow start in spring camps. After thinking about transferring, he decided to stay at UD and what a decision it has been for him and the coaching staff. Hollis has established himself as the corner who shadows standout wide receiver Antonio Brown. Over the first three weeks Brown found himself getting very few receptions during practices due to how well Hollis covered him. Brown spoke with us about Hollis' development, "Jeff is a pain in my ass now, it surprising to me cause' his play during the spring was dogs***. I'm proud of him he's really worked on his game this year, and I can't wait ever day to go at him, it's a battle." Hollis wasn't expected to play much next year originally, but coach Osu said, "There's no question if he keeps this up he may end up as one of our top 2 corners out wide next year."