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PRESEASON PRACTICE UPDATE: Mental Toughness

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: August 18, 2011
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Aug. 18, 2011

NORFOLK, Va. -- The coaching staff knew coming off a scrimmage and with one of the hottest afternoons of practice to date that Wednesday's practice was not only going to be physically tough, but mentally as well.

Wanting the Monarchs to remember to keep disciplined and focus through any adverse conditions they may face, head coach Bobby Wilder put the team on the sidelines at the end of practice and ran the team.

"It was a learning lesson for us today on how to react after a scrimmage," said head coach Bobby Wilder. "We are going to have to learn from it and grow from it."

RUNNING SOME REPS:
With veterans Mario Crawford and Colby Goodwyn nursing some nicks that have kept them on the sidelines for a few days, a few newcomers have emerged. Running the ball several times in Wednesday's practice were redshirt freshman Angus Harper, which included several carries up the middle after finding the hole in the line, along with true freshman Malik Jackson also getting several reps in.

In other running back news, sophomore Rashad Manley has moved from quarterback to running back and on Wednesday freshman Lorenzo Smith was moved to running back from the defensive back/corner position.

"It's why you recruit guys who can play multiple positions," added Wilder. "When you get into the position, you can get some work out of some guys. "

LET'S GO TO THE VIDEO TAPE:
What were the thoughts after being able to watch tape of scrimmage #1? "It looked like what I saw out on the field from those 90 plays," said Wilder of the review. "It looked fast. I felt like we were a much improved football team."

MONARCH Q&A - Reid Evans


The wide receivers are a position on the ODU Football Monarchs that is perhaps not only the most veteran, but the deepest, as well as they head into the first season of CAA action. And at the top of the stat chart for the last two years is redshirt junior Reid Evans.

"Reid is a player that shows up every practice, every game, loves football, and wants to compete all the time" said head coach Bobby Wilder of his leading receiver the last two seasons. "Reid has a good set of hands of anybody I've been around as a football coach in 22 years. If the ball is in his vicinity he's going to find a way to catch it."

The first player to have 1,000 yards receiving and a two-time Division 5 state champion at nearby Phoebus High School in Hampton, Reid's success on the field continued into the collegiate ranks as he's led the receiving unit for two straight seasons. Last year he made 55 receptions for 616 yards and a team-leading six touchdowns.

Q: How is practice going so far?
A: It's going good. It's been the best practice I've been a part of since I've been at ODU, I think, because now I'm an upperclassman and I worked really hard this summer. I did a lot of lifting weights and conditioning. I also did a lot of stuff on my own - route running, catching the ball, spending a lot of time with the QBs.

Q: What's the biggest difference you've noticed between this year's preseason practices and years past?
A: We're a lot more mature. I know the game and the system better. As far as the receivers, everyone's competing. Everyone wants the job. We're a lot more athletic than we were. We've got a lot of playmakers.

Q: What's one thing you are looking to improve this season?
A: Limiting drops. Coach Malloy always stresses on that. That's why were here, that's what we're supposed to do, catch the ball. We're trying to limit those as much as we can.

Q: What is it like to have your former Phoebus High School coach Bill Dee on staff here at ODU?
A: It's been good to have someone who was a part of the Phoebus family here. Coach Dee, I can go to him anytime I want. He's a good person. We talk all the time. If I need something, I can go in his office and talk to him no problem. I think he's going to do a good job with that offensive line. I've seen him a little at practices getting back to his old ways at Phoebus, yelling and fussing and developing that discipline. All the players say he's a good coach.

Q: What is your favorite Bobby Wilder saying?
A: Let's see...Favorite Bobby Wilder saying..."PMA"...positive mental attitude.

Q: How does it feel to finally be playing in the CAA this season?
A: Its feels great. The competition is even higher. Every year our schedule has been stronger, but this year it's going to be the strongest its ever been and we don't have a bye-week until the very end. Now we just have to go out there and prove ourselves.

Q: What has been your favorite Monarch Moment?
A: When we won in Florida and beat Jacksonville. Being a part of that game-winning drive is my favorite moment ever.

Q: What do you and your teammates do for fun away from the field?
A: We're real competitive and we love to play basketball. When football season is over we have an intramural basketball team. In fact, the football team has about three teams. The team I'm always on goes to the championship. My freshman year we went to the championship and lost, but last year we won it this year with me, Nick Mayers, T.J. Cowart, Marquel Thomas, Thomas DeMarco, Chad King, Fred Credle, and Mario Crawford. It's also a way to get involved with our classmates.

Q: Each year you are sporting a new hairstyle...What's this year's hairstyle?
A: That's just my swag. I like to be different. My first year was the cornrows, last year was the curls, this year it's the Mohawk curl with the color in it. I like to mix-it up and next year I'll have something different. But for this year, I'll have my Mohawk swag going on.

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