The Old Dominion Monarchs and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers have much more in common than the average college football fan would think.
For starters, Western Kentucky University is new to Conference USA. The Hilltoppers will officially move to Conference-USA in 2014 after leaving the Sun Belt Conference.
Another similarity is that Old Dominion’s current athletic director, Wood Selig oversaw Western Kentucky’s move to the Football Bowl Subdivision before he decided to come back to his hometown in of Norfolk and oversee the Monarchs’ athletics.
The Hilltoppers wrapped up their final season as Sun Belt Conference members on a high note after setting 18 new offensive records under Bobby Petrino, first-year head coach. Western Kentucky went 8-4 overall and 4-3 in the Sun Belt Conference in 2013.
The Hilltoppers will return most of their starters for the 2014 season but graduate four of their top six running backs and all three starting linebackers.
Western Kentucky signed a total of 15 recruits for the 2014 season. Jared Dangerfield, Dejon Brown, DeAndre Farris, D’Andre Ferby, Nick True, Dennis Edwards, and Nacarius Fant are among the three-star recruits that have signed with them.
Edwards is an offensive lineman and was named as a first-team all-county player by the Gwinnett Daily Post and ranks among the top 20 centers in the nation.
Fant joins the Hilltoppers as a wide receiver after tallying 1,701 receiving yards and 25 touchdowns on 83 receptions as a senior at Bowling Green High Sschool. He’s is ranked as the No. 7 player in the state of Kentucky by 247sports.
Ferby is a running back who joins the Hilltoppers after rushing for 1,322 yards and 22 touchdowns in eight games. He’s is ranked as the No. 34 prospect in Tennessee by ESPN.com.
It will be interesting to see how the Hilltoppers deal with losing a few key starters and the other number of changes that have recently occurred. The Hilltoppers hope to be successful under the leadership of Petrino who will only be in his second year as head coach and the move to Conference USA.
The Old Dominion Monarchs will face the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers on Oct. 25 at L.T. Smith Stadium in Bowling Green, Kentucky.