Spring Preview: A Look at the Quarterbacks
ODUSports.com will do an eight-part preview, taking a look position-by-position at the Old Dominion University spring football roster. Today we highlight the quarterback position, which is led by 2012 Walter Payton Award Winner, Taylor Heinicke.
Heinicke took over the starting quarterback spot in the fifth game of the 2011 season when Thomas DeMarco suffered an injured ankle. Heinicke put together an impressive rookie campaign tossing 25 touchdowns and just one interception and passing for 2,385 yards. He was named CFPA National and Freshman Performer of the Year and earned freshman All-America honors by the Sports Journal. He followed that up with a record-setting 2012 and won the Walter Payton Award as the Best Player in the FCS. Heinicke was on-point again in 2013, throwing for more than 4,000 yards and 33 touchdowns. David Washington locked down the No. 2 spot last season and was impressive in spot duty. Colin McElroy saw action in one game and Brennan Scott redshirted as a true freshman.
Taylor Heinicke – 340-of-486, 4,022 yards – 33 TD/ 93 att. For 348 yards, 5 TD
David Washington – 22-of-31, 259 yards – 4 TD/ 29 att. For 125 yards, 1 TD
Colin McElroy – Played in one game in 2013, did not attempt a pass
Brennan Scott – Freshman walk-on, redshirted in 2013
2014 Signees (1)
Shuler Bentley – 6-1, 200 – Duncan, S.C./Byrnes
Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heinicke will return for his senior season this fall and lead the Monarchs into their first season in Conference USA. The Atlanta, Ga. native will head into the fall as the FBS active career leader in passing yards, touchdown passes, total offense, passing yards per game, completions, completions per game and completion percentage. Heinicke is currently 29th on the FBS all-time career passing yards list with 11,483 yards and needs just 237 yards to move into 27th and pass former Georgia quarterback, David Greene, and Super Bowl winning quarterback, Russell Wilson. He is tied for 15th in career TD passes with 102.
Heinicke was sensational again 2013, surpassing 4,000 passing yards for the second-straight season. He topped 300 passing yards in nine games and 400 yards three times in 2013, including a 533-yard performance in ODU’s first-ever win over an FBS opponent, the fourth most yards thrown by an FBS quarterback all season.
David Washington was Heinicke’s backup last season and saw action in six games. He completed 22-of-31 passes for 259 yards and four touchdowns. In his most extensive action of the season against Howard, Washington was 8-of-11 for 81 yards with two touchdown passes and also ran for 59 yards.
Player Spotlight – Taylor Heinicke
We will spotlight one player from each position group as we preview spring practice. Today we talked to senior quarterback, Taylor Heinicke.
Q: What did you learn from the five FBS games you played in 2013? You have to be on top of your game every play. Against East Carolina I thought I had a good game but it came down to that one play where I didn’t have ball security and fumbled and they returned it for a touchdown. If you take that away and we score on that drive, it could have been a tie game. Again, every play counts and just to not make a bad situation worse.
Q: What is it like to have the Conference USA schedule, and play a full FBS schedule? It’s exciting. No one is scared, we are all excited and looking forward to it. Most of us were recruited as CAA players and the fact we get to play FBS football now is pretty cool.
Q: You have never played against 11 of these teams before, how do you handle the lack of familiarity? Again it’s exciting. I’ve been watching these teams growing up and it’s exciting we’re going to play these guys.
Q: What are your thoughts on the Friday night game against Middle Tennessee? It’s very exciting, my running back in high school, Jordan Parker, starts at Middle Tennessee and I’ve been texting him. It will be a fun game.
Q: Lets go back to your first-ever game at ODU when you came in at halftime for an injured Thomas DeMarco. What do you remember from that game? I remember four things from that game. I remember DeMarco getting hurt and the coaches telling me to go in. I remember my first pass, it was a hitch and I threw it over the receivers head I was so nervous. And I remember the two touchdowns passes I threw. I remember those four like it was yesterday and everything else is a blur.
Q: Favorite Food? Moe’s Chicken Quesadilla.
Q: Favorite Movie? Batman
Q: Dream Vacation? Las Vegas
Q: Favorite Professional Athlete? Aaron Rodgers
Q: Favorite Team? Green Bay Packers
Q: Talk about the continuity you have developed with your top three receivers, Larry Pinkard, Blair Roberts and Antonio Vaughan. You have basically been throwing to them your entire career. I’ve been blessed to have good receivers in high school and now again in college. Larry’s (Pinkard) been outstanding since his redshirt freshman year and same with Antonio (Vaughan) and Blair (Roberts) played as a true freshman. It is good to have that chemistry between us and we know what each other is thinking most of the time. We’ve had a good core group and I think we’re going to have a good last year.