Spring Preview: A Look at the Wide Receivers
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 deep group of wide receivers.
With six players that caught at least 18 passes and four players added to the mix, this is the position with the most depth on the roster. Larry Pinkard, Blair Roberts and Antonio Vaughan will look to break ODU receiving records this fall while Zach Pascal caught 41 passes as a redshirt freshman. Jusse Yorke, Keshawn Henderson, Nick England and Kevin Privott are added to the mix.
Wide Receivers (13)
Larry Pinkard – 68 rec. for 1,020 yards, 9 TD’s
Antonio Vaughan – 60 rec. for 843 yards, 9 TD’s / 28 carries for 92 yards, 1 TD
Blair Roberts – 46 rec. for 560 yards, 6 TD’s
Zach Pascal – 41 rec. for 534 yards, 6 TD’s
Melvin Vaughn – 19 rec. for 149 yards
Jakwail Bailey – 18 rec. for 127 yards, 2 TDs
C.J. Bradshaw – 6 carries for 17 yards / 2 receptions for 13 yards
Kirk Spellman – 7 rec. for 102 yards, 1 TD
Jusse Yorke – Transferred to ODU in January from ASA College
Keshawn Henderson – Redshirted in 2013
Nick England – Florida International transfer, sat out 2013 due to NCAA rules
Kevin Privott – Redshirted in 2013
Aquante Thornton – Did not play in 2013
2014 Signees (5)
Jonathan Duhart – 6-3, 200 – Midlothian, Va./Manchester
Isaiah Harper – 5-9, 170 – Chesapeake, Va./Grassfield
Will Howard – 6-3, 200 – Virginia Beach, Va./Tallwood
Marques Little – 5-9, 170 – Williamstown, N.J./Williamstown
Vincent Lowe – 5-9, 170 – Chesapeake, Va./Grassfield
Wide Receiver Preview
The Old Dominion wide receiver group was one of just six in the FBS that featured four players to catch 40 or more passes in 2013, and all four of them return. Marquel Thomas is the only loss among the group and while he caught 35 passes in his final, and best collegiate season, the Monarchs should have enough to replace him.
Larry Pinkard had a breakout year with single-season career-high’s in receptions, 68 and yards, 1,020, to lead the team in both categories. Pinkard and teammate Antonio Vaughan are well within reach of setting new records for receivers as they look to surpass the records set by Nick Mayers.
Vaughan caught 60 passes for 843 yards and nine scores in 2013, and also played the Pittsburgh game and the first half of the Norfolk State contest at running back. Showing his versatility, Vaughan carried 15 times for 70 yards and a TD against the Panthers.
Blair Roberts missed two games in 2013 but still managed 46 catches for 560 yards and six touchdowns. His numbers were down slightly from his sophomore year when he caught 56 passes for 707 yards.
Redshirt freshman Zach Pascal hauled in 41 passes for 534 yards and six touchdowns last season in his first season of collegiate football. Pascal, along with the graduated Thomas, gave ODU a fourth and fifth receiving option last year to take the pressure off of Pinkard, Vaughan and Roberts.
Melvin Vaughn caught 19 passes for 149 yards as a true freshman in 2013. Listed at 6-2, 230, Vaughn was a bear to tackle, running over and carrying defensive backs several times last season.
Senior to be Jakwail Bailey caught 18 passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns last season, including a season-high six receptions for 70 yards and a TD in the season opener at East Carolina.
Bradshaw split time at both running back and wide receiver in the fall, and was also a key contributor on special teams.
Four new additions will make this group even more dynamic. Jusse Yorke is a junior college transfer from ASA College who was highly recruited out of high school, while Keshawn Henderson and Kevin Privott redshirted last year. Nick England, a high school teammate of quarterback Taylor Heinicke, caught eight passes for 87 yards as a true freshman at Florida International before sitting out last year due to transfer rules. England will have three years of eligibility for ODU.
Player Spotlight - Zach Pascal
We will spotlight one player from each position group as we preview spring practice. Today we talked to sophomore wide receiver, Zach Pascal.
Q: What have you learned from the senior wide receivers? I’ve learned a lot from them. I’ve learned how to handle my emotions on the field, how to stay humble and play the next play if things are going either good or bad. More of what I have learned from them has been more of the emotional side of playing football.
Q: What are the differences for you heading into your second spring at ODU? Last spring I came in trying to prove that I can play at the next level. This spring I’m working more on technique and trying to become a better wide receiver overall.
Q: Playing the five FBS opponents, what did you learn in those games? The game is faster and the defenses are faster. The FBS teams can match up better and more players that can do different things.
Q: What is on your iPod? I listen to Meek Mills and French Montana.
Q: Favorite Movie? Too Fast, Too Furious.
Q: Dream Vacation? Hawaii