By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There are few programs as consistently good in Division III as the Rowan University Profs down in Glassboro, New Jersey.
The Profs have qualified for the NCAA Tournament 15 times since 1991, including each of the last two seasons. In 2013, Rowan went 9-3, earned a share of the New Jersey Athletic Conference crown and advanced to the second round of the tourney.
Here in 2014, the Profs were picked to win the NJAC in the conference’s preseason poll.
“I think we have a lot of really good players back at a lot of positions,” Rowan head coach Jay Accorsi tells KYW Newsradio. “Quarterback position, offensive line, running back. Defensively, we have a good portion of our front seven back.”
The Profs offense features one of the nation’s top running backs in junior Withler Marcelin. Last season, he rushed for 1,438 yards and 11 touchdowns, averaging almost five yards a carry.
Rowan almost always brings a stingy defense to the table. In 2013, they allowed 19.3 points per game, and in their first tournament game, they smothered Endicott College, 24-0.
“We lost a couple corners from last year,” Accorsi says. “So that’s a position where we were looking for some returning players to step up, and they have. Maybe some new players to help us a little bit, so far its been promising there.”
Accorsi says he’s been pleasantly surprised by the depth at one position on defense.
“There are a lot of really good young linebackers,” Accorsi says. “We have some returning players back, but that was an area where we were able to get some really good incoming players, couple transfers. Linebackers are those guys that play a lot of special teams in a lot of spots. So that was a pleasant surprise, that at that linebacker position with some of the new guys, they may be able to help us quite a bit on special teams.”
The Profs open the season with a quality match-up, as they will host Widener to start things off.
“We’re really excited to have a local team that’s really close to us, that is ranked high, too, in a lot of different polls,” Accorsi says. “So it’s going to be a good test for us right from the beginning.”
Rowan and Widener will battle on Friday night, September 5th, in Glassboro.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.
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