NORFOLK (WAVY) — Old Dominion begins its 8th football season in two weeks when its hosts Hampton University. On Friday, the Monarchs held their annual media day.
This is ODU’s third season in Conference USA and the media members that cover the league picked the Monarchs to finish 6th out of 7 teams in the East Division.
Bobby Wilder returns a lot of players from last year’s team that was one win away from being bowl eligible.
“They are highly motivated coming off of what happened at the end of last year, missing a bowl game by two points,” Wilder said. “You turn those negatives into positives sometimes and that’s what we’ve done. The loss at the end of last season has really motivated us through this year.”
Earlier this week starting quarterback David Washington left practice after favoring his knee, the same knee that was surgically repaired after tearing three ligaments late last season. Washington had an MRI that revealed he has a sprain, but no structural damage.
“When I first felt it I was like oh my god, not again,” Washington said. “After a little while some of the pain started to go down during practice and I was like okay, this isn’t as bad as I originally thought.”
Washington will miss this weekend’s scrimmage and will work with trainers to get his strengthen his knee.
“It’s concerning but we’re playing for it,” said offensive coordinator Brian Scott. “We know he’s had an ACL for a year now, so it’s not like we haven’t tried to keep developing our other guys. You can’t worry about that, football is football, guys get injured, that’s the way it is, he’s just gotta play and we’ll play who is healthy. If he’s healthy he’s going to play, and if he’s not, we feel good about the next guy.”
Washington’s backup’s are redshirt sophomore Shuler Bentley, redshirt freshman Blake LaRussa and true freshman Drayton Arnold.