Published September 29. 2012 4:00AM
New London - Jed Daleiden calls his position "unglorified" and he's more than happy with that.
But here's a few things you should know about Daleiden, the starting center for the Coast Guard Academy football team.
Daleiden, a 5-foot-11, 245-pound senior, is the youngest of six children in his family, with three brothers who were also offensive linemen. Daleiden is a graduate of Georgetown (Texas) High School, the same program as another former Bears notable on offensive line in Justin Brooks.
He achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, as did his three brothers. He once played a high school football playoff game at the 65,000-seat Alamodome in San Antonio. And Daleiden was accepted at both the Naval Academy and Air Force Academy in addition to Coast Guard.
Oh, and in Coast Guard Academy's 42-38 loss last Saturday against Massachusetts Maritime? The Bears ran 95 offensive plays, tying a New England Football Conference record, and gave up zero sacks. Coast Guard accounted for 602 yards offense.
Heading into today's game against Fitchburg State (1:30 p.m., Cadet Memorial Field), quarterback Jon Resch is ranked fourth in the nation in Division III with 363.7 yards of total offense per game.
Resch was joking with coach Bill George earlier in the week about his production.
George deadpanned: "I enjoy watching you play behind this line."
Not a bad list of accomplishments for a guy, Daleiden, who never gets his name in the paper.
"I started playing football in the sixth grade. In the fifth grade I started working out to play football," Daleiden said. "In high school, everybody was bigger than I was. I spent four hours in the weight room just to keep up.
"I got into all the academies, but they said I couldn't play freshman year, maybe even get on the team. So I came here."
Brooks, who became good friends with Daleiden while at the Coast Guard, tells of his younger teammate's arrival in New London. Brooks often defended Georgetown, somewhat of a "cowtown" to his teammates. Daleiden, also a member of the baseball team, made that more difficult.
"I remember the first day of baseball practice I get some baseball players coming up to me and saying, 'Hey, your Georgetown homeboy is wearing bull riding gloves at baseball practice for batting practice!'" Brooks said this week in an email. "I remember thinking, 'Well there goes any defense I had against Georgetown not being a redneck town.'"
Daleiden is now part of an offensive line which includes seniors Jacob Bibb (right tackle), Geddy Miller (left guard), Mike Rauch (left tackle) and junior Mike Vitrano (right guard).
Coast Guard leads the NEFC in passing yards per game (334.5) and is second in total offense (486.7). The Bears are averaging 36.7 points per game, second best in the league and No. 1 in the Bogan Division.
"These guys are a ball to be around," said George, a former All-America center at Ithaca, who also serves as the line coach. "You can tell 'em a joke and the next minute they're back to working hard. ... My guess is (Daleiden) knows the game better than a lot of people."
This week will present a tough challenge in Fitchburg (2-2, 1-0), which boasts the best defense the Bears (1-2, 0-1) have seen this season. Daleiden, for one, will be lined up across from 6-1, 320-pound defensive tackle James Veradt, a freshman.
"We play with a lot of speed behind the line," Daleiden said of the strategy for a smaller line. "You know if you miss a block, the guy next to you will help you out."
• Resch was 35-for-65 last week for 468 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions. The 65 passes was a career high for him. He threw 52 times once in high school, he said. Resch went over the 3,000-yard mark last week and is the fifth quarterback in the history of the program to do so. The all-time leader is Cory Anderson with 4,459. ... It is homecoming at Coast Guard. Eleven members of the Bears Class of 1962, celebrating their 50th anniversary, will be on the field for the coin toss.