August 08, 2012
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Aug. 8, 2012


NORFOLK, Va. - Wednesday's ODU football practice was the first for the Monarchs in shoulder pads.

With 20 Monarchs with summer finals on Wednesday morning, the coaching staff brought out "Sudden Change" to move the team drills earlier into the workout.

While head coach Bobby Wilder was pleased about how the team reacted with the offense immediately going into scoring mode and the defense prepared to be the fire department in helping to swing momentum, but he'll be looking for more focus from the Monarchs.

"Even though we are still installing a lot on offense, defense, and special teams, the kids lost a some focus throughout the practice," said Wilder. "I challenged them to fix that and get it back tomorrow. Those are things that happen throughout camp. We need to get that back and we'll work on that tomorrow."

The coaching staff is trying to size up what five and which positions will comprise the offensive line in 2012. David Born has moved out to left tackle and Jack Lowney to left guard. Josh Mann, who played as a true freshman on the line last year, has taken over for graduated Jeremy Hensley at center and Robbie Duncan has solidified the right tackle spot.

"Right guard right now we are working three different guys in there between D.J. Morrell, Brandon Carr, and Connor Mewbourne. Those three of those guys are battling it out. "

The defensive line is shaping up with some familiar faces in Chris Burnette, a Preseason All-American by Phil Steele and College Sporting News, Erik Saylor, who impressed the staff during spring ball and summer conditioning, as well as Alex Arain, who was bumped up from a linebacker to a hybrid defensive end in spring practice.

"Preston Smith has done a really nice job at the end position," also noted Wilder. "He had a great summer with conditioning and through the first three practices. You can see what he's done."

Don't forget to follow the Football Monarchs on twitter @ODUFootball and use the hashtag #ODUFB. "Voice of the Monarchs" Ted Alexander also joined twitterverse today. 12th Monarch tweeps can follow him at @TedAlexanderodu.

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The Monarchs have their second practice in should pads before donning full pads on Friday. Friday will also be the Monarchs' media day.