ODUSports.com will do an eight-part preview, taking a look position-by-position at the Old Dominion University spring football roster. Today, in our final preview, we highlight the specialists. The Monarchs start spring football practice on Saturday March 1.
Overview ODU returns senior Rick Lovato, a three-year starter at long snapper, as well as a punter and kicker. Sophomore Joe Pulisic punted six times last year with a long of 48. Kicker Ricky Segers redshirted in 2013 while Kyle Lawrence kicked his first career extra points in ODU’s win over Rhode Island.
Specialists (4) Rick Lovato – Quietly does a solid job, three-year starter at long snapper Joe Pulisic – Punted six times as a redshirt freshman Ricky Segers – Redshirted in 2013 Kyle Lawrence – 2-for-2 on extra points in win over Rhode Island
Specialists Preview ODU loses four-year starter and its all-time points leader in Jarod Brown. Brown set the FCS record for consecutive extra points made in a season in 2012 and kicked the longest field goal, a 54-yarder, in Heinz Field history.
Sophomore Ricky Segers redshirted in 2013 while Kyle Lawrence kicked a pair of extra points last season in the win over Rhode Island.
Senior Rick Lovato returns for his fourth season as the starting long snapper, Lovato
has snapped flawlessly on every kick and punt the last three seasons.
Sophomore Joe Pulisic returns for his sophomore season after punting six times last year with a long of 48. Pulisic is also the holder on all extra points and field goals.
Player Spotlight - Long Snapper Rick Lovato
Player Spotlight –Rick Lovato
Q: Talk about getting ready for spring ball this year, especially after being held out last year? We’ve been out about 2-3 times a week with the punters and kickers that are here now to get prepared. The winter program has helped me get on track for the season as well.
Q: Talk about the continuity you guys have developed over the years? We have gotten close as a unit. We hang out all the time. Being able to snap with Ricky and getting to know his steps and getting the flow right with the hold and kick is very key for us.
Q: What adjustments did you have to make against the FBS opponents? I really had to get prepared to take bigger hits. Also, to be more aware of my snaps because of the atmosphere and how big the crowds are.
Q: Do you have a pre-snap routine? Yes, I approach the ball the same way every single time, put my hands on the ball the same way every time. I take a look back for at least three seconds, pick a very small spot on the punters hip, and from there out don’t think any negative thoughts and just snap the ball.
Q: Talk about the excitement of the Conference USA Schedule for this season? It’s so exciting, to be able to travel all over the south. I could have never dreamed of this happening.
Q: Favorite thing about the Hampton Roads area? My favorite thing would be Virginia Beach. I love going down there. My parents come and always make a trip during the season. It’s really fun to go there, it reminds me of home. I only live about 15 minutes from the beach in New Jersey.