ODU Begins Spring Football Practice
March 20, 2013
NORFOLK, Va. - Old Dominion University started spring football this morning, the first of 15 spring practices culminating with the Spring Game, on Saturday, April 20.
The Monarchs were in helmets for the first day, working on various drills, one-on-one's and team drills as well as special teams.
This is the third part of ODU's spring football preview. Today will feature special teams.
Ever since Old Dominion started football, special teams has been a priority for head coach Bobby Wilder. That didn't change in 2012 as kicker Jarod Brown was perfect on extra points, setting an NCAA FCS record for most extra points without a miss en route to first-team All-CAA honors, punter Jonathan Plisco earned first-team All-CAA accolades for the second-straight year and received several All-America honors, and second year long snapper, Rick Lovato, received All-America honors as well.
Brown and Lovato will return while Joe Pulisic is the only punter on the spring roster.
Not only was Brown perfect on all extra point attempts on the year, he was a league-best 10-of-14 in field goal attempts with a long of 51-yards. Brown also finished the year with 30 touch backs which ranked eighth in the FCS.
"Obviously you want to have good kickoff coverage with guys that want to go cover kicks, but it's always nice to put the ball in the back of the end zone," Zyskowski said. "It's a field position game, four-straight years we've gone down from where are opponents start their drives."
Pulisic did not play at all in 2012 but will battle for the punting job this spring and fall.
"We're excited about what Joe can. There are a lot of these, including directional punting that he excels in," special teams coach Michael Zyskowski said. "He does a great job getting hang time on his punts. He's been training hard to fight for that job next year."
Rick Lovato finished his second season as the Monarchs' long snapper. He performed flawlessly in 2012 and was named to the College Sporting News Fabulous 50 All-America Team.
"One thing I've tried to find is the right fit into our specialist group and our team. We don't have our specialist take a back seat. We try to find the right personality and work ethic in those individuals," Zyskowski said. "Rick is very competitive. He wants to master his craft, compete and get better. He takes pride in having perfect snaps every time."
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