MANAGING SPORTS EDITOR
The starting quarterback has been a question surrounding Delaware football for the last few years. Last season, Joe Walker and J.P. Caruso were two popular candidates for the position. Now the Blue Hens add another — Darius Wade, a familiar name to the state of Delaware.
A Delaware native, Wade had a standout high school football career at Middletown. Starting all four seasons as quarterback, Wade led his team to the state championship every year, bringing home the title in both 2011 and 2012. He was named the 2013 Gatorade Player of the Year as well as a two time First Team All-State honoree.
After high school, the 6-foot, 215-pound quarterback brought his talents to Boston College where he spent four years as an Eagle. His career at Boston was one of ups and downs. He saw play time in three games as a freshman then came out of the following spring practice as the starter. However, his sophomore campaign was cut short to a broken ankle in only the third game of the season; allowing him to retain an extra year of eligibility. Wade returned healthy as a redshirt sophomore in 2016, only to lose the starting spot to a transfer quarterback.
“My experiences at Boston College were good and bad,” Wade said. “There were definitely ups and downs both in football as well as academically. However, I am very grateful for the experience, as I believe it really helped me mature and be a better man.”
This past season, Wade battled for the start against redshirt freshman Anthony Brown — Brown won the spot in the first game. Eventually, Wade did make an appearance as the starter in his final season as an Eagle after Brown suffered a season ending injury.
Being from Delaware, Wade said he has felt right at home here on campus. He has had the opportunity to reconnect with a lot of high school friends and has felt especially at home with the football team.
“The first day he came in the locker room, he came right in, not a shy kid at all,” senior wide receiver Vinny Papale said. “He fits in with all the guys, and I think that goes to show what kind of team we have this year. We’re like a brotherhood with him already — he’s already a part of the family and one of our guys.”
The quarterback received an offer to play for the Blue Hens his sophomore year of high school, however declined at the time because he knew he had some bigger offers coming but still always thought highly of the school and the program. He knew that if the opportunity arose where he wanted to transfer, Delaware would be his number one option.
“At Darius’ best we can with him,” Head Coach Rocco said. “A lot happens between now and the start of camp.”
Due to injuries and the constant battle for the starting spot, Wade started in only six games, with rushing statistics of 74-yards and one touchdown. However, he had standout moments, most notably his performance this past year in the Eagles’ final game of season play with a 42-14 win against Syracuse. He completed 16 of 20 passes for a career high of 248-yards along with a touchdown.
The 22-year old seeking his master’s degree in international business is looking to help put Delaware back on the map and bring home a national championship.
“It’s very unique to have this opportunity to come back and finish out my college career at home,” Wade said. “I am very thankful and grateful for this opportunity and look forward to making the most of it.”