LaRussa leads QB competition as ODU readies for fall camp

ODU QB Blake LaRussa

NORFOLK, Va. - Tuesday, we learned Newport News native Michael Vick will be inducted into the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame the weekend his Hokies host Old Dominion for the first time ever.

Who will be under center for the Monarchs on September 23rd for that date vs. Tech?

Sophomore Blake LaRussa, a Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School product, will enter fall practice as the starting quarterback.

"Blake earned the right to be the starter going into preseason camp," ODU head football coach Bobby Wilder told News 3 following his Monday appearance at the Norfolk Sports Club. In 2016, LaRussa appeared in 10 games after redshirting in 2015. During his '16 action, he completed 14-of-24 passes for 140 yards and one interception.

ODU QB Drayton Arnold

On LaRussa's heels is redshirt freshman Drayton Arnold. Neither of those two quarterbacks have ever thrown a touchdown pass in a college game.

Hoping to challenge LaRussa and Arnold for playing time in 2017 are newcomers Jordan Hoy and Stevie Williams.

Williams is a true freshman from Washington, D.C. Wilder admits ODU hopes to redshirt Williams this season.

Hoy is a transfer from Fullerton (CA) Community College. Last season, he completed 246-of-391 passes for 3,434 yards and 37 touchdowns while rushing 131 times for 712 yards and nine touchdowns.

"I've already met with Jordan and Stevie to let them know there's a number one and a number two going into camp - but they're going to have an opportunity to compete," Wilder explained. "These four weeks leading up to August, they're practicing with their teammates on their own. They're going to have the opportunity to compete this year."

He also added, just because LaRussa is the leader entering camp - the depth chart is far from set in stone.

"I've always felt at quarterback, you have to let the competition develop," Wilder said. "We're going to let it play out at quarterback just like we do at every other position. Last year's season was five months long, so it doesn't necessarily matter who starts - what matters is who finishes and how well they play."

ODU opens the 2017 season at home vs. Albany September 2nd.