ODU football adds five transfers for 2021 season

oduODU will open fall camp on Thursday with five recent transfers who will provide an inexperienced team with a needed infusion of seasoned players.

Three of the five players are from Power 5 schools.

The latest newcomers: Ali Jennings, III, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound sophomore wide receiver from West Virginia; Gerrik Vollmer, a 6-5, 313-pound redshirt junior offensive lineman from Virginia; Zack Kuntz, a 6-8, 245-pound redshirt sophomore tight end from Penn State; Roger Cray, a 5-9, 175-pound senior cornerback from Western Kentucky; and Devin Brandt-Epps, a 6-3, 283-pound freshman defensive tackle from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Junior College.

Combined with five Football Bowl Subdivision players who previously transferred to ODU and practiced this spring, the Monarchs will have nine transfers who played at other FBS schools in 2020, including six from Power 5 schools.

The Monarchs did not play last season because of the COVID pandemic.

The five previous FBS transfers: Trey Blount, a 6-2, 211-pound wide receiver from Georgia; Deeve Harris, a 6-2, 235-pound defensive end from Minnesota; Tyran Hunt, a 6-7, 313-pound offensive lineman from Maryland; D.J. Mack Jr., a 6-3, 226-pound quarterback from Central Florida; and Robert Kennedy, a 5-10, 183-pound safety from East Carolina.

Mack, a graduate of Norview High School, is in a three-way competition to start with Hayden Wolff and Stone Smartt.

Coach Ricky Rahne said he likes the fact that nine of the 10 players have at least two years of eligibility remaining.

Although Rahne isn’t a huge proponent the transfer portal and said the Monarchs will continue to primarily recruit high school players, he added that “it would be negligent of us not to pay attention to the transfer portal.

“I think it’s important to be able to add players who have played in meaningful college football games at positions all across the board.”

All 10 players will play, he said.

“We never promise anyone a starting job,” he said. “But we’re not looking to bring guys in here unless they can immediately improve our depth and play right away. They all will be competing for playing time.”

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