With college football season getting underway this week, the Wilmington area has around two dozen athletes competing within the various ranks. Each of the four Wilmington high schools has representation at the college level, as does North Brunswick and Topsail.
Senior linebacker Terry Caldwell leads the way as the Hoggard alum is expected to make an impact for the Ole Miss Rebels in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Trevon Brown (New Hanover) is poised for a huge year in Greenville for the East Carolina Pirates, while Mike Sheehan (Laney) returns for his senior season at Catawba. Frank Keller (Ashley) also looks to help anchor the offensive line after moving into the starting lineup at Presbyterian and Jabril Robinson (North Brunswick) is battling for more playing time at Clemson as a red-shirt sophomore.
- Terry Caldwell, Ole Miss
Caldwell is listed as the starter at Stinger linebacker coming out of spring drills. In 2015, he played in every game, with three starts at Mike linebacker. Caldwell also saw extensive action on special teams, with 32 tackles, 2.0 TFLs, 1.0 sack and two forced fumbles.
Ole Miss opens the season in a nationally televised game against Florida State University set for 8 p.m., Monday Sept. 5 on ESPN.
- Julius Reynolds, North Carolina A&T
Reynolds had an outstanding true freshman season with a knack for covering a lot of ground. In 2015, he played in 11 games with three starts made 33 tackles (19 unassisted), five tackles for loss and three sacks.
The Aggies face off at home against St. Augustine’s on Saturday, Sept. 3.
- Sylvester Smith, North Carolina A&T
- Randall Emerson, Western Carolina
- Hunter Louthan, Davidson College
- Harrison Smith, Randolph Macon
- Kirk Messick, Gardner-Webb
- Trevon Brown, East Carolina
Brown is an exciting and physical playmaker who is primed to take the next step into a national honors candidate as a pass catcher during his junior campaign. He was the Pirates’ third-leading receiver with 41 catches for 496 yards (12.1 ypr) and four touchdowns, despite missing first three games of season. In all, Brown played in nine contests with five starts (BYU, Tulsa, Temple, Connecticut and Cincinnati).
East Carolina will pack Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium for their home opener against Western Carolina on Saturday, Sept. 3.
- Garrett Walston, North Carolina
- Jonathan Hardy, UNC-Charlotte
- Burke Estes, Randolph Macon
- Jaycen Murphy, North Carolina Central
- Mike Sheehan, Catawba
Sheehan was a second-team All-Preseason South Atlantic Conference selection. He accounted for 20 touchdowns last season, rushing for 12 and passing for eight. Sheehan completed 60 percent of his passes for 1,605 yards and added another 694 yards on the ground.
Catawba opens the season with a road game at West Georgia on Saturday, Sept. 3.
- Larry Williams, Oklahoma State
- Tariq Lane, Elon
- J. Pearsall, Elon
- Ian Bergman, Wingate
- Alex Highsmith, UNC-Charlotte
- Frank Keller, Presbyterian
After getting redshirted for the 2014-15 season, Keller played in nine games, making seven starts at left guard. He was part of the offensive line that helped Darrell Bridges become the first 1,000-yard rusher in Presbyterian history.
Presbyterian plays at Central Michigan at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 1, in a game televised on ESPN3.
- Jabril Robinson, Clemson
-Robinson is a redshirt sophomore defensive tackle who saw playing time as a reserve in 2015. He had 14 tackles, including a sack, in 66 snaps over six games.
Clemson faces the Auburn Tigers of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in the their season opener on Saturday, Sept. 3.
- Jordan Howard, UNC-Pembroke
- Ernest Mosely, Greensboro College
- Frederick Williams, Greensboro College
- D’Angelo Walker, Greensboro College
- Tiger Bryant, Greensboro College
- Latrell Hill, Louisburg College
- Joe Sculthorpe, N.C. State
- Hunter Jacobs, Western Carolina