Photo courtesy of Old Dominion athletics
For the first time since 2019, Old Dominion football held its first day of spring practice.
Spring is a time for new beginnings and this certainly is one: A new coach, tons of new faces, and new hope in the air for Monarch faithful.
In the 30-minute session open to media on Tuesday, we saw Darriel Mack Jr. throw his first few passes in an ODU uniform, some defensive line work and a lot of new moving parts get acclimated. It was the Monarchs’ first spring practice with still new coach Ricky Rahne.
“It was good to get out there,” Rahne commented. “Obviously, we didn’t get spring practice last year but we were able to get out there today; guys are excited, even though we just got helmets on today.”
One of those guys out there on Tuesday was returning starter, senior offensive lineman Isaac Weaver. Weaver is the only senior on the offensive line. That’s a group that includes Maryland transfer Tyran Hunt, highly-touted freshman Santana Saunders, and returning starter Nick Saldiveri.
Weaver has started 35 games over his first three seasons as a Monarch, including the entire 2017 and 2018 seasons at left tackle. He spent two games in 2019 at left tackle, and nine that season at center. The Marietta, Ga. product is going to be a key part of the senior leadership on offense for Rahne’s first Monarch squad.
Jordan Young, the only senior linebacker, is back for a sixth season. Joining him in the linebackers corps will be Steven Williams. Yes, that Steven Williams who went from quarterback to wide receiver in 2019 for ODU. He is now at linebacker. Redshirt freshman Malcolm Britt is also among the seven linebackers on roster for the Monarchs.
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Over his three seasons at ODU, Young has started all 36 games and had his first interception against East Carolina in 2019. Young has 123 tackles for loss and 246 total tackles. Young will be tasked with mentoring Britt, and a young group of linebackers.
With this being the first spring practice in two years for ODU, expect the team to, of course, look different by time the spring game rolls around on April 3.