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Monarch Football Update: Senior Class Breakdown

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: May 22, 2013
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May 22, 2013

NORFOLK, Va. - With the spring semester over, the 2013 regular-season opener at East Carolina is just 101 days away. With that in mind, ODUSports.com breaks down the returning players on the roster. We start today with the seniors.

2013 Senior Class Breakdown
Nate Barnes - DT - Newport News, Va./Heritage

Barnes had an outstanding off-season conditioning and spring season and elevated himself to No. 1 on the depth chart at nose. His leadership shown through as well as he was named a team captain for the 2013 season. Barnes has good height at 6-5 and has gained added muscle, which will help him at the nose.

He has appeared in 34 career games, registering 19 tackles and three tackles for loss. Barnes had seven tackles and a season-best three stops against Campbell.

David Born - OL - Bakersfield, Calif./West/Bakersfield
Born was part of a standout offensive line that helped the Monarchs put up record-setting numbers in 2012. He began the spring with an injury but began practicing the second week of the spring and looked in top form. Born will slide over to right guard from left guard.

The California native has started 26-consecutive games and earned All-Conference honors in 2012. Born is a big body on the interior line, using his long armed reach to his advantage against smaller defensive linemen.

Jarod Brown - K - Yorktown, Va./Grafton/West Virginia
Brown had a tremendous 2013 season and followed that with a solid spring. Brown was working in David Washington as the new holder on extra points and field goals after working with Nate Ong the past two years.

Brown earned first-team All-Conference accolades in 2012 going 10-of-12 on field goal attempts and setting the FCS record with the most extra points in a season without a miss, going 73-for-73. He also was solid on kickoffs, putting 30 in the back of the end zone.

John Darr - LB - Forestville, Md./Suitland
One of two starting linebackers to return, Darr had a solid spring and was able to get well aquainted with new defensive coordinator Rich Nagy's system.

Darr finished third on the 2012 team in tackles with 75 and recorded 10.0 tackles for loss, two sacks and an interception. For his career, Darr has 159 tackles in 36 games played.

Aaron Evans - CB/KR - Newport News, Va./Woodside
Evans completed spring practice at No. 2 corner behind Jevon Neal. Evans also brings explosiveness as a kick returner.

The Newport News native had his best performance of the year at James Madison, returning kicks for 43 and 46 yards, giving ODU good field position all night. Evans contributed 13 tackles in 11 games last season and has 56 tackles in 33 career games along with seven pass breakups.

Colby Goodwyn - RB - Hampton, Va./Phoebus
Goodwyn had the best spring and off-season conditioning results of any running back and enters the fall as the No. 1 running back.

He rushed for 333 yards and seven touchdowns and caught 19 passes for 144 yards in 2013. Goodwyn is also key in the return game, leading the team in kickoff return average. He recorded touchdowns in the final three games of the year, against JMU, Coastal Carolina and Georgia Southern. Goodwyn has rushed for 1,100 yards in his three seasons at ODU and is just 357 yards away from passing Thomas DeMarco as the schools all-time leading rusher.

Alex Johnson - DE - New Canton, Va./Buckingham County/Fork Union
Johnson appeared in all 13 games and started four, including the two playoff games in 2013. He recorded 40 tackles and six tackles for loss.

Johnson is one of several players looking for playing time at the stud position. Johnson came into his own last season and will look to carry that momentum into this season. He has 53 career tackles along with 6.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

Jack Lowney - OL - Narberth, Pa./Archbishop Carroll
Lowney put together an outstanding off-season and spring practice. A native of Pennsylvania, Lowney was named a team captain for the 2013 season. A very versatile player, he has played right guard and right tackle along with playing last season at left tackle. Is expected to stay at left tackle for 2013.

He earned All-Conference and All-America honors in 2012 in helping the ODU offense lead the country in scoring offense, total offense and passing offense. He has started 31-straight games, including all 13 last season at left tackle.

Paul Morant - S - Hampton, Va./Phoebus
Morant and the defensive backs received coaching from new secondary and defensive coordinator, Rich Nagy, this spring and it has paid dividends.

Morant finished tied for sixth on the squad with 50 tackles and an interception last season. He played his best at the end of the year, notching 11 tackles at James Madison and eight against Georgia Southern. He has three career interceptions and has played in 37 career games.

D.J. Morrell - OL - Norwalk, Conn./Norwalk/Dean JC
Morrell had a solid spring practice and had the teams best bench press at 400 pounds and had one of the best squats at 535. After playing all 13 games at right guard in 2012. Morrell will slide out to right tackle for 2013.

The offensive line did a great job protecting the Walter Payton Award Winner, Taylor Heinicke last season and helped the Monarchs lead the country in scoring offense, total offense and passing offense.

Andre Simmons - S - Lorton, Va./South County/Vanderbilt
Simmons had a great spring until an injury cut it short in the last week of spring practice. He was named team captain along with Nate Barnes,>Jack Lowney and Taylor Heinicke.

He played in nine games in 2012, recording 31 tackles and the game-winning interception against New Hapmshire. He was listed as No. 1 on the depth chart at safety before his injury.

Marquel Thomas - WR - Virginia Beach, Va./Bayside/NC Tech
Thomas is the only senior at perhaps ODU's deepest position, wide receivers. He finished camp as the backup to Larry Pinkard, but the depth chart at the position does not mean much, as four receivers caught more than 55 passes a year ago.

Thomas caught 27 passes for 288 yards and two scores last season. He set career highs for receptions with six and yards with 72 at Georgia State last season.

Overall, this senior class has a three-year record of 29-8 and has won a pair of playoff games.

Stay tuned to ODUSports.com for an update on the juniors.

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