Stephenson Getting Plenty Out of Milford

Delon Stephenson didn't plan to head to Milford Academy (New Berlin, N.Y.) this fall, but he is using his detour to Rutgers to his advantage to develop better habits in the classroom and on the field.

PRINCETON, N.J. – Now that Delon Stephenson has been at Milford Academy (New Berlin, N.Y.) for more than a month, he is more comfortable with the surroundings, is performing well in the classroom and learning a different part of his game on the field.

Stephenson, who signed with Rutgers in February but did not qualify academically, plans on enrolling January and entering school as a cornerback. He is playing safety at Milford Academy, but in a defensive scheme where he spends most of his time in man-to-man coverage.

"I think I'm getting better at my man coverage," Stephenson said after a 14-7 win against the Prineton University JV. "In high school, all we did was play zone so I'm getting used to it so I'm ready for the next step in college.

"I'm usually lined up against someone all the time because we play either cover-1 or cover-0. In high school I never played man. It was always zone, we I never jammed at the line (of scrimmage) so I'm getting used to that, and I'm tackling better."

Stephenson, who played running back and defensive back at Sayreville High (Parlin, N.J.), is also getting a better handle on his academics.

"I'm just getting my grades right," he said. "I got the A's I need. I just have to get my SAT score up now, and I'll be good. I took one and should find out (this week) but I'm still going to take the one in November just in case because you never know."

Adjusting to life in upstate New York is also going better than when he first arrived in September.

"I'm getting used to it," he said. "The days are going by quicker. This week went by quick and hopefully the next few weeks go by quick and then hopefully I'll be home. Nov. 16 is the last game and we can go home right after that and that's what I plan on doing.

"It gave me a better (perspective) on things, being away from home and being around new people and making friends."

One thing he misses is watching Rutgers, where his brother, Daryl, is a red-shirt freshman defensive tackle but is out for the season with a lower leg injury. Although Milford Academy usually plays Sundays, Stephenson doesn't get to feed to see the Scarlet Knights often.

"I know they're 7-0 right now," he said. "They're playing great. I'm lovin' it. Hopefully, they'll go the Orange Bowl. I watch the highlights as much as I can but I get updates on my phone. I don't really get to watch the games up there."

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