MEAC Media Day_ Dawson Odums in search of explosive Norfolk State offense, disciplined protection
NORFOLK — For Norfolk State soccer coach Dawson Odums, media day is one other checkpoint within the race to get to the soccer season.
Norfolk State is simply 43 days away from its first sport of the 2023 season, the Labor Day Traditional sport in opposition to Virginia State.
Odums was joined by offensive lineman Baron Franks II and defensive again Joseph White on the Hilton Lodge for MEAC Media Day on Friday.
“When you get to media day you understand soccer is true across the nook,” Odums stated. “I feel the anticipation of the 2023 season has some pleasure within the air. Our schedule, we’ve got 4 dwelling video games, that I feel can be nice, nice environments and an incredible environment to play in.”
Final season was a down yr for Odums in his third yr at Norfolk State. The Spartans completed 2-9 and had the lowest-scoring offense within the MEAC.
Norfolk State was picked to complete No. 5 within the convention by MEAC coaches and sports activities data administrators and landed 4 gamers on the preseason All-MEAC second groups.
To enhance this yr, Odums and new offensive coordinator Ray Pickering wish to create extra explosive performs on offense.
“We added somewhat bit extra creativity (and) modified the offensive coordinator, which has actually opened up our offense,” Odums stated. “We additionally went out and recruited some extra explosive gamers on offense. I actually assume the pace of the sport is admittedly what impacts groups and I feel our slot receivers can be rather a lot sooner this yr. We’re gonna be capable of stretch folks down the sector.”
Franks stated it’s been nice attending to know Pickering’s system, but additionally the coach as an individual since he was employed. Going into spring follow, Odums stated the offensive line was one of many crew’s largest query marks. Now, Franks feels just like the unit has grown and is motivated to convey a championship again to Norfolk State.
“I really feel as if our guys have put in plenty of work within the offseason,” Franks stated. “We had a tough season final yr, but it surely’s not one thing that we will dwell on. We are able to solely get higher and that’s the place plenty of our focus is at this level.”
Norfolk State nonetheless hasn’t named a beginning quarterback for its season opener, however there can be a contest as soon as fall camp begins. Otto Kuhns was the starter for almost all of final season, however Odums additionally added Florida A&M switch Cameron Sapp, Hinds Group School switch Ruben “Deuce” Lee II and Virginia switch Mark Wagner II to the quarterback room this offseason.
“We’ve received a number of guys which are competing for the beginning job,” Odums stated. “I feel we received a man that’s returning that’s gotten rather a lot higher. However I feel competitors is what allowed that room to be actually, actually good. We didn’t have the competitors at that place a yr in the past, now we’ve added some folks to that room … that’s been the distinction if you take a look at the groups which have received the championships on this convention. Quarterback play is crucial. I feel we received some very proficient ones however the one which rises to the highest, I consider he’ll give us a chance to win a championship.”
On protection, White and Odums each confused the significance self-discipline will play as a younger crew is gaining extra expertise.
“I really feel like we improved probably the most with self-discipline,” White stated. “A variety of guys are extra targeted on what’s at hand and the aim that we’ve got. So I really feel like everyone got here collectively mindset-wise.
White transferred to Norfolk State from Virginia and made a direct influence final season. The Virginia Seaside native and Landstown Excessive grad totaled 43 tackles and two interceptions final yr.
“From tackling, to catching interceptions, to being a pacesetter to the blokes that don’t know what they’re doing or might need assistance…I simply need to assist my crew in each approach potential,” White stated.
Norfolk State employed Frank Wilson as the brand new cornerbacks coach final month and Odums stated his native ties are an enormous plus for this system.
“I feel he’s executed an incredible job with our corners,” Odums stated. “He comes extremely really helpful, he’s been at ODU earlier than so he is aware of the 757. So he has an incredible understanding of the panorama of Virginia and I feel that’s essential. So not solely did we get an incredible individual, we received an incredible coach, however we received a man that understands the Commonwealth state.”
A Norfolk State Athletic Division’s spokesperson confirmed that operating backs coach Donovan Tate departed this system for one more job Thursday. Tate was employed this offseason from Chisholm Trails Excessive College.
Odums stated for any hires he makes sooner or later he can be in search of somebody, like Wilson, who is an efficient individual along with being coach.
“I feel every rent we make going ahead is a folks rent,” Odums stated. “I actually consider that’s one of many belongings you’ve received to have on a employees, is you bought to place nice folks round one another. All of them can coach, but it surely’s these different intangibles, since you’re asking them to pour into younger males. And to try this you’ve received to be an incredible individual.”
MEAC Preseason Ballot
North Carolina Central Howard South Carolina State Morgan State Norfolk State Delaware State
Norfolk State Gamers on Preseason All-MEAC Groups
OL Vincent Byrd Jr., Second Staff Offense
DL Anthony Blue, Second Staff Protection
DB Joseph White, Second Staff Protection
DB R.J. Coles, Second Staff Protection
Michael Sauls, firstname.lastname@example.org, (757) 803-5774