Old Dominion University has found their man at Defensive Coordinator in the form of David Blackwell, and he won’t have to travel far, as he was recently the DC at East Carolina University.
Blackwell was also the interim Head Coach at ECU, and has been at Jacksonville State in FCS, capturing four straight Ohio Valley Conference championships while there.
Blackwell has coached in 11 bowl games over his 15 years at the FBS level including the 2004 Peach Bowl with Clemson as a linebackers coach. In 2018, the Pirates gave up an average of 169.3 yards rushing per game, better than the Monarchs’ 216.4 per game.
The change on defense is much needed after 2018 saw ODU ranked among the bottom 25 teams in most defensive categories while giving up an average of 255 yards per game through the air, and 4.7 touchdowns per game when combining rushing and passing defense.
Blackwell takes over a defense that loses career sacks leader Oshane Ximines, defensive end Daniel Appouh, defensive tackles Miles Fox and Ryan Londree, as well as linebacker Marvin Branch Jr.
Coming to the team via recruiting will be two JUCO players that Blackwell for be leaning on in his first season on the job, Elijah Golston, linebacker from Mt. San Antonio College in California, and Ryan Henry from ASA College in Miami, Florida. Both players are rated as three-star recruits and signed during the early signing period in December.
The Monarchs are also in on defensive tackle Jared Harrison-Hunte, a three-star recruit from New York, Javon Harvey, an two-star athlete that played cornerback and wide receiver out of Norfolk, Virginia, and Emmanuel Jenkins, a three-star cornerback out of Canton, Georgia.
Blackwell should be a welcome addition to the coaching staff, and it will be up to him to semi-rebuild a defense that needs to be better in 2019 for the Monarchs to achieve their goals.