NORFOLK, Va. – Old Dominion University football quarterback Blake LaRussa will forego his senior season to attend Seminary School, LaRussa announced on Wednesday. LaRussa will graduate in May and plans to attend Seminary School to earn a Master’s of Divinity and become a Christian Minister.
LaRussa through a released statement said:
"It has been an incredible journey with Old Dominion football, but I would like to announce that I will be moving on from football after I graduate this spring and will be going into full-time ministry. This fall (2019) I will be going to seminary school to start my Master’s of divinity. I am so grateful for all my coaches and teammates who I have grown so close with these past four years. I want to thank all of them for all that they have done for me as well as all the support they have shown me in making this life decision. I’ve made memories with this team and these coaches that I will never forget the rest of my life. I am confident entering this next chapter of my life and excited to pursue what I have always known to be my heart's greatest desire, and that is to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ and help people find hope."
LaRussa completed 249-of-393 passes for 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, throwing for 3,015 yards. He passed for 495 yards and four touchdowns in the win over No. 13 Virginia Tech and was named National Player of the Week by multiple media outlets, as well as Conference USA Player of the Week. He was named C-USA honorable mention by the league’s coaches.
Head Coach Bobby Wilder said, "Everyone associated with our program is very proud of Blake and the decision he has made for his future. From the moment he walked on campus he represented our program “aim high” philosophy. He will always be a great representative of Old Dominion University and a future leader of our country."
ODU Quarterbacks Coach, Ron Whitcomb said, "In 2014 we recruited Blake as hard as any scholarship QB because we saw something special in him. He took a chance on Coach Wilder, myself and ODU. Whitcomb also stating, "In saying all of that, those accomplishments combined don’t equal the respect I have for who Blake is as a person and everything he has taught me. Blake has found his passion off the field, and I cannot be more happy for him as a young man!"
LaRussa led the Monarchs to a memorable 49-35 victory against nationally ranked Virginia Tech in September.
"The nationally televised game was one of the biggest upsets in the history of college football and ODU's first victory over a Power 5 school," renowned local sports writer Harry Minium said in his ODU column that announced LaRussa's decision to leave the program.
Minium said that LaRussa "announced the day after Christmas that he’s giving up his last year of eligibility to pursue service to his Christian faith."
Read more of Harry Minium's column on LaRussa's decision here.