JOHN ZIOMEK/Staff Photographer Haddon Heights graduate and Rowan Football QB Dante Pinckney. Wednesday, August 26, 2015
GLASSBORO – Last year didn’t go exactly the way Dante Pinckney had planned.The 2013 Haddon Heights graduate was recruited as a quarterback, despite playing as a wide receiver his first three years of high school.
Rowan’s training camp in 2014 began with Pinckney vying for the quarterback job until a hamstring injury caused him to miss significant time. When he was finally able to practice, he did so with the wideouts. “Last year he was hampered with the injury and got the medical (redshirt) out of it,” coach Jay Accorsi said, “so that was nice that he’s got three more years to play, but I think it gives him a grasp of not only now the quarterback position, but as a wide receiver.”
Last season, the job went to Bill McCarty, who is no longer on the roster. Now it belongs to Pinckney, with three freshmen behind him on the depth chart.
“Well, I’m inexperienced, but I’m pretty confident because I’ve been around the program for a long time,” Pinckney said. “The guys have respect for me and trust me, so I’m pretty confident about it.”
What Accorsi is hoping is that Pinckney learned from his time with the receivers to better understand the position he intended to play. Having the skillset to be a receiver gives the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Pinckney some speed to be a mobile quarterback, but that’s not what the Profs are hoping for from him.
“I think we have to be smart with Dante,” Accorsi said. “We can’t expect him to run the ball. We have to protect him and have him healthy for the duration of the year, but I think his feet will help him in some situations where he has that ability.”
Among those watching his back are two gigantic linemen: 6-foot-6 Bridgeton native Sean Henigin and former Buena standout Darryl Guilford, who stands at 6-foot-7. The offensive line has been the biggest surprise to the Profs’ coach in his 14th season, so there’s reason to believe Pinckney’s jersey may remain clean.
“Being that he doesn’t have much varsity experience, I think he’s ready to play based off of practice and our scrimmage in Ocean City,” Guilford said of his quarterback. “He has a lot of confidence in our offensive line and we have a lot of confidence in him. We kind of feed off each other.”
At the helm for the first time as a collegiate football player, Pinckney has high hopes for the Profs, who tied for the best record in the New Jersey Athletic Conference last year at 6-1.
“We’re obviously looking for another conference championship, but we really want an alternate goal of winning it all, Stagg Bowl,” Pinckney said. “We’ll take it one day at a time.”
The D3football.com top 25 poll has the Profs on the outside looking in with 42 votes. No. 25 Muehlenberg had 61.
“We look at all of it as motivation,” Pinckney said. “I’m very excited to get started and show people who we are.”
And, in turn, show who he is. So far, he hasn’t taken a snap at quarterback since his days with the Garnets.
“Now he kind of understands what a quarterback has to do with a wide receiver and see the bigger picture of the offense,” Accorsi said. “Even though last year was very difficult for him, because he was competing for the job and then really wasn’t able to because he was hurt, I think in the overall scheme of things it’s helped his maturity process already.”
Picture and Story retrieved from: http://www.courierpostonline.com/story/sports/2015/08/26/finally-pinckney-takes-turn-qb-rowan/32425563/
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