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Old Dominion scrimmages for first time in new stadium, new players contribute immediately

FSU transfer Calvin Brewton, JUCO transfers Messiah deWeaver and Stone Smartt, and freshman Javon Harvey shine in first scrimmage for Monarchs

Reese Becker

A new day dawned for Old Dominion football as they held their first scrimmage of the season, and their first scrimmage in the new Kornblau Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium.

All three of the quarterbacks in the QB battle saw time, with JUCO transfer Stone Smartt going 7-17 with an interception by Florida State grad transfer Calvin Brewton, and a rushing touchdown of about 40 yards.

“Coming to the interception, that was all on me,” Smartt said. “I made the right read but got lost on my eyes and lost visual of the safety, thought I had it on a whole shot but he was there.”

“Calvin has been playing really good football, he is the starting safety right now, playing into the boundary, he has had a good camp to this point and it was good to see him make that play tonight, I haven’t seen him do that yet in practice, make that play like that interception,” Wilder said on the FSU transfer.

JUCO transfer Messiah deWeaver went 4-9 with a touchdown pass to tight end AC White on White’s only catch of the scrimmage. Redshirt sophomore Steven Williams went 4-5 with a beautiful ball thrown to freshman Javon Harvey out of Lake Taylor (Norfolk, Va). Williams also caught four passes, all from Smartt.

“All three of them (QBs) can play, they are very similar,” Coach Bobby Wilder said. “This is different from any quarterback situation we have ever had here, all three of them are big, all three of them are athletic, all three of them have good arms so it’s really going to come down to who separates themselves over the next three weeks before the opener, right now it’s too close to call.”

“He (Harvey) has been very impressive,” Wilder said. “We could tell in the first week that he has the ability to be successful at (this) level, he is explosive, he’s got very good hand eye coordination. He catches the ball with his hands which for a freshman a lot of times they’re not confident, they will catch the ball with their body. He’s got return skills, he’ll play this year, how much will depend on how he progresses.”

Redshirt freshman Elijah “LaLa” Davis broke through for a touchdown on a three yard run while freshman Keshawn Wicks, and junior Charlotte transfer Robert Washington also broke through for big gains. I would expect Davis and redshirt senior Kesean Strong to get the bulk of the carries at running back this season.

Punter Bailey Cate got a few good punts off, including one that died at the ten yard line, while junior kicker Nick Rice looked good kicking. Will Brocchini and R’Tarriun Johnson broke up passes along with Brewton’s interception.

The new Kornblau Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium looks palatial, and has increased seating, along with multiple new concessions options, and a live DJ in the student section.

“The seating, sight lines, the leg room and everything that goes with it, the fact it’s closer to the field, the fact that it’s higher, there’s not a bad seat anywhere and you can see (the field) everywhere you sit now, you have a good angle to it,” Coach Wilder said. “It’s going to be very impactful for our program.

ODU is off Tuesday and resumes practice on Wednesday night. The new Kornblau Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium opens on August 31st when cross-town rivals Norfolk State visit the Monarchs.