Former Penn State Running Back Ricky Slade Transfers to Old Dominion

Mark Wogenrich

In his first year as Old Dominion head coach, Ricky Rahne has built a coaching staff largely around Penn State contacts. Now, he'll have a former Penn State running back on the field as well.

Ricky Slade announced Friday that he will transfer to Old Dominion. There he will reunite with Rahne, his former offensive coordinator at Penn State the past two seasons.

Slade, who has two seasons of eligibility, began 2019 with great promise. He won the starting job in training camp and started the first two games against Idaho and Buffalo.

But the emergence of Journey Brown and Noah Cain in the backfield began reducing Slade's playing time. He was part of the running back rotation but carried the ball more than five times only twice during the regular season. Slade did not make the November trip to Ohio State because of a violation of team rules, coach James Franklin said then.

After the Cotton Bowl, in which Slade had a 44-yard carry, running backs coach Ja'Juan Seider said he expected all four of his primary backs to return this season. He also had high praise for Slade, saying he expected the back to rebound from his "rollercoaster season."

"I think he was pressing," Seider said after the Cotton Bowl. "He was trying to hit the home run. ... You get in that situation and you start thinking that the staff is down on you. It's good to see how he responded against Rutgers, and even today he busted a long one. I got on him, because he hasn't run that long in a while.

"His future's still bright, no matter what people think outside this building. Ricky Slade is one of the most talented kids in the country. I still believe that."

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