Already among the top offenses in Division III, Johns Hopkins could get stronger with the possible return of the team's top receiver this weekend.
The Blue Jays (3-0 overall, 2-0 in Centennial Conference), ranked No. 13 in this week's American Football Coaches Association Division III poll, are 10th in total offense in DIII and 36th in points so far this season.
Daniel Wodicka sat out the Blue Jays’ 52-14 rout of Moravian last Saturday because of an unspecified injury, but the 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior has returned to practice and appears to be on schedule to play against league rival Muhlenberg (2-1, 1-1) on Saturday at Homewood Field.
“He was dealing with an injury even before he got here in the preseason,” Johns Hopkins coach Jim Margraff said Wednesday morning. “So it’s been a little frustrating for him. So we just shut him down for the last eight or nine days. He’s been running around the last couple days and feeling good. So it’s a day-by-day deal right now.”
Wodicka, who caught 94 passes for 867 yards and three touchdowns last year, has just three receptions for 40 yards in the team’s first two games. Margraff said the injury severely limited what Wodicka could do on the field.
“He blocked very well, but he really couldn’t do the things he normally does,” Margraff said. “Still, at 80 percent, he’s a very good football player, but we really felt that we needed to rest him last week to hopefully have him in these next few games.”
Without Wodicka, senior Bob D’Orazio has continued to be a reliable receiver for senior quarterback Robbie Matey, catching 11 balls for a team-best 138 yards. But others have filled in, too.
Sophomore Ryan Finkel leads the Blue Jays in receptions (15) and has 137 yards and one touchdown, while freshman Bradley Munday has caught 11 passes for 102 yards. In his first start of the season last Saturday, senior Jared Beekman made four catches for 57 yards.
“We’ve had others catch balls in games, seven or eight guys,” Margraff said. “We have a freshman, Bradley Munday, who is showing a lot of elusiveness. There’s a lot of guys getting their opportunities and making the most of it right now.”