Special to 1808Delaware
After earning back-to-back North Coast Athletic Conference titles in 2021 and 2022, DePauw has been picked to repeat as the NCAC champion according to balloting of the league’s football coaches.
The Tigers collected six of the possible nine first-place votes and 77 points overall. Wabash heads into 2023 slotted second after collecting one first-place vote and 70 total points, while Denison also earned one first-place vote and 59 points overall, good for third in the rankings. Ohio Wesleyan took fourth with 57 points, while Wittenberg claimed fifth, picking up the final first-place vote and 52 points overall. Wooster was slotted sixth with 32 points, followed by Kenyon in seventh (26 points), Hiram in eighth (20) and Oberlin in ninth (12).
In three seasons under head coach Brett Dietz, DePauw is 20-5 overall and will look to repeat as conference champions for the third-straight season.
The Tigers return defending NCAC Defensive Player of the Year Brevon Gude (Avon, IN/Avon), who closed out the 2022 regular season with 41 total tackles (21 solo, 20 asst.), 7.5 tackles for a loss (44 yards) and six sacks while also forcing one fumble and recovering one fumble. Also returning for DePauw are six all-conference first-teamers from last season including linebackers Jake Comer (Danville, IN/Danville) and Luke Marsh (Whitestown, IN/Western Boone), offensive lineman Aidan McCormick (Danville, IN/Danville), kicker Joseph Sullivan (Cincinnati, OH/St. Xavier), defensive lineman David Guhl (McCordsville, IN/Cathedral) and defensive back Nolan Tully (Woodstock, GA/Blessed Trinity).
Hiram will be the first NCAC team to kick off the 2023 football season on August 31, while the other eight conference teams are slated to start non-conference action on September 2. The NCAC portion of the schedule will begin Sept. 16 with four games, Hiram at DePauw, Denison at Oberlin, Kenyon at Wittenberg and Wooster at Ohio Wesleyan.
Source: North Coast Athletic Conference