Cluckey, Wellons, Andrews prepare to be Rockets

J. Patrick Eaken

Three former high school football standouts are preparing for what could be their first season on the field as a University of Toledo Rocket.
        Two, 6-foot-1, 175 pound kicker Thomas Cluckey (Clay) and 5-10, 187 pound place kicker D.J. Wellons (Woodmore), are redshirt freshmen.  Dalton Andrews (Eastwood), a 6-2, 260 pound offensive lineman, is a true freshman.
Cluckey was a record setting kicker at Clay who could convert from 50 to 55 yards. His senior year he converted on nine field goals and 10 extra points, scoring 37 points.
For Cluckey, kicking for Toledo was a perfect bit because he had experience on that surface in high school. In 2017, UT installed a new FieldTurf surface, called Revolution 360, to its 80-year-old Glass Bowl stadium. Revolution 360 was considered the latest in cutting-edge playing surface technology, and Cluckey, a senior that year, became a big fan.
“I’ve kicked there before,” he said. “I went to a UT kicking camp (that) summer. The thing that was difficult with a field goal there is the (college goal posts) are about six feet narrower than high school. Kicking on turf is a lot easier, just because you don’t have to deal with the little holes in the grass and it’s a little easier for the holder to get the ball down.”
Cluckey’s 18-yard field goal in overtime gave the Eagles a 13-10 Three Rivers Athletic Conference victory over St. Francis de Sales. Cluckey, a four-year starting goalie on Clay’s soccer team (he was a second-team All-TRAC selection last season), also booted a career-best 36-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to force overtime.
        D.J. Wellons also played basketball and baseball for Woodmore, also has four years of eligibility remaining after red-shirting last year.  He walked on and made the team in the spring of 2018. At Woodmore, he was first team All-Northern Buckeye Conference as a defensive back and second team as a wide receiver, and honorable mention all-district as a kicker, playing for Coach Lou Bosh.
        Wellons, whose parents David and Erika Wellons are both nurses, is majoring in computer science and engineering at UT.
        Andrews’ senior year he had 56 tackles, including 21 combined tackles for a loss and quarterback sacks for Eastwood. He led Eastwood to a Division V state runner-up finish, and in the state championship loss to Wheelersburg, he was making his 37th career start dating back to his freshman year.
UT has announced the kickoff times today for three home games and three road contests for the 2019 football season.
The kick times for the three home games include a 7:00 p.m. start in the home opener vs. Murray State on Saturday, Sept. 14; a 3:30 p.m. kickoff for the Homecoming matchup vs. Western Michigan on Oct. 5; and an 8:00 p.m. kick for a Wednesday evening clash vs. defending MAC champion Northern Illinois on Nov. 13.
Among the road game times announced was a noon kickoff for the season opener at Kentucky on Aug. 31, a contest that will be televised on the SEC Network; a 2:00 p.m. kickoff at Ball State on Oct. 19; and a 7:30 p.m. start time at defending East Division champion Buffalo on Nov. 20.
Kickoff times for Toledo's other six games on the 2019 slate will be announced 12 days prior to game day.
Highlighting the remainder of Toledo's home schedule are a Sept. 28 matchup with BYU; a battle with MAC West foe Eastern Michigan on Oct. 26; and a Tuesday night game with Kent State on Nov. 5. Toledo's other road games without start times are at Colorado State on Sept. 21; at Bowling Green on Oct. 12; and at Central Michigan on Nov. 29.
Three of the mid-week games have already been set for national TV broadcasts: Nov. 5 vs. Kent State (ESPN2 or CBS Sports Network), Nov. 13 vs. Northern Illinois (ESPN2 or ESPNU), and Nov. 20 at Buffalo (ESPN2 or ESPNU). Other dates may be added to the national broadcast schedule later.
 Head Coach Jason Candle's 2019 squad returns 50 letterwinners and 14 starters from last season's squad, including sophomore running back Bryant Koback, who led the Rockets with 917 yards rushing as a freshman.
        The University of Toledo, through its partnership with Learfield IMG College, announced the addition of a new LED message board that will debut in the Glass Bowl this fall. The electronic board will be 180 feet long and will replace the current wooden sponsor boards on the east side of the stadium.
        The new message board will enhance the game atmosphere at Toledo Football games, providing more fan interaction, sponsorship opportunities, and other information such as score updates and stats.
        "Our goal is to create an in-game environment that can only be experienced in-person," said Toledo Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O'Brien. "The new LED message board, combined with the videoboards we currently have located in both end zones, will make the game-day atmosphere in the Glass Bowl more informative and exciting for our fans."
        The message board will make its debut in the Rockets' home opener vs. Murray State on Saturday, Sept. 14. For season ticket information, go online or call 419-530-GOLD (4653). (— includes contributions from Press writer Mark Griffin and the UT sports information staff)


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association