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Old Dominion University's football program and head coach Bobby Wilder got significant attention today, national signing day, with an article in The New York Times about the university's unconventional recruiting for a team that doesn't begin play until 2009.

In "A Year of Good Intentions for Monarchs' Recruits," Times reporter Adam Himmelsbach notes that while other programs use tradition and recent success as their main recruiting tool, Old Dominion has had to show virtual game days on a computer and give tours of a stadium and practice facility under construction for the fledgling program. Nonetheless, Wilder is expected to sign today a recruiting class of at least 20 scholarship students, several of whom originate from the region.

"Wilder focused much of his recruiting effort within a 25-mile radius of Norfolk. Looking for good high school players in the area is like looking for shoppers at a mall. The N.F.L. players Michael Vick, Aaron Brooks, Ronald Curry and Plaxico Burress all played for high school teams in the region, as did current college stars like Florida wide receiver Percy Harvin and Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor," the story points out.

You can read the full story at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/06/sports/ncaafootball/06odu.html?ex=1202965200&en=cc28100327b625c6&ei=5070&emc=eta1.

Today, Feb. 6, is the NCAA national letter of intent day for football, where high school players across the country make their college choices official. Wilder will hold a press conference today at 4:30 p.m. in the Ted Constant Convocation Center to announce Old Dominion's initial recruiting class. Tomorrow, the Monarchs will hold a walk-on tryout at 3 p.m. at Foreman Field for current students interested in playing on the ODU football team.

The Old Dominion community and football fans from around the region are invited to the Thursday tryouts. All are urged to wear their ODU gear and cheer on the prospects for the new team.

The athletic department will begin accepting football season ticket applications on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 10 a.m. Call the Constant Center box office at 683-4444, or order online at www.odusports.com.

This article was posted on: February 6, 2008

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.