Game planning relationships: NSU's Odums, players adjust to new dynamic

SWAC Championship Football
Posted at 11:15 PM, Apr 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-21 23:51:33-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Prior to Norfolk State football's hire of new head coach Dawson Odums, some Spartans football players made it clear on social media that they wanted the school to hire from within and promote interim head coach B.T. Sherman.

In the end, it was Odums who won over the university for the head coaching job and now he must win over the players, which is something one of his former Southern University athletes is confident he'll be able to do.

"He really cares about the success of the players off the field, which generates onto the field," former Southern defensive end Aaron Tiller said. "He knows how those guys wanted their guy to be the guy. That being said, he knows what he can bring to the table."

"I just want to come in and let them guys know Dawson Odums want all of you at Norfolk State University," Odums said. "Give me a chance, just like I gotta give you one. We'll work through adversity, work through our differences to do one thing: find a way every week to get better and win."

"I promise if they give it all they've got and trust the man that just got the job, they’ll be successful,” Tiller added.

It isn't just Odums' former players who hold him in high regard, but his opponents as well, including Pro Football Hall of Famer and Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders.

"He’s good for the game, he’s good for the HBCU family, can coach his butt off, proved that against us," Sanders said. "That is a loss to the [SWAC] conference. That's a loss. He can coach his butt off."