Norfolk State University head football coach Dawson Odums saw his team complete its first week of Fall Camp on Tuesday morning inside William “Dick” Price Stadium.
“We did some good things, and we did some bad things, but that’s camp,” Odums said. “I thought the effort was great. The attention to detail was there after four practices. Now we get into that second week, and this is where camp is the most challenging.”
Odums recognized the program was not as sharp as he would have liked during Tuesday’s practice but said the coaching staff will be adding additional plays as NSU will close out the week with a scrimmage.
The Spartans were picked to finish fifth in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Not only are some of the players new, but Norfolk State welcomes five coaches to the program, including offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ray Pickering.
Spartans hoping coaching staff additions bring the juice
Pickering came to NSU from the University of Texas. Joining Pickering as newcomers to the coaching staff are Lamont Butler (defensive line), Kevin Weston (linebackers), Frank Wilson Jr. (cornerbacks) and Shawn Thomas (special teams assistant).
“It’s all about giving people chances and opportunities,” Odums said. “Life is about chance, and a lot of times, we never know who the great one is going to be because we didn’t give them a chance. I always look at that in coaching.”
“He (Pickering) brings a lot of juice and a lot of fire. He demands the expectation of excellence. I think it has to be like that if you want to be a great coach. You have to demand and expect your players to play at a level of excellence that is second to none.”
Quarterback still remains undecided
The Spartans’ depth at some of the skill positions has led to several key preseason battles, including at quarterback.
“They can play,” Odums said about the quarterbacks. “Their decision-making on every snap is not where we want it to be right now, but it is trending in the right direction, yes. The attention to detail in that room is where you don’t see them making the same mistakes over again and continuing to grow in the position.
We’re excited about that room, and whoever we decide is going to be the starter, not only will they be the starter, but they will have the tools to be a really good quarterback.”
Odums was quick not to name a starter and said the competition between all quarterbacks is wide open as the Spartans head into their first scrimmage, which is Saturday at Dick Price Stadium.
Courtesy: Norfolk State Athletics