NORFOLK (WAVY) — Old Dominion coach Bobby Wilder, fresh off signing a five-year contract extension, was all fired up as the Monarchs opened up spring practice on Saturday.
ODU, which won 10 games last season, returns 57 players with playing experience including 14 seniors. The Monarchs also redshirted 30 players last season.
“We’re creating depth, which means we are creating competition,” Wilder said. “We haven’t always have a lot of competition here, and now in the spring we’ve got that competition.”
Wilder also announced his four team captains for the season, defensive back Brandon Addison, defensive linemen Oshane Ximines and Bunmi Rotimi along with wide receiver Jonathan Duhart. Captains aren’t normally named this early, but coach Wilder said those four players were the clear-cut stand out team leaders.
“It’s a great honor I get to represent my teammates,” Brandon Addison said.
“Since I was a freshman I’ve always tried to lead by example,” Oshane Ximines said. “If somebody see’s you doing the right thing they will try to do the right thing, it’s an honor being named team captain.”
Bunmi Rotimi added, “Coach Wilder himself, he told us he usually does not do it this early, so I did not see it coming but I’m humbled and honored.”
Coach Wilder was sporting khaki pants, very similar to the pants that Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh wears. Wilder and Harbaugh are friends, but Wilder said Harbaugh had no influence on him.
“I wear these khakis in practice all the time, they are the Under Armour ones now,” Wilder jokingly said. “I don’t wear them 24-7 like my friend Jim Harbaugh at Michigan, I think he wears his to bed, he wears them working out, I’m not sure if he wears them when he showers, but he wears them all the time. I wear these at practice, it’s a comfort level, you’ve got to be comfortable, comfortable in your own skin.”
ODU plays its spring game on April 15 in conjunction with the Priority Automotive Charity Bowl.