Believin’ in Steven: ODU hands offense over to 17-year-old freshman QB Steven Williams

ODU QB Steven Williams

NORFOLK, Va. - Old Dominion quarterback Steven Williams expected to contribute to the team during Saturday's loss to North Carolina.

Williams way of helping? Signaling the play in from the sideline to the starting quarterback on the field, because Williams - just a true freshman - was listed third on the QB depth chart for the game. Williams is no longer third on the QB depth chart. At just 17 years old, Williams is the Monarchs' new starting quarterback.

"They just said 'let's go," Williams, who was expected to redshirt this season, explained after the game. "I was kind of shocked, but I just knew I had to go out there and help my team. They were all behind me."

Seeking an identity for his bumbling, bewildered offense, ODU head coach Bobby Wilder inserted Williams late in the second quarter against the Tar Heels with the Monarchs trailing 39-7.

With the true freshman trigger man, ODU actually outscored UNC from that point on. What Williams did in his first collegiate action was not enough to help his team beat North Carolina. However, it was enough for the lefty, just one year removed from earning his driver's license, to receive the keys to the Monarchs' offense.

ODU football Bobby Wilder, Stevie Williams

"He's got the strongest arm maybe of any quarterback who's ever played in this program," Wilder revealed. "He got a lot of people involved Saturday. He has the ability to be a very good football player. He throws it well, he runs it well - I'm excited for him to get his first career start against Virginia Tech."

That's correct. Saturday, Williams will make his first collegiate start against ODU's first ever ranked opponent at the football bowl subdivision (FBS) level. The Monarchs travel to 13th ranked Virginia Tech for a 2:00 date Saturday in Blacksburg.

"I think this is the best football team we have ever played and it’s probably not that close," Wilder admitted. "We’ve played some really good ones but I think Virginia Tech is by far the best team we’ve ever played and this will be a monumental task on Saturday, but one we’ll be excited for."