PRESEASON PRACTICE UPDATE: Speed Becoming More Evident

August 23, 2011
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

Aug. 23, 2011

NORFOLK, Va. -- The Football Monarchs' speed was evident during the morning practice on Tuesday at the Powhatan Sports Complex.

Heading into the CAA this fall, head coach Bobby Wilder and staff emphasized to the Monarchs that the ability to play at much faster pace will be a defining factor in the success the Monarchs have in the nation's toughest FCS conference.

During the morning practice, the Monarchs set a record with 59 plays during the team segment with the No. 1's, No. 2's, and No. 3's all getting reps in.

"That's almost two plays per minute, that's how fast we were going," said head coach Bobby Wilder.

The afternoon was spent working on special teams with the punt team, including specific footwork drills, as well as reps for the kickoff and kickoff return teams. The PAT-Field Goal unit were also a focus working their reps in under pressure.

THROUGH THE UPRIGHTS:Wilder gave high marks to kicker Jarod Brown who he noted has been consistent throughout the preseason. Last season, Brown, who accounted for 75 of the Monarchs' 369 points, saw 39 of his 41 extra point attempts go through the uprights and made 12 of his 16 field goal attempts with his longest coming from 48 yards in the season finale at N.C. Central. On Tuesday, Brown drilled a 52-yard attempt.

Also making his way up the ranks is freshman walk-on Dustin Burdick. "No question in my mind that Dustin can do this, he can kick at this level," said Wilder. "He's got to continue to develop his leg strength, but he's super intelligent and he's got very good work ethic."

On kickoffs, Wilder continued to praise Brown noting his ability to get the ball inside the five-yard line with good hang time.

There's one Monarch who knows best about what they are heading into this fall. Defensive lineman Ronnie Cameron, who played CAA ball at Hofstra before joining the Monarchs, has been a source of leadership for this squad not only for the work he's done on the field, but also in the classroom and the community. Hear what he had to say to ODU broadcasters Ted Alexander and Andy Mashaw during his media day interview.