Patriots' Londree Picks Football, ODU

Ryan Londree admits that basketball will always be his first love. But it's not the sport the Albemarle High School senior will be playing in college.

Londree just started playing football as a freshman at AHS. But he was an All-Commonwealth District selection on both sides of the ball as a junior -- including a first-team pick on defense -- and he's rated as a two-star defensive lineman by

Londree has made recent visits to Duke and Richmond, and had been receiving interest from several other in-state schools. But the 6-3, 280-lb. defensive tackle committed to Old Dominion after visiting the school last month.

"I just liked the environment down there," Londree said Tuesday. "The coaches are great; they treated me like family when I came to visit. And I just felt like I was home."

In 2014 -- Londree's first year in college -- ODU will complete the transition to FBS-level football, when the Monarchs begin play as a member of Conference USA.

Londree was recruited by ODU defensive line coach Bill Dee. The Monarchs were the first program to offer Londree a scholarship, and he accepted the same day.

"I think it's a great fit for Ryan. He loved the school, the coaches. It's a program that's on the rise," said Albemarle football coach Mike Alley. "As you know, they're going into Conference USA next season. So I think Ryan's very lucky and blessed."

"It's very exciting," Londree said of his commitment. "The pressure is off my back now, trying to find a college to go to. But now I'm just going to focus on my senior year, and then go to college."

Alley also thinks Londree's relative inexperience on the football field is a positive.

"I think what's a benefit to the team at ODU is that they're getting a kid that's still green," Alley said. "He's got a lot of room to grow, and he's doing well now."

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