Football Position Preview: Linebackers
By ODU Athletics
With just one week before fall camp starts, ODUSports.com will take a look at a position group each day this week to get you ready for ODU Football.
The group loses steady John Darr, however returns sophomore Richie Staton who is back for his second season after starting 11 games as a true freshman. He finished fourth in the team in tackles with 72 and led the squad with four sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss.
ODU brings back just one other player who started a game last season, sophomore walk-on, Anthony Wilson. Wilson, a transfer from Marshall, recorded 25 tackles in 10 games before missing the final two with an ankle injury.
Adding to the depth of the position are Andre Simmons and Kanyia Anderson. Simmons was ODU’s second leading tackler at safety a year ago with 78 stops while Anderson played in all 12 games at defensive end. Simmons moves to outside linebacker while Anderson moves to inside backer.
Also returning from an injury is D.J. Simon who was fifth on the team with 39 tackles in 2013. Simon had 6.5 tackles for loss and a team-best three interceptions. He injured his ankle in the season finale at UNC but should be ready to go by the season-opener against Hampton. TJ Ricks returns for his sophomore season after playing in all 12 games recording 18 tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss. The Hampton native was also an important part of the special teams unit.
All three were impressive in spring practice. Schmidt and Simpson are listed as starters heading into camp while Adams-Hurd was impressive before an injury ended his spring.
Isaiah Worthy out of West Deptford High School in New Jersey signed an NLI in February to add depth to the improved unit.