Spring Preview: A Look at the Linebackers
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 linebackers.
ODU returns one starter at linebacker in Richie Staton and a pair of players in Anthony Wilson and D.J. Simon who combined for three starts and saw significant playing time. Senior Andre Simmons has also been moved to linebacker while three junior college transfers give this position depth. Along with the addition of the three transfers, ODU Head Coach Bobby Wilder added Ulrick Edmonds to coach the linebackers. Edmonds joins the Monarchs after spending 10 years on the coaching staff at James Madison. The 10 years at JMU followed a standout four-year career that saw Edmonds earn two All-Atlantic 10 accolades.
Andre Simmons – Second leading tackler as a safety last season
Anthony Wilson – Walk-on who was a productive special-teamer and saw time at linebacker
Mike Lennox – Special-team player who played in five games
Richie Staton – True freshman started 11 games at middle linebacker
D.J. Simon – Led team with three interceptions
Rob Mahan – Did not play in 2013
TJ Ricks – Key special teams play also had 18 tackles on defense
Kanyia Anderson – Played in all 12 games as a true freshman D-end
Martez Simpson – JUCO transfer from Pearl River CC (Miss.)
Kohl Adams-Hurd – JUCO transfer from LA Pierce College (Calif.)
Reece Schmidt – JUCO transfer from LA Pierce College (Calif.)
2014 Signees (1)
Isaiah Worthy – 6-1, 225 – Westville, N.J./West Deptford
ODU graduated John Darr, who has the second most tackles in ODU history, but adds three junior college players who will compete for starting positions as well as moving safety Andre Simmons to linebacker.
Simmons was second on the team with 78 tackles last year at safety but has been moved to outside linebacker. He joins sophomore Richie Staton who started 11 games last year and was fourth on the team with 72 tackles and led the squad with 10.5 tackles for loss and four sacks.
D.J. Simon played in all 12 games and produced 39 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and a team-best three interceptions.
A walk-on, Wilson received his first career start at Pittsburgh and played in 10 games before missing the final two with an injury. He was productive on special teams, as well as defense, registering 25 tackles and one tackle for loss.
Sophomore TJ Ricks played in all 12 games, also a key performer on special teams and notched 18 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss.
Kohl Adams-Hurd, Martez Simpson and Reece Schmidt joined the Monarchs in January. Adams-Hurd played three games for LA Pierce College in 2013 and produced 25 tackles and two sacks. Schmidt led LA Pierce with 63 tackles and 10.5 tackles for loss in 2013. Simpson had 47 tackles and was team captain at Pearl River CC.
Player Spotlight –Kohl Adams-Hurd
Q: Why did you choose Old Dominion? The coaching staff was very dedicated in recruiting me and they seemed very interested. I had talked to a bunch of guys and they told me to go where you were the most wanted. I also needed more motivation academically. I thought with a university setting and how hard they push academics here, I could have a good last two years.
Q: What were your first thoughts when you got to Old Dominion? It’s not California. It was kind of a culture shock. I’ve never really been on the east coast that much. I spent some summers in Georgia but this is totally different. The people are a lot nicer here though than in California.
Q: How did winter workouts go for you? They went really well. I put on some good weight. It has been a good experience and I learned a lot.
Q: Describe your playing style? I was initially a safety coming out of high school. I never played linebacker until college. I like to play fast, I run through tackles and I’m physical. The one thing that has helped me with the position change is my body changed as I grew. I started to grow and put on weight and that gave me confidence.