Old Dominion is staring down the barrel of the gun that is one of their best, if not best recruiting classes in program history, headlined, in part by the commits of quarterbacks Hayden Wolff from Florida, and JUCO commit Stone Smartt, from California.
The QB room at Old Dominion is already crowded with talent and experience. Incumbent starter Blake LaRussa, currently a Junior, led the Monarchs to their biggest win in school history, the much publicized 49-35 shocker over then No. 13 Virginia Tech, LaRussa was also a Conference USA Honorable Mention after throwing for over 3,000 yards in 2018.
Steven Williams, who started four games at QB in 2018 as a sophomore, redshirted after throwing for 507 yards and two touchdowns. Williams is a product of Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C. and was a two-star recruit coming out of high school in 2016.
Drayton Arnold, a redshirt sophomore saw his first action for the Monarchs, going 1-for-2 with 21 yards in the win over VMI. Arnold led Myrtle Beach High School to the South Carolina State Semifinals as a senior, and was a three-star recruit coming out of high school.
Isaiah Spencer was used primarily as a wide receiver in 2018 and redshirted as a freshman coming out of Gloucester, Virginia. Jonah Fitzgerald is also a freshman and saw playing time against VMI, going 1-for-3 with 21 yards passing.
The five current quarterbacks will be joined by the aforementioned tandem of Wolff and Smartt.
Wolff comes to the Monarchs from Venice, Florida, and is ranked as the second-best recruit in ODU history, behind 2014 receiver commit Jusse Yorke, who never actually played for ODU.
Wolff is a pro-style quarterback and measures at 6ft-5in. Wolff is the 31st ranked pro-style QB in the 2019 class, Wolff led his team to the Florida 7A semifinals as a Senior. Wolff, only 17 years old, will be the youngest in the QB room but that doesn’t faze him.
“I’m obviously going to be the youngest (only 17 through April) but I feel like I’ll fit in well. I have a good relationship with Coach Whitcomb and I know I’m going to have to go in and learn from the older guys,” Wolff said.
Smartt comes to ODU from Riverside Community College in California as a dual-threat QB, Smartt brings many accolades to ODU as he was the best in California in passing efficiency, and was the So-Cal Regional Playoff MVP after passing for 31 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Smartt also ran for 583 yards and nine touchdowns.
The build up to the ODU Spring Game should be exciting, and it remains to be seen, if anyone will transfer from the program, and of course, who the starter will be once the Monarchs open the new S.B. Ballard Stadium against Norfolk State next August.
If I had to guess, I would say Stone Smartt will win the job, with Wolff redshirting, and a possible position switch for Spencer after seeing time at receiver in 2018.