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Top 10 returning players at Old Dominion are highlighted by Zack Kuntz and Ali Jennings III

What the Old Dominion faculty soccer staff did in 2021 was nothing in need of awe-inspiring. Their prime 10 returning players had been all integral of their shock success from a season in the past, as ODU returns a bulk of their offense and some potential stars on protection. Hayden Wolff threw for 9 touchdowns throughout a five-game successful streak to clinch bowl eligibility for the Monarchs final season, only a yr faraway from opting out and not taking part in a down of soccer in 2020.

For each convention’s prime returning players: AAC | ACC | B1G | Big 12 | Conference USA | Independents | MAC | Mountain West | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt

Top 10 returning players at Old Dominion

The countdown to the common season continues right here throughout Pro Football Network’s Top 10 Returning Players collection. We’ve crossed the nation to the Sun Belt and are firmly entrenching ourselves throughout the southeastern portion of the nation with our look into every FBS staff. Looking solely at players returning to their similar staff from a season in the past — we’ll cope with transfers later –, we’re counting down all the highest 10 players returning to motion on each staff. Here are the highest returners from Old Dominion.

10) Nick Saldiveri, OT

The proper aspect is terrific for ODU as Nick Saldiveri returns to maintain his quarterback clear and his operating again churning out large performs. At 6’6″ and 315 kilos, Saldiveri has prototypical dimension and strikes higher than you’d anticipate a person his dimension to maneuver.

He’ll push defenders again in go safety or get in entrance of the dashing assault with an excellent first step and terrific footwork. Saldiveri is certainly one of 4 returning starters on the offensive line, as this unit could also be among the finest within the convention.

9) Leroy Thomas, G

Of the 4 returning starters, the large title amongst that group is Leroy Thomas. ODU’s proper guard continues to show doubters fallacious. He performed in additional snaps than anybody on offense (1,060) and was ODU’s nominee for the Burlsworth Trophy, which is given to the highest former walk-on nationally. Thomas has an excellent anchor and sturdy steadiness by contact whereas additionally presenting as a sound blocker in area on run performs.

8) Amorie Morrison, EDGE

Perhaps one of many higher edge-rushing models within the Group of FIVE returns to ODU this season, as Amore Morrison kicks off a trio of proficient edge defenders. Morrison is the down lineman of the group, discovering the gaps in between opposing sort out and guard combos commonly. This unit stays recent and brings in a ton of havoc off the sting. Morrison provides a component along with his size and sound method in every side.

7) Marcus Haynes, EDGE

It was a toss-up at this stage between this trio, as Marcus Haynes returns to as soon as once more trigger havoc along with his teammates. Haynes is a giant EDGE at 6’4″ and 251 kilos. He’ll rush from a stand-up place as an off-ball linebacker greater than the remaining, as he can make the most of his nice imaginative and prescient to search out the weak spots off the sting. Haynes is a scholar of the sport, and that’s evident as he picks and chooses his pictures properly, ending to the tune of the staff lead in sacks and tackles for loss a season in the past.

6) Deeve Harris, EDGE

Deeve Harris is the ultimate member of the terrific EDGE trio returning at ODU. Together, this trio mixed for 11.5 sacks and 16 tackles for loss. Harris is a continuing power off the road of scrimmage, utilizing his size and velocity mixture to hurry from a stand-up place and get residence with a bevy of pressures on the season. What separates Harris from the trio is his potential to persistently win in every side in addition to his extremely excessive motor.

5) Hayden Wolff, QB

It was Wolff who led the Monarchs on a five-game successful streak after taking again over in Week 7 because the staff’s starter. Nine of Wolff’s 10 touchdowns got here throughout that five-game successful streak, clinching bowl eligibility of their first season since opting out of the 2020 COVID-19 yr.

At 6’5″, Wolff has terrific dimension and brings with him an intriguing arm. When he’s on, he can contact each degree of the sector, discovering nice success exterior the numbers on deep pictures. Consistency might be key for his development in 2022, however what he confirmed over final season’s stretch is promising.

4) R’Tarriun Johnson, S

Taking the lengthy method to main faculty soccer, it’s been a formidable journey for R’Tarriun Johnson. After touchdown as one of many prime JUCO prospects, Johnson redshirted in 2019, sat out with the staff in 2020, and exploded on the scene in 2021.

Johnson completed with two interceptions and six go breakups whereas ending second on the staff with 91 whole tackles. His potential to shut area in protection is one factor, however Johnson is a menacing power when he comes downhill in opposition to the run. He’s a sound tackler and has great energy to cease any operating again and even cowl tight ends from an inline place or the slot.

3) Blake Watson, RB

Putting the time period “bell cow” to good use, Blake Watson set the ODU program document for single-season carries a season in the past. He took these 215 dashing makes an attempt for 1,112 yards and eight touchdowns, averaging 101.1 yards per sport.

Most importantly, Watson introduced a constant problem for opposing defenses to cease as he hit the 100-yard mark in 5 straight video games and six instances on the season. Watson additionally has an amazing all-around potential as a go catcher and as a kick returner, the place he was named to the all-conference staff again in 2019.

2) Ali Jennings III, WR

Averaging 17.4 yards per catch, Ali Jennings III is the epitome of a downfield menace. Finishing with 1,063 yards and 5 scores on the season, Jennings wanted simply 61 receptions to cross the 1,000-yard mark.

Jennings makes use of his great dimension to bully defenders alongside his routes whereas presenting a problem at each the catch level and after the catch. He spent two seasons at West Virginia previous to bursting onto the scene in a giant manner for the Monarchs in 2021. Jennings must be among the finest receivers within the Sun Belt this fall.

1) Zack Kuntz, TE

Standing tall, actually, above the competitors, Zack Kuntz returns as ODU’s prime participant in 2022. Kuntz ideas the charts at a whopping 6’8″ and 245 kilos and is dependable in each side. He recorded 73 receptions a season in the past, scoring 5 touchdowns and averaging 9.5 yards per catch.

Kuntz dominated over the center of the sector the place he persistently churned out first downs and drive-extending performs left and proper. He’s a sound run blocker in addition to in go safety, even when he’s hardly tasked with that. The former Penn State TE must be on everybody’s record of prime 2023 NFL Draft tight ends.

(*10*)Honorable point out players returning to Old Dominion in 2022

  • Elijah Davis, RB
  • Ryan Henry, LB
  • D.J. Mack Jr., QB
  • Javon Harvey, WR
  • Khadere Kounta, LT
  • Tyran Hunt, G

Cam Mellor is the Senior Director of the College Football/NFL Draft vertical for Pro Football Network. You can discover his writing right here and follow him on Twitter: @CamMellor.

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