Rhode Island players scoring with an FCS podcast
By CRAIG HALEY
(STATS) - When the offense kept stalling and the punting unit was getting way too much work during Rhode Island's annual intrasquad game, long snapper Joe DeLeone joked with his punter that he was going to snap the ball and run a 5-yard out pattern for a sneaky reception up the sideline.
The punter knew better of it, but DeLeone still laughed about it later because he expected head coach Jim Fleming would fume over his long snapper ad-libbing an audible.
"I would have done it for the content," DeLeone joked.
These days, the "content" is scoring big on "The FCS Podcast." DeLeone and his URI teammate Sean Anderson are bringing more attention to a level of the sport they say is underserved. They bring an insider's perspective to their podcast because they're still players in college football's Division I subdivision. Rhode Island is a member of CAA Football.
"Obviously, it does provide a different level of analysis," Anderson said. "When you are looking at it, you can see different things that different people could see."
The two players admit the coaching staff may not have known about their weekly national podcast when it debuted in early April. But they're not exactly giving away the Rhode Island playbook during their show, more putting the "student" in student-athlete as aspiring sports broadcasters.
Anderson, a 21-year-old communications major and an offensive lineman, from Alexandria, Virginia, will be a redshirt junior this coming season; DeLeone, 20, from Short Hills, New Jersey, a senior journalism major. Their podcasts are taped on-campus inside an audio recording studio and released on Mondays across the Bleave (pronounced believe) network, via a variety of outlets, including iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, TuneIn, Spotify and iHeartRadio, plus social media sites Twitter and Instagram.
Their initial podcasts have gone beyond opinion, with Anderson and DeLeone telling stories and asking questions while focusing on all things FCS, including spring practices, the NFL Draft and key players and teams from different FCS conferences. The two have even reached out to players they know nation-wide to become more knowledgeable on their topics.
"It's really just trying to open the curtain and let the people see what it's like behind the scenes without going too crazy in-depth," DeLeone said.
"We just have a very easy connection when we talk. I'd say that our style, while we want to be very analytical and giving you as much information as possible and being serious, we still like to be laid back and joke here and there, and bring the audience in on maybe some of the inside jokes, so there's that listener-to-speaker connection."
There's plenty of flavor in their banter.
While fielding a question on social media in a recent podcast, they joked about the need for layman's terms when asked, "Was 2017 (8-4 record) or 2018 (5-6) the aberration for Austin Peay?"
"They thought that we were smarter than we actually are," DeLeone said.
"We're not," Anderson joked.
The two, who helped start a sports journalism club on campus, credit Shane Donaldson, the football media relations coordinator at URI, for helping to kick off the podcast. Donaldson likes how Anderson and Leone have put their stamp on the podcast, blending broadcasting skills with a player's background.
Of course, that's exactly what Joe DeLeone and Sean Anderson set out to do.
Updated May 7, 2019