SPRING PRACTICE UPDATE: Ready to Head to the Stadium

April 11, 2012
By ODU Athletics
ODU Sports

April 11, 2012

MONARCH MEDIA: Practice #9 Update:

Competition has been heating up at the wide receiver position from both veterans and newcomers a like with a host of Monarchs looking to grab a spot on the depth chart.

Wide receivers Nick Mayers and Antonio Vaughan had a pair of catches during team drills that had the offense cheering loudly.

Quarterback Taylor Heinicke hit Mayers in stride up the middle as he eluded the defense in reaching the end zone. Then going the opposite direction, just a few plays later, Heinicke connected with Antonio Vaughan who took off down the left sideline.

"The veteran players are picking up the tempo, picking up the pace," said Wilder of one of the deepest units on the team.

"We've got depth at receiver and there's competiveness there," he continued noting while Mayers and Vaughan made two standout catches on Wednesday morning, the younger players have been also playing well and vying for playing time.

"They are competing because they all want to play in the fall and they all want to touch the football. It's good for our team."

With Wednesday being the Monarchs' ninth practice of spring ball, head coach Bobby Wilder was equating where the team is now to where the team will be in season during the fall.

"This is probably how our bodies will feel when we reach week nine when we head down to Atlanta to face Georgia State in our ninth game," said Wilder.

The good news for the Monarchs in 2012 will be that the bye week won't be the last week of the season like it was for the 2011 campaign. The Monarchs' bye week occurs on week six, right in the middle of the season.

The Monarchs will be back at Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium for the first time since they defeated Norfolk State in the first round of the FCS playoffs on Saturday. The team will hold a scrimmage open to the public beginning at 1 p.m.

"That will bring a new level of excitement and energy," said Wilder of Saturday's upcoming practice. "We what we are looking to accomplish is putting them in game situations. We'll try to make is as much as a game as we can."

Not only will the Monarchs be going through their game day routines, so will the coaching staff, who will be on the sidelines with headsets on and the officials making the calls.

Take a look at a new version of the uniform:

"We wanted to do something to salute the military," said head equipment manager Tommy Rapier. "Nike did a great job of designing a set of uniforms with a military theme, yet staying within in our school's color scheme. It's only fitting being right down the street from the world's largest naval base and with all the military stationed in the Hampton Roads area that we can find a way honor the men and women who serve our country."

In addition to the gray uniforms that feature blue camouflage numbers, the Monarchs will also be sporting white, blue, and black uniforms as in previous seasons.

"With the addition of the military uniform, we now have 160 different uniform combinations to choose from," noted Rapier.

When asked what he thought of the new Monarch uniform, rising senior linebacker and co-captain Craig Wilkins beamed, "They are pretty sweet."

"Our goal in everything we do as a football program at Old Dominion is to "Aim High" and be the very best that we can be as a team. We want to look good and play good on game day," said Wilder. "We are proud to add a uniform design that will honor the men and women that serve our country every day."