Ishmael Hyman, a highly-recruited wide receiver from New Jersey who signed with Kansas last year, was on the sidelines Friday morning watching Old Dominion hold a spring practice workout.
Hyman will apparently transfer from Kansas and is beginning to visit potential schools. He and his mother drove overnight from Manalapan, N.J., to Norfolk to watch the Monarchs practice, along with a teammate from St. John Vianney High School.
ODU officials did not make Hyman available for an interview and would not comment when asked about him, but he clearly would be a good addition for the Monarchs.
Hyman was a consensus 3-star recruit rated the 21st-best player in New Jersey by ESPN. A U.S. Army All-American, he played in the postseason USA Football International Bowl.
He turned down offers from Boston College, Rutgers, Syrcause, Temple, James Madison and Villanova out of high school and doubtless he will visit some of those schools as well as ODU.
Hyman, 6 feet and 180-pounds, is a speedster who finished fourth in the state high school track meet in the 200-meter run. He had 24 receptions for 428 yards and four touchdowns during his senior season, which was cut short by an injury.
NEW PLAYERS IMPRESS
Because of the snow and rain that immersed Hampton Roads through much of March, and a 9-day spring break, ODU has held just five practices in three weeks. But coach Bobby Wilder said all seven players who enrolled in January, including four junior college transfers, have impressed.
Most impressive, he said, has been Jusse Yorke, a junior college wide receiver from ASA College in New York. “He’s probably made the biggest impact as far as the ability to run routes and catch the ball. He would be the one that if you asked a majority of the players, they’d say I’ve really noticed him. And that’s hard to do in our group of wide receivers.”
Juco transfers Martez Simpson, Reece Schmidt and Kohl Adams-Hurd are listed as co-starters at the three linebacking positions.
“All three have made a strong impression,” Wilder said. “We know they can play. The question is, at what level are they capable of playing?”
Darius Garcia, a prep school transfer from Richmond on the offensive line, was thought to be a likely redshirt this fall. But Wilder said: “He’s already proven he can play at this level. If he stays on the pace he’s on, may work himself into the rotation.”
It will be much tougher for defensive tackle Torrez Wentz, who graduated from high school early, because the depth is deeper on the D line. “I pulled him aside after a recent practice and told him that he flashed,” Wilder said. “I asked him, ‘do you know what that means?’ He didn’t. When you flash, the head coach noticed you doing some positive things.”
Safety Justin Noye, another high school player who graduated early, is also expected to play even though he’s making the transition from high school quarterback to college safety.
“Justin is making very good progress,” Wilder said. “But it’s difficult transition because he was a high school quarterback trying to play safety against some of the top receivers in the country. There’s not a lot of positive reinforcement that happens in practice.”
NEW DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR? NOPE.
There was quite a stir on the Internet earlier this week when bloggers discovered ODU is advertising for a new defensive coordinator.
Does that mean, curious people wanted to know, that Rich Nagy is out as defensive coordinator?
That’s not the case at all, Wilder said. ODU is posting that position to adhere to state and federal regulations.
“Rich Nagy was an emergency hire, so we could move him into the coordinator position immediately,” Wilder said. “But we now have to go through the process of advertising and hiring for the position.”
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