2018 Record: 3-7 overall; 2-7 Centennial Conference
Key Returners: RB Perry Stefanelli, QB Tyler Palermiti, LB Jarius Ransom
Key Games: Sept. 14 at Moravian; Nov. 16 vs. Johns Hopkins
Outlook: The 2016, 2017 and 2018 football seasons at McDaniel College had one thing in common: they all ended with a 3-7 record for the Green Terror.
New head coach DeMarcus White is looking to buck that trend this year. After former head coach Mike Dailey retired three years into his tenure with McDaniel, White has revamped the Green Terror coaching staff. White, who served as McDaniel's defensive coordinator from 2016-2018, brought in Scott Browning from Iowa State to be the offensive coordinator and hired McDaniel alum Derek Johnson to fill the defensive coordinator position.
Browning brings 41 years of college coaching experience to McDaniel's offense. Before joining Iowa State's staff as a defensive assistant, he coached at Edinburgh University (Pa.) from 1986-2016, the last 10 years as the head man.
Johnson was with the Green Terror in 2007 as defensive backs coach before joining Towson University's coaching staff in 2008. He was part of a CAA championship-winning defense in 2012 when his unit allowed just 174.3 passing yards per game.
"Coach Johnson comes to us with a wealth of knowledge," White said. "And Coach Browning is very seasoned, so he'll be a big help not only for me, but for the entire program because he's had a chance to walk in my shoes. So he's a guy who I can bounce ideas off of every single day."
The Green Terror offense will have an open quarterback competition in camp after sophomores Ben Igo and Tyler Palermiti split the starting duties last year. Palermiti led the passing attack, throwing for 783 yards on 49.7 percent passing.
Last year's stats do not guarantee Palermiti will be the starting quarterback, though, and he's excited for what the competition will do for a group that includes at least six players.
"I think it's a great thing," Palermiti said. "Competition brings out the best and worst in people, so when you have ... all of us going at it, you're going to get the best player."
The running back position is going to be the deepest group on the team with a mixture of veteran and young talent highlighted by graduate student Perry Stefanelli. Stefanelli missed all of last year with an injury but has a total of 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns in his career. White called Stefanelli, who enters his sixth season with the team, "a game changer."
"We're really excited," White said of the running backs. "[Stefanelli] is a dynamite player and he's going to lead that group."
McDaniel's defense will play in a "swarming manner" and with an "attacker's mentality," White said, and that identity is going to be enforced by the front seven. Senior Kofi Siga and sophomore Sam Welcher will lead the pass rush this season, while Jarius Ransom is returning for his senior season after recording 92 total tackles and an interception last year.
"There's a lot of experience that's coming back on defense when you look at it," White said. "We're going to have some young guys as far as depth is concerned, but as far as our first and second unit, there's a lot of experience."
Photo Credit: Courtesy of McDaniel Athletics
Issue 256: August 2019
Originally published Aug. 15, 2019