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As Old Dominion starts implementing a new offense, a few young stars are being born in the wide receivers room, according to offensive coordinator Kirk Campbell and head coach Ricky Rahne.
Redshirt freshman Javon Harvey from nearby Lake Taylor was used mostly on special teams in 2019. He appeared in just four games, but is turning heads this spring.
“Javon is doing really well,” Campbell said. “Javon has a good understanding of the system as well. I think he’s done a great job of buying into what (receivers coach Mark) Dupuis is coaching. He is having a good spring and we like where Javon is going. I think he’s going to be a big impact in our offense.”
Rahne expanded on how fans might see Harvey used this fall.
“He has done some good things in the slot,” Rahne commented. “We are going to put him in a lot of different places to make plays. Sometimes (slot receivers) will carry the ball; they will run routes underneath, choice routes, and take things deep. I’ve been happy with Javon and really all those slots right now. Those guys are doing a nice job for us.”
Freshman wideout Isiah Paige from Richmond, Va.’s Varina had 2,500 receiving yards in high school. As a senior, he was the Region 5B Player of the Year. Paige figures to be one Campbell looks to incorporate into the offense by whatever means necessary.
“Isiah is another quick player, very good hands,” Campbell remarked. “(He is) another instinctual player, intelligent on the field, and sees coverage. He is a guy that we need to find a way to get the ball in his hands.”
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If the last name Bly sounds familiar to you, it’s because of Dre Bly, a former NFL cornerback who is now coaching at North Carolina. Bly has his roots in Chesapeake, Va., coming out of Western Branch.
Now, his son Jordan Bly looks to make a name for himself, bringing the Bly name back to Hampton Roads as he looks to help carry ODU into the future. If early returns are any indication, he should have no problem getting the chance to do just that.
“Very excited about him,” Rahne exclaimed. “He is a very natural route runner, is learning the offense exceptionally well. I couldn’t be more excited about how he is learning the offense, so I am really excited about how he is progressing.”
Campbell and Rahne are both impressed by how quickly Bly has learned.
“Jordan, first off is another great kid; obviously, he comes from a family from the 757,” Campbell said. “He is really quick and very instinctual. We were through two practices and he didn’t have one missed assignment. His first one came on the third practice and he quickly corrected that mistake, so he is doing a great job understanding for a freshman, catching up to the speed of the game, and catching the ball really well. Jordan is a good route runner and very instinctual.”
“Jordan is trending to earn himself some playing time,” Campbell added. “We will see how it goes, though.”
These three are among the players ODU fans should really watch for this fall. Monarch fans’ first indication of just how far the trio has come will come shortly, as the spring game is scheduled for April 2.