August 08, 2011
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Aug. 8, 2011

NORFOLK, Va. -- The ODU Football Monarchs pushed their first preseason practice back two hours to avoid some of the blistering heat in the area, but still the eager football Monarchs were out of the locker room 15 minutes ahead of schedule and ready to hit the turf.

"It's exciting to get them all back and get them all out here," said head coach Bobby Wilder. "This is the fourth time we've done this, but its more exciting this year. The fact we've got a full roster so it's another first in the history of Old Dominion football. "

Due to NCAA guidelines, the Monarchs will spend the first two practices in helmets only, before moving to shoulder pads, full pads, and then two-a-days.

The Monarchs return a host of veterans, many with 22 games of experience under their belt. Offensively, ODU returns 10 starting members, while the defense returns seven, which includes the loss of defensive ends Deron Mayo, a signee with the Denver Broncos, and Andrew Turner, who could miss the season with injury.

With a host of veterans returning the Monarchs, the coaching staff are looking for those key back-ups and the younger members of the squad that are hungry and want to get in and earn a spot getting onto the field throughout the season or earn their way onto the "all-star" team, also known as ODU's special teams unit. It's also a good opportunity for the coaching staff to evaluate the freshman coming into the Monarch program.

"It's a different football team for us now," noted Wilder. "We have an identity. We know who we are a little bit. We have some veteran players and now it's about honing their skills and finding out who are going to be the back-ups and which freshmen are going to play."


Please note the kick off for the Oyster Bowl game with James Madison on October 29th has been moved to Noon and will air as part of the conference's television package on Comcast SportsNet.

In addition to the James Madison game, ODU's first CAA contest with Delaware will also be televised on Comcast SportsNet. Kickoff is slated for noon at Tubby Raymond Stadium. Stay tuned to for updates on the television schedule as they become available.

A few Monarchs have changed numbers since last season. Wide receiver Antonio Vaughan has moved from #80 to #5 along with fellow receiver Larry Pinkard wearing #9 instead of #86. Linebacker Xavier Duckett has changed from #35 to #52, with fellow linebacker Rodney Hunter sporting #64 instead of #47. Also tight end Tyler Damato has also changed jersey numbers moving from #92 to #89.

The Monarch Q&A's that have been featured during the summer will continue this preseason. Stay tuned as we catch up with senior offensive lineman Jeremy Hensley. Got a Monarch you want us to feature? Got a question you want to ask? Let us know by sending us a tweet over at @ODUFootball.

If you are talking Monarch Football over on twitter don't forget to use the #ODUFB and #CAAFB hashtags to get in on the conversation.

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