By Phil Anastasia
Sterling junior running back/linebacker Davon Tucker has made remarkable progress in his career with the Silver Knights.
Tucker has gone from a freshman who needed to be convinced to try out for football to a junior who has three scholarship offers from NCAA Division I programs, including Syracuse.
"I'm surprised by it," Tucker said of his development. "I've worked hard."
The 5-10, 200-pound Tucker ran for 1,085 yards for the Silver Knights in the fall. He led Sterling to its biggest win of the season, a 13-0 victory over evental Group 2 champion Haddonfield.
Tucker (pictured) scored both touchdowns in that game on runs of 63 and 60 yards.
"He's a kid who has done everything I've adsked him to do," Sterling coach Clint Wiley said. "He always puts the team in front of himself."
Tucker said he didn't play tackle football after giving up the game as a seven-year-old living in South Philadelphia. Wiley talked Tucker into coming out for football as a freshman after the athlete used to hang around the Sterling weight room as an eighth-grader in Somerdale.
Tucker's first offer was from Ball State, which competes in the Mid-American Football Conference with Western Michigan, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois among other programs.
But his profile rose when he received a call from Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer, offering a full ride to the Atlantic Coast Conference program.
Wiley said Shafer was struck by Tucker's willingness to play guard as a sophomore, even through the athlete has enough speed to run 100 meters in under 11 seconds.
"He said he wanted tough players," Wiley said of Shafer. "I told him that Davon was one of the toughest football players I've ever coached."
Wiley said all three college project Tucker as a running back.
Tucker said the scholarship offers have jacked his confidence level and also motivated him to work as hard as possible for his senior season.
"It makes me want to work 10 times harder," Tucker said.
Stetser takes over.
Kevin Stetser has taken over as head coach at Egg Harbor Township.
Stetser is a 1993 EHT graduate who played linebacker at the University of Delaware. He was an assistant for the last five years under former coach Tony DeRosa.
"We're a big school in a big town and our program needs to reflect that," Stetser said. "We need to get the town behind us."
Egg Harbor Townshiop went 11-1 in 2009 and reached the South Jersey Group 4 title game losing to Cherokee by a 14-0 score.
But the Eagles have a labored a bit in recent seasons, going 10-20 since 2011, including a 2-8 mark in 2013.
Stetser calls himself an "EHT guy" who grew up in the sprawling township and played football in the yotuh program. He believes his program has the resources to be one of the strongest in South Jersey.
"We're a large Group 5 school," Stetser said. "Our numbers (in the program) need to match the size of the school and the size of the town. The only way to cpmpete at this level is with depth and numbers."
One key for Stetser and his staff is keeping many of Egg Harbor's top players in the public-school program at a time when the three Cape-Atlantic League's private-school programs -- St. Joseph, Holy Spirit and St. Augustine -- look to the township to attract athletes.
"We have a great relationship with our youth program," Stetser said. "We need to stress everything we have to offer here as far as the education, the facilities, everything."
Chambers' stock rising.
Timber Creek 2016 wide receiver Cameron Chambers has received an invitation to Rivals 100 Five Star Challenge, one of the country's premier showcase camps, June 6-8 in Baltimore.
The 6-3, 195-pound Chambers, who caught 57 passes for 1,196 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, picked up offers from Michigan and Florida this past week. He already has offers from Arkansas, South Carolina and Wisconsin among about 20 schools.
Camden's standout sophomores.
Three members of Camden's class of 2016 have received Division I offers.
Leading the way is wide receiver Brad Hawkins, who has offers from Florida, South Carolina, Michigan State, Rutgers, Pitt and Temple.
Defensive end/linebacker Jamal Holloway has offers from Michigan State and Rutgers, and linebacker Dymelle Parker has offers from Rutgers and Temple.
"Very special group," Camden coach Dwayne Savage said of his sophomore class.
In addition, Camden class of 2015 tight end/defensive end Ron Johnson has offers from Pitt and Temple, Savage said.
Millville's dynamic duo.
Millville has two class of 2015 running backs with Division I offers in Rob Ennis and Ryquell Armstead.
Ennis, who ran for 1,509 yards as a sophomore and 1,141 yards as a junior, has offers from Rutgers, Old Dominion and Bryant, according to Millville coach Jason Durham.
Armstead, who ran for 1,037 yards as a junior, has offers from Temple and Old Dominion.
Durham and his coaches have spent much of the off-season devising ways to use both athletes in the same backfield in the fall.
"Should be fun trying to find ways to get them the ball," Durham said.
This and that.
Haddonfield 2015 tight end/defensive end Tyler Klaus recently received received an offer from Fordham . . . Moorestown 2015 two-way lineman Jim McHugh has drawn recruiting interest from Dartmouth and the University of Chicago, says Quakers coach Beau Sherry . . . Bridgeton 2015 wide receiver/defensive end Nazir Williams has picked up an offer from Connecticut.
-- Contact Phil Anastasia at firstname.lastname@example.org