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ODU's Bobby Wilder: 2 components met, 1 still to go

College SportsFootballOld Dominion MonarchsConference USABobby Wilder

Old Dominion rates high in administrative support and facilities, two areas cited by coaches and administrators as primary components of championship-caliber programs. Those two factors were practically a given, since the school decided to resurrect the program after 60 years. ODU sunk millions into infrastructure and into making ancient Foreman Field suitable for fans and FCS-level football. Once the administration chose to move up to FBS and Conference USA, further upgrades were required. Expanded football facilities and a new on-campus stadium are in the planning phase. As for head coach Bobby Wilder's criteria, the Monarchs are 2-for-3. They have a quality coaching staff that gets along and works well together. They had and have a quarterback — first, Thomas DeMarco, and presently Taylor Heinicke. They lack in the third component — continuity and balance in recruiting classes, allowing them to redshirt and develop players over four and five years. That's due largely to hitting the reset button and having to ratchet up recruiting in order to compete at the FBS level. They've had to recruit over the upperclassmen's heads in some cases, and there's been some recruiting misses and attrition, particularly on defense. It's simply too early to tell how they will fare in C-USA.

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