Title image via Naje Murray
Courtesy of Brian Howard, Asst. AD/Communications,Norfolk State Athletics
NORFOLK, Va. | The Norfolk State University football team held its annual Green & Gold scrimmage and Junior Day on a cold and windy day at William “Dick” Price Stadium on Saturday.
With temperatures in the high 40s and light rain, fans had their first look at the young Spartan football program as head coach Dawson Odumscontinues to see improvement during spring camp.
“It was cold today,” Odums said about the weather conditions as the team scrimmaged for approximately two hours. “It was chilly. All-in-all, I thought we did some good things and did some bad things. I thought the quarterback play has been consistent during this spring camp and our running backs have done a good job.”
Offensively, Odums said the offensive line goes about seven to eight guys deep and that they have gotten better during spring camp.
“Our tight end group has really shined and of course Aaron Moore, who has transferred in, has had a great spring and continue to see his improvement, Odums said. “Our running backs are ahead of schedule. The two guys who are returning from a year ago are playing well, Jaylen White, Lex Henry, Jordin Lennon and Kevon King all had bright spots today.”
At quarterback, Ruben Lee III showcased his talents in front of the fans and media.
Lee, a transfer from Hinds Community College, saw action in four games last season, throwing for a season-best 212 yards against Northwest.
“He’s had pretty good command of the offense since he’s been here,” Odums said. “He does a lot of good things – making the right decisions. I think when you make the right decisions at quarterback, you give us a chance to be consistent and give us a chance to stay on the field on third down. I thought we were able to do that at quarterback.”
Odums said the team continues to improve and get better with each practice and has a long way to go for the season opener on September 2 at home against Virginia State.
Defensively, the Spartans will be looking to eliminate the big plays.
“We gave up some big plays – two big passing plays, but we fit the run a lot better,” he said. “(Terique) Miles at linebacker made a lot of plays today. The defensive line was very active but had some penalties. Overall, the effort was there. Today we had a great competitive scrimmage, and we know we have a long way go and a lot of improving to do.”
Odums said the team is very eager to get back after the season the Spartans had in 2022 and the team has done well putting last season behind them to be able to move forward for the upcoming campaign.
“Hopefully going into the summer workouts and as we finish spring ball that we get ready for fall camp,” he said. “This football team will look different, play different and hopefully that will lead to more wins.”
The Spartans have one more week of spring practice before turning its attention to summer workouts.
The annual Green & Gold scrimmage highlighted the day full of activities in athletics on Saturday.
The NSU softball team wrapped up its Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) series against South Carolina State at 11 a.m. and the baseball team concluded its Northeast Conference (NEC) series with Long Island (LIU) also at 11 a.m. The tennis teams competed in Virginia Beach at 12 p.m. against North Carolina Central.