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Pair of JUCO transfer quarterbacks shine at Old Dominion spring game

JUCO transfers Messiah deWeaver and Stone Smartt showed off their skills Saturday at Powhatan Field in ODU’s annual Blue and White game, giving coach Bobby Wilder a hard decision to make come fall.

The quarterback room at Old Dominion is crowded, with JUCO transfers Stone Smartt and Messiah deWeaver being at the center.

Saturday’s spring game saw both in action and contributing.

Both quarterbacks faced not only the opposing defense but also the constant, sometimes heavy rain that pushed the start of the game back an hour. Both quarterbacks also showed off their mobility as well, however rushing stats for quarterbacks were not kept, as many times the offense would line back up for pre-scripted plays, making their rushing totals subjective

deWeaver, who transferred from Sierra Junior College in Rocklin, CA lined up under center for the White team, completing 9 of his 14 passes, for 88 yards, and an interception.

“I thought it (the spring game) was pretty solid,” deWeaver remarked. “I feel like we have to get going on first downs a little bit, we caught ourselves in some second-and-long situations but early on I feel like we did a good job of getting down the field and getting early points. We just need to continue to do that going forward.”

Smartt, a transfer from Riverside City Junior College in Antelope, CA was not 100 percent for the scrimmage, as he is rehabbing from a broken wrist, which for now is still in a protective brace.

Smartt played for both teams but was not subject to full action due to the wrist injury. Smartt completed 12 of his 18 passes for 131 yards, and a touchdown.

“I enjoyed the game with the reps I had. Sitting out sucks but I was able to do what I could with my limited amount of reps,” Smartt exclaimed.

Overall, both quarterbacks played good given their circumstances, the weather, and in Smartt’s case, his wrist. There were times that it looked like Smartt stayed in the pocket too long, but I think that can be attested to not facing a pass rush. When Smartt took off, he was very productive.

“I liked how the quarterbacks played today,” said head coach Bobby Wilder. “We got Stone Smartt some good work today, he got 24 plays, 12 with each team, because of his restriction right now with the wrist injury he can’t be in a live situation but to have him throwing the ball today, he looked really impressive today.”

There is no doubt between these two quarterbacks, plus Jonah Fitzgerald, and the two injured quarterbacks, junior Steven Williams, and freshman Hayden Wolff, that coach Wilder will have a difficult task ahead in choosing a starter for the opening game against Norfolk State in the new S.B. Ballard Stadium.