Old Dominion sputtered to a 1-11 season last year and finished winless in Conference USA, but Friday brought about newfound hope for a turnaround in the near future as former Penn State running back Ricky Slade announced that he will play for first-year coach Rick Rahne and the Monarchs. Rahne had been an assistant at Penn State for six years prior to taking over the Monarchs this offseason.
Needless to say, the addition of Slade is the biggest news for the program since it upset Virginia Tech in September 2018. Slade, a former five-star prospect and No. 27 overall player as the top-ranked all-purpose running back in the 2018 class, will be the highest-ranked recruit to play for Old Dominion, which moved up to the FBS level prior to the 2013 season.
Slade had 214 rushing yards and two touchdowns as a sophomore in 2019 in addition to his 257 yards and six touchdowns as a freshman in 2018. Journey Brown had 890 yards and 12 touchdowns last season for the Nittany Lions and would have limited Slade's touches in 2020 had the former five-star prospect remained with the Penn State program.
The 5-foot-9, 198-pound native of Woodbridge, Virginia, has two seasons of eligibility remaining unless he receives and immediate eligibility waiver from the NCAA to participate in the 2020 season.