Photo courtesy of Old Dominion
One of the positions seeing a lot of shine under new head coach Ricky Rahne and offensive coordinator Kirk Campbell will be tight ends.
Of the four tight ends on the roster, only two have receptions at tight end. One, Trey Lancaster, is a freshman.
Redshirt sophomore Isaiah Spencer caught three balls for 43 yards in 2018 and five for 63 yards and a score in 2019. Junior Donta Anthony Jr. caught 10 in 2018 for 124 yards and seven in 2019 for 45 yards.
Between these two, plus AC White who has no total receptions, ODU tight ends have played 53 total games. Expect to see an increase in receptions under the new offense.
“We can expect a lot more production than maybe we’ve had around here from tight ends in a while,” Rahne said. “Our tight ends, I’ve loved watching them go.”
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Fontel Mines was hired as the new tight ends coach. He was tabbed to replace John Decoster who left for the NFL, so there has been an acclimation period with the new position coach.
“Coach Mines has done a great job with them in the short amount of time he has had them,” Rahne said on Tuesday. “We have some athletic guys who can go so I expect them to make a bunch of plays. We made a couple plays out here in practice today and I think that’s going to be a theme.”
Campbell echoes that sentiment.
“The tight end room, the development there with Coach Mines, they have done a great job with them not just receiving the football but blocking as well,” Campbell said.
“The tight ends are a huge part of our offense, not just in the blocking game, but largely in the passing game,” Campbell continued. “I think when you can get an athletic tight end that is dynamic in the passing game, it creates a lot of issues for the defense and then when you pair it with a running back that can catch the football, you have an elite offense.”
Campbell went on to say something that should have ODU fans optimistic for the fall.
“We are going to be the best offense in Conference USA,” Campbell exclaimed. “I don’t stutter when I say that. Nobody rises to a low level of expectation; that’s our goal every day we step out here and that’s what we are working for.”