Old Dominion quarterback competition is ‘wide open’


NORFOLK (WAVY)  – With Old Dominion’s Spring practice almost in the books, the two most prevalent words from head coach Bobby Wilder have been “young” and “talented.”

Though it may be safe to say his offense is in rebuild mode. Starting quarterback Blake LaRussa left the program to attend Seminary School, and Jeremy Cox, the team’s most punishing running back graduated, along with the team’s top three receivers. 

Travis Fulgham, Jonathan Duhart, and Chesapeake’s Isaiah Harper accounted for 92% of the team’s passing offense. All three graduated, and all three have a good shot to be playing on Sundays. 

There are five quarterbacks currently on the Monarchs’ roster. All five look like Division I quarterbacks (none of them are shorter than 6-foot-4), and all five have a chance to see time once the season starts. 

In fact, coach Wilder said the quarterback competition is “wide open.” 

With 11 starts under hild belt, redshirt sophomore Steven Williams is the only quarterback on the roster with game experience, but he has not practiced because of a shoulder injury. 

Redshirt-freshman Jonah Fitzgerald is the only other quarterback who was on the team last season. He’s been seeing a good number of snaps, along with two junior college transfers. 

Messiah DeWeaver was one of the top-rated JuCo quarterbacks in America, and led East Mississippi Community College to a national championship last season. Stone Smartt threw for 2,754 yards, 31 touchdowns and only three interceptions at Riverside City College, and was named the JuCo Player of the Year in California last season.

Both are big, strong-armed quarterbacks who pride themselves on being able to extend plays. 

Monarch Nation will get a good look at the quarterback spot when the team plays its Spring Game on Saturday, April 13 at Powhatan Field. 

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