Spring game gives Delaware State's Adams chance to show that he's improving

By Andy Walter
Posted 4/20/24

DOVER — Marqui Adams says he could definitely get used to throwing to Kristian Tate.

Twice during Delaware State’s Red-White spring football game, Adams found the young receiver for …

You must be a member to read this story.

Join our family of readers for as little as $5 per month and support local, unbiased journalism.

Already a member? Log in to continue.   Otherwise, follow the link below to join.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Spring game gives Delaware State's Adams chance to show that he's improving


DOVER — Marqui Adams says he could definitely get used to throwing to Kristian Tate.

Twice during Delaware State’s Red-White spring football game, Adams found the young receiver for 30-yard touchdown passes.

“We’ve got a pretty great connection,” said Adams, the Hornets’ quarterback. “He’s definitely going to be great. His routes are very crisp, he’s got great speed and he can catch the ball, too.”

Adams found plenty of receivers to throw to on Saturday as DelState finished spring practice with the two-hour intrasquad session at Alumni Stadium.

The offense beat the defense, 59-40, but most of the points came from achievements that weren’t actual scoring plays.

If it were a fall Saturday afternoon, Adams’ performance would have been one of the best passing days of his career. The quarterback completed 25-of-36 passes for 293 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Adams, who emerged last season as DSU’s main starting QB, said things are falling into place for him the more experience he gets.

“I’m also more familiar with the plays,” he said. “It’s a lot easier. Things are going way faster now.

“We’ve all got a lot of stuff to work on,” Adams said about the QBs. “As a leader in the quarterback room, I try to push everybody to be great and everybody tries to push me to be great. We all hold each to be accountable in there.”

Former starter C.J. Henry and Jaden Stewart were the other quarterbacks who took part in Saturday’s scrimmage. Second-year coach Lee Hull also expects to bring in at least two more QBs before the season — high school signee Mikal Davis from Philadelphia and a transfer.

A year ago, Adams played in 10 games, throwing nine touchdown passes with nine interceptions.. He was named to the FCS Football Central Freshman All-American team.

While linebacker Charles Brown was one of the players trying to stop Adams on Saturday, he said the QB is clearly growing into his role.

“He just needed more time,” said Brown. “He’s a young guy. I think he’ll take the conference over by storm. He’s a dynamic quarterback. I think he’ll be great this year.”

While Hull likes what he sees from Adams, he also knows there’s plenty for him to improve upon to become a great quarterback.

“He’s come a long way,” said Hull. “He’s still got a little ways to go. He’s still young but you can see out there his maturity. The more reps you get, the easier it’s going to become for him.”

Tate, who had five catches for 86 yards, was one of only several receivers who made big plays on Saturday.

Nathan Stewart pulled in six passes for 79 yards, including a nice diving catch on a 45-yarder from Adams. NyGhee Lolley (Hodgson) added a 30-yard touchdown catch before finishing with 57 yards on three receptions.

The Hornets also got their first look at receiver Jordan Jakes, the 6-foot-6 transfer from UNLV.

Jakes was the only one of the nine transfers that DelState signed who took part on Saturday. Hull also expects the roster to keep evolving before the start of preseason camp.

“What you see out here right now, when we come back in the fall, it will be totally different,” he said.

As a team, Brown said he believes DelState can turn things around from last year’s tough 1-10 campaign.

“This spring was way better than last year,” he said. “We’ve been harping on it all year — from the weight room to running.

“We know we only won one game but it’s going to be a complete turnaround this year. Everybody is focused so we’ve been putting the work in day in and day out. Even the young guys have been consistent.”

“I feel like we’re going in the right direction,” said Hull. “It’s definitely a better team — a lot more energy, a lot more enthusiasm, a lot more camaraderie. The guys are getting along.

“They understand what the standard is. They’re enforcing the rules and the standards. I like where we’re going. They don’t want that feeling again. They don’t want to be 1-10 again.”

The Hornets do have some pretty good incentive to be ready for the start of next season. They open their schedule on Aug. 24 at Hawaii.

Hull said DelState will be the first HBCU team to play at Hawaii since Grambling in 1976.

“It’s a big thing,” said Hull. “We’re going to play football but we want to go over there and do some stuff culturally for them. They’re excited.

“It’s a nightmare,” he said about the logistics of getting the team to Hawaii. “But it’s a good nightmare.”

Extra points

Milford High grad Marquis Gillis, now a veteran running back, got some work in on Saturday. He carried the ball nine times for 28 yards and had three catches for another 12. ... Nathan Wilson kicked all three PATs and was 2-for-4 on field-goal attempts. The left-footer hit from 21 and 33 yards while missing from 53 and 50. ... Wilson also punted 10 times.... About 60 players took part in the scrimmage.

Members and subscribers make this story possible.
You can help support non-partisan, community journalism.