It’s a good thing Osbourn Park’s (Manassas, VA) Quillie Odom can play with pain. Had he not played almost his entire junior season with a broken thumb, perhaps he wouldn’t have earned a scholarship from Virginia Tech. But he did and, on Tuesday, became the first player to commit to the Hokies for the 2007 class.
Odom thought he had just jammed his thumb during a preseason football practice, but, when the thumb was hit the next day while he was playing basketball, he knew something more was wrong. He had indeed suffered a break and ending up missing the first two games of the season because of the injury.
“It was a lot of pain,” said Odom, who had pins inserted into his thumb. “I just sucked up the pain and played with it. I played with a cast. I wrapped it up as tight as I could. I didn’t care if I could feel it or not. Once I got in the game, there was just no pain after that. I had the opportunity to make plays at middle linebacker and show everybody what I could do.”
In what turned out to be a productive junior season, Odom racked up 72 tackles and earned first-team all-Cedar Run district and all-Northwest region honors for his performance. The 6-1, 200-pound standout also earned an honorable mention on the all-state squad.
“Coach Beaty just put me in a position to make plays on my own,” Odom said. “He felt putting me at linebacker would give me a better opportunity to move all over the field and make plays. Sometimes I’ll just read the quarterback and get to the quarterback. I had a lot of sacks.
“I feel like I played to the best of my abilities and I’m only going to get better.”
A good all-around athlete, Odom is a guard on the varsity basketball squad. He is also very accomplished in karate, which he has taken since he was 11 years old. He doesn’t do karate anymore, but says he has enhanced his balance and agility.
As for his other strengths on the gridiron, Odom says “I like just going to the ball. Wherever the ball’s at, I’m going to be there. I’ll take on all blockers and go thru anybody.”
As a result of his junior season performance, Odom was receiving serious interest this past month from Virginia Tech, Syracuse and Marshall, among others. Virginia Tech assistant Torrian Gray made initial contact with Odom in April and Tech continued its recruitment throughout the month of May.
Committing early wasn’t...
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