Shippensburg University tight end David Balint III, is coming off one of the best seasons one could ask for out of the tight end position.
His 64 receptions ranked first on the team and fifth in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC). Additionally, his 755 receiving yards was second amongst the SU offense, only behind former Raiders’ wideout Winston Eubanks.
The redshirt-junior showed major progress from the season before. He caught 49 more passes and totaled 538 more receiving yards, making him a key target for starting quarterback Brycen Mussina.
Balint credits the uptick in his stat-line to one major component: Confidence.
“Confidence is everything for me. If I play with confidence, believe in myself and play with a chip on my shoulder, that’s when I play my best,” Balint said. “I was nervous in my freshman season, a bit undersized, and didn’t know what to expect. But once year two came, I was more comfortable with the guys and believed in myself, and that really elevated my game.”
After earning 2019 Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) All-Super Region 1 First Team and 2019 D2CCA All-America Football Second Team honors, Balint is making strides to become a more well-rounded tight end.
With the postponement of fall sports, Balint is taking the opportunity to add some new elements to his repertoire. He said that he set three goals for himself this off-season: Put on more weight, get stronger and work on his blocking.
“I feel better and stronger than ever going into this season,” Balint said. “I can’t wait to put the pads back on because I think my accomplished goals are going to be big assets in my game this year.”
Balint will not only be a crucial factor for the Raiders on the field come spring, but will also play a vital role off the field and in the locker room. Back in April, Balint was one of four players selected as a team captain by his fellow peers.
Balint recalls having upperclassmen take him under their wing during his freshman season. As a captain, he hopes to provide that to his new teammates as well as push them to their full potential.
“It’s quite the honor to be named captain, and after being a captain in high school, I know how important my role is, and I’m ready for the challenge,” he said. “Since this will be my third season on the field, I know what our team needs in order to win, and I feel that will really help us.”
Balint has already stepped into his new position as captain, by keeping a positive attitude. He realizes the postponement of the fall season is tough to swallow, but he knows the Raiders will use this extra time wisely.
“The biggest positive to come out of this is how we have been able to build up our family atmosphere,” Balint said. “Most seasons, the freshmen have to just jump right in, but now it’s given us the opportunity to get to know one another and grow strong team chemistry.”
Without a schedule set in place, and the transition to the spring still up in the air, Balint said he is going to continue to prepare as if there was a start date to the season already scheduled.
“I’m going to continue to work on everything, even the little stuff,” he added. “Whether it be footwork, route running or speed drills, I’m crisping everything up so I’m ready to go whenever we take the field again.”