Three from Virginia Beach, Norfolk join ODU football team

April 28, 2008
By ODU Athletics

April 23, 2008

The flock thickens for Old Dominion's upstart football program.

James Rainey, an offensive lineman at Virginia Beach's Ocean Lakes High, and Jeff Crawford, a defensive tackle from Virginia Beach's Green Run, are the latest additions to ODU's first recruiting class.

A third late signee, linebacker Michael Williams from Norfolk's Norview High, joined the incoming class last week.

The additions bring ODU's number of signees, whether by national letter of intent or by scholarship, to 25.

Because the latest three signed after the national letter-of-intent period, ODU's coaching staff cannot comment about them until they have enrolled in classes.

"I've grown up here and I know the atmosphere," said Crawford, who finished fifth in the state as a heavyweight wrestler. "And I believe that same atmosphere you see for ODU basketball will find its way to football."

ODU will begin play at the Division I-AA level in 2009. After playing two years as an independent, the Monarchs will join the Colonial Athletic Association in 2011.

Monarchs expect to bring 74 to camp

ODU's coaches have decided to invite 23 players to fall camp following spring walk-on tryouts, which concluded two weeks ago.

Two of those players, running back Joacim Wigfall and linebacker Vondre Combs, had already been announced as signed players for the incoming class.

Both started classes at ODU in January.

The staff, however, is holding off on announcing the names of the other 21 while it conducts background and grades checks on each.

Still, with the 25 signed players, the 21 survivors of the walk-on tryouts, and another 28 invited walk-ons the Monarchs are expecting, ODU is looking at a fall practice roster of 74 players.

The first practice takes place Aug. 13.

Season-ticket sales approach 10,000

While the flood of season-ticket purchases for the 2009 season has slowed to a drip, it's still a steady drip.

Officials report that season tickets for regular seating have reached 9,297.

Combined with the 688 sold for loge seating and club seats, the Monarchs' season-ticket push for football in 2009 is at 9,985.

Season tickets for 2009 will remain on sale through May 2009.

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