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Southern stays local with a signing class that has Dawson Odums focused not just on next year, but the future

Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Southern coach Dawson Odums speaks to fans and supporters about his recruiting class on Wednesday night in the Smith-Brown Memorial student union.

Southern football coach Dawson Odums said his approach to recruiting has always been the “tank-of-gas” method. That means zeroing in on territory that can be reached in driving that requires a tank of gas or less. On Wednesday, Odums said this year’s class reflected that approach: 13 of his 24 players are from Louisiana. More significantly, though, four… Continue reading →

Southern awaits answers from its recruiting class

Advocate file photo by VERONICA DOMINACH--  John Curtis' Devon Benn, left, is commited to Southern

Southern will start getting answers to some important questions when scholarship papers begin rolling in Wednesday morning. The primary questions are: Did slipping to third place in the Southwestern Athletic Conference West Division after two consecutive seasons as division champion make the Jaguars less attractive to recruits? Did Southern land the players it… Continue reading →

Dawson Odums “leaning toward” relinquishing Southern defensive coordinator duties

Southern coach Dawson Odums said he’s “leaning toward” hiring a defensive coordinator to take those duties off his hands. Odums has held the dual roles since being promoted to interim head coach two games into the 2012 season, and he’s considering how to revamp his staff in the wake of four departures last month. The recent firing… Continue reading →

Madison Prep linebacker Cedric Triplett commits to Southern

Madison Prep linebacker Cedric Triplett didn’t recognize the number calling his cell phone when he was out with friends. Triplett took a chance and answered and found out Southern University coach Dawson Odums was ready to take a chance on him. Odums called to offer the 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior a scholarship. And Triplett committed to the… Continue reading →

Southern star Willie Quinn is among FCS first-team All-Americans

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Southern wide receiver Willie Quinn

Southern wide receiver/return specialist Willie Quinn won two major national awards Tuesday. The junior from Miami was named a Football Championship Subdivision first-team All-American as well as the Special Teams Player of the Year from programs representing historically black colleges and u. Quinn returned four kickoffs and one punt for touchdowns this season. He led the SWAC and… Continue reading →

Grambling and Alcorn State meet again for SWAC championship in Houston

Associated Press photo by MAX BECHERER -- Grambling offensive lineman Trey Goins (52) and defensive lineman D'Angelo Butler-Gatson celebrate after winning the Bayou Classic against Southern last week in New Orleans. The Tigers face Alcorn State on Saturday in the SWAC Championship Game in Houston.

HOUSTON — As Grambling cruised its way to an undefeated record in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, one speed bump almost derailed the ride. While the Tigers won eight of their nine conference games by double digits, Grambling needed a blocked extra-point attempt in overtime to beat Alcorn State on Oct. 17. On Saturday in the SWAC… Continue reading →

Southern shakeup: Dawson Odums fires 3 defensive assistants, co-offensive coordinator Chad Germany resigns

Advocate file photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Southern coach Dawson Odums reacts to a call against his team during a game against Jackson State on Sept. 19 at A.W. Mumford Stadium. Odums fired defensive line coach Myron Jackson, linebackers coach Lorick Atkinson and cornerbacks coach Chris Scott on Wednesday.

Southern coach Dawson Odums is overhauling his coaching staff. Odums, who doubles as defensive coordinator, fired three assistants Wednesday — defensive line coach Myron Jackson, linebackers coach Lorick Atkinson and cornerbacks coach Chris Scott. Co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Chad Germany resigned to pursue other opportunities. Germany, who is also recruiting coordinator, will stay on staff until… Continue reading →

Monday morning rewind: Southern

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Grambling State Tigers cornerback Dwight Amphy (3) breaks up a pass intended for Southern University Jaguars wide receiver Randall Menard (87) in the end zone during the first quarter Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, of the 42nd annual Bayou Classic at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Coming up Southern (6-5, 6-3 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference) heads into the offseason having finished third in the SWAC West division after winning the division the previous two seasons. The Jaguars’ coaches will try to take advantage of the early start to the offseason by hitting the recruiting trail to try and fill approximately two dozen openings… Continue reading →

Les East: Bayou Classic loss sums up Southern’s season quite well — the Jaguars couldn’t sustain success against the SWAC’s best

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Southern University Jaguars head coach Dawson Odums, left, and Grambling State Tigers head coach Broderick Fobbs shake hands after the game Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, of the 42nd annual Bayou Classic at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Gambling won 34-23.

The last game of Southern’s football season was a lot like the team’s season as a whole. The Jaguars played well enough to build the biggest lead against Southwestern Athletic Conference West Division champion Grambling when it took a 20-3 second-quarter edge in the Bayou Classic on Saturday. But, as was the case much of the… Continue reading →

After a few hiccups, Grambling’s defense stands strong and stops Southern in the Bayou Classic

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Southern running back Lenard Tillery loses the ball after absorbing a hit from the Grambling defense during the second quarter of the Bayou Classic.

It was fitting that Grambling defensive end Michael Jolivet sacked Austin Howard to finish off Southern’s last-gasp drive Saturday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The play capped a game of comebacks for Grambling and sealed a 34-23 win at the 42nd Bayou Classic. For a maligned defense that fell into a 20-3 hole early in the second… Continue reading →

Ted Lewis: Its football team back on top after Bayou Classic win, ‘Grambling will never die’

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Grambling State Tigers head coach Broderick Fobbs  passes the trophy to a player after the Grambling State Tigers won 34-23 win over the Southern University Jaguars Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, during the 42nd annual Bayou Classic at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Grambling football, former Tigers quarterback and coach Doug Williams likes to say, has special meaning and standing in the sport. But in Williams’ second go-round, that something unfortunately meant chaos in the program in 2013, the embarrassment of having to forfeit a game after a player boycott and going through three coaches that season, which concluded with… Continue reading →

Grambling 34, Southern 23: The Bayou Classic is rolling again, but find out why recruiting will be important to keep the momentum

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Grambling coach Broderick Fobbs, right, and linebackers coach Terrence Graves celebrate after the Tigers beat Southern 34-23 Saturday to win the Bayou Classic.

These teams can play a little defense after all. Both Southern and Grambling have been defined primarily by their high-scoring offenses this season, but their defenses have been inconsistent and overshadowed even when they have played well. The Jaguars had an early flurry, scoring 20 points in the first 18 minutes, and the Tigers… Continue reading →

Quick-strike offense puts Grambling ahead, then in control of the Bayou Classic against Southern

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Grambling wide receiver Chad Williams beats Southern cornerback Danny Johnson to the end zone for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of the 42nd annual Bayou Classic at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Gambling won 34-23.

Despite what many traditional thinkers may say, Grambling coach Broderick Fobbs has never cared much about how long his team possesses the ball. He’s more concerned with how fast they can score. Grambling’s quick-strike approach on offense — led by coordinator Eric Dooley, a longtime Southern assistant coach was a major reason the Tigers overcame… Continue reading →

Notebook: Grambling overcomes longest, largest SWAC deficit to finish undefeated in league play

Associated Press photo by MAX BECHERER -- Southern running back Lenard Tillery loses the ball after being tackled by Grambling in the first half of the Bayou Classic on Saturday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Southern recovered the ball.

Southern put Grambling in an unfamiliar position early in the Bayou Classic. But down the stretch it was in a familiar position as it competed an undefeated Southwestern Athletic Conference regular season with a 34-23 victory Saturday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Tigers had trailed in just two of their previous eight SWAC games — against Alabama State… Continue reading →

'Those guys were hungry': Huge second half boosts Grambling to 34-23 victory over Southern in the Bayou Classic

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Grambling State Tigers defensive back Nicholas Peoples (19) intercepts a pass in the end zone during the second quarter Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, of the 42nd annual Bayou Classic at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Grambling established itself as the best team in the Southwestern Athletic Conference regular season as it won its first eight games. But even with a West Division championship in hand, the Tigers had much more to accomplish against Southern in the Bayou Classic on Saturday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Despite a slow start, they did just… Continue reading →

Bayou Classic primed for another Southern-Grambling shootout Saturday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Southern's Mike Jones and Deonte Shorts celebrate after Jones' 45-yard touchdown reception against Grambling in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The Bayou Classic has a new kickoff time and a new network home. But when viewers tune in to the NBC Sports Network at 4 p.m. Saturday, chances are they will see a very familiar Southern-Grambling shootout in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Both teams have standout quarterbacks, dynamic backs and receivers beaucoup and dependable lines that allow for consistent… Continue reading →

Bayou Classic notebook: Southern looks to cut down on penalties

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- A referee holds Southern head coach Dawson Odums back as referees rule a fumble on the field in favor of Prairie View A&M, Saturday, October 17, 2015, at A.W. Mumford Stadium on Southern University's campus in Baton Rouge, La.

Southern has had two weeks to work on reducing penalties in preparation for the Bayou Classic. It went into an open date last week having had two consecutive subpar games in terms of penalties. The Jaguars rank in the middle of the pack in penalties in Southwestern Athletic Conference play. They average 8.3 penalties and 70.9 penalty yards… Continue reading →

Les East: Grambling’ s Broderick Fobbs restores the roar after program’s recent struggles

Advocate file photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Grambling coach Broderick Fobbs

Grambling is back. The Tigers sent notice last season they were well on their way back to football prominence when they entered the Bayou Classic in position to reach the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game. They fell short in a last-second 52-45 loss to Southern, the defending SWAC champion that claimed its second straight division title.… Continue reading →

Go to The Next Level for the Bayou Classic: What’s been on Grambling’s mind for a year now?

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Southern defensive tackle Gabe Echols (90) sacks Alabama A&M quarterback Damion May (3), Saturday, November 14, 2015, at Southern's A.W. Mumford Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

The Next Level: The last play of last year’s Bayou Classic has been on the minds of Grambling players for a year. The Tigers trailed Southern 52-45 when they lined up inside the Jaguars’ 1-yard line with 8 seconds left and no timeouts. Johnathan Williams tried a quarterback sneak, but Southern noseguard Gabe Echols blocked his path and… Continue reading →

Go to The Next Level for the Bayou Classic: What’s been on Grambling’s mind for a year now?

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Southern defensive tackle Gabe Echols (90) sacks Alabama A&M quarterback Damion May (3), Saturday, November 14, 2015, at Southern's A.W. Mumford Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

The Next Level: The last play of last year’s Bayou Classic has been on the minds of Grambling players for a year. The Tigers trailed Southern 52-45 when they lined up inside the Jaguars’ 1-yard line with 8 seconds left and no timeouts. Johnathan Williams tried a quarterback sneak, but Southern noseguard Gabe Echols blocked his path and… Continue reading →

Southern might be peaking just in time for Bayou Classic, but Grambling will be true test

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Southern defensive tackle Gabe Echols (90) sacks Alabama A&M quarterback Damion May (3), Saturday, November 14, 2015, at Southern's A.W. Mumford Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

Southern won’t be going to the Southwestern Athletic Championship game for the first time in three years. Grambling (8-0 in the SWAC) already has clinched the West division title going into the regular-season finale against the Jaguars (6-2) in the Bayou Classic on Saturday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. But as it has done in the past two seasons, Southern… Continue reading →

Grambling’s defense plays better than numbers may suggest

There’s no mistaking what the Grambling defense’s strengths and weaknesses are. On one hand, the Tigers lead the Southwestern Athletic Conference in rush defense, giving up 350 fewer yards on the ground than the next closest team, good enough to put them in the top 20 of the FCS. On the other hand, Grambling is the… Continue reading →

Southern coach Dawson Odums on the new Bayou Classic trophy: ‘It’s got that Mortal Kombat-type feel’

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Southern coach Dawson Odums, Dr. Ray L. Belton, president-chancellor of Southern University and Grambling president Dr. Willie D. Larkin. and coach Broderick Fobbs unveil the new Bayou Classic trophy. The one used since 1974 was donated to the Smithsonian Institution. Grambling and Southern play Saturday in the 42nd Bayou Classic in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Like all relationships, the Southern-Grambling rivalry needed to add something new to spice things up. Both teams agreed to retire the old version of the Bayou Classic trophy. On Tuesday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, they unveiled a new one, which, of course, will go to the winner of Saturday’s game. The old trophy went to Southern’s campus for… Continue reading →

Bayou Classic: Dawson Odums, Broderick Fobbs play up the Southern-Grambling rivalry

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Southern coach Dawson Odums speaks Tuesday at a news conference promoting Saturday's Bayou Classic at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

The Bayou Classic rivalry is alive and well. It’s not that the rivalry between Southern and Grambling ever faded, but both football programs did experience hard times in the recent past. That was before Dawson Odums’ promotion to Jaguars head coach two games into the 2012 season and Broderick Fobbs’ hiring as Tigers coach in the wake of… Continue reading →

Bayou Classic has the full attention of Southern and Grambling

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Prairie View running back Johnta' Hebert slips past two Southern tacklers.

Southern enters the Bayou Classic against Grambling knowing it can’t win the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship. Grambling enters Saturday’s regular-season finale in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome knowing, no matter what happens, it will play for the SWAC title a week later in Houston. But the coaches of both teams said Monday that neither… Continue reading →

Southern defensive leaders say underclassmen will be ready to pick up torch next season

Advocate file photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Southern cornerback Danny Johnson celebrates after the Jaguars' 52-45 win over Grambling in the Bayou Classic last season.

After playing his final game in A.W. Mumford Stadium last week, Southern linebacker Daniel Brown looked over to sophomore defensive end Aaron Tiller and smiled knowing the program would be left in good hands. “He’s the future,” Brown said after the Jaguars’ senior night win over Alabama A&M last Saturday in which Tiller produced three sacks and a… Continue reading →

Injured Southern player Devon Gales to watch Georgia play Georgia Southern in Athens

Southern's Devon Gales with his stepmother, Tish Gales, and physical therapist Leigh Rottner during physical therapy last month at the Shepherd Center. The Southern University wide receiver was injured in a football game against the University of Georgia in Athens early in the season. (Photo courtesy of Shepherd Center)

Devon Gales is returning to Sanford Stadium. The Southern wide receiver suffered a severe spinal injury while covering a kickoff during a game against Georgia in Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia, on Sept. 26. Gales, who underwent surgery in Athens a day after the injury, has been rehabbing at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, about 70 miles from the… Continue reading →

Southern passing game flying high the last two games

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Southern quarterback Austin Howard fires a pass during Saturday's 46-7 win over Alabama A&M at A.W. Mumford Stadium.

Southern has won two games in a row for the first time since early September. One of the keys to the Jaguars’ success in beating Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Alabama A&M have been a revitalized passing game. Playing in better weather conditions and against worse competition has helped — but nonetheless, Southern has been nearly flawless while thrashing the… Continue reading →

‘Everything is more intense’: Finally, Southern can focus on Grambling and the Bayou Classic

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Southern's Lenard Tillery  hurdles Grambling's LeAndre Vallot during last year's Bayou Classic in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Tillery and the Jaguars face the Tigers again Nov. 28 in the 42nd edition of the Classic.

Southern doesn’t have a football game this week, but next week’s game already has leaped to the forefront of everyone’s mind. In fact, just moments after the Jaguars had beaten Alabama A&M 46-7 last Saturday, running back Lenard Tillery sounded as though a gag order had been lifted by coach Dawson Odums. “As a team, coach Odums lets… Continue reading →

Les East: Now atop Southern’s all-time rushing chart, Lenard Tillery (just a junior) has plenty of daylight ahead of him

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Southern running back Lenard Tillery (21) carries the ball against Alabama A&M, Saturday, November 14, 2015, at Southern's A.W. Mumford Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

Southern had just completed a 46-7 whipping of Alabama A&M on Saturday night. Senior linebacker Daniel Brown had just played his final game in Mumford Stadium, and he recalled when he first came across a new teammate named Lenard Tillery. “The first time I met him,” Brown said, “he told me, ‘When I leave, I’m going to have… Continue reading →

Monday morning rewind: Southern

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Southern defensive tackle Gabe Echols (90) stops ball carrier Alabama A&M running back Harvey Harris (23) as Alabama A&M offensive lineman Adrian Saterfield (66) attempts to stop Echols in the first quarter, Saturday, November 14, 2015, at Southern's A.W. Mumford Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

Coming up Southern (6-4, 6-2 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference) has an open date before finishing the season against Grambling in the Bayou Classic on Nov. 28 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Grambling, 8-2 and 8-0, also has an open date after clinching the SWAC West division with a 49-31 victory at Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday.… Continue reading →

Southern 46, Alabama A&M 7: Les East’s three and out

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Southern offensive linemen Jaylon Brinson (69), Skyler Prol (76), Reginald Redding (78), Eric Janeau (64), Allan Spry (62) and Anthony Mosley (75) sing the alma mater on the field following the Jaguars' 46-7 win over Alabama A&M on Saturday at A.W. Mumford Stadium.

1. WHAT WE LEARNED It could be a long time before anyone breaks Lenard Tillery’s career rushing record at Southern. Tillery broke Steve Wofford’s 17-year-old record on a 39-yard touchdown run in the second quarter Saturday and finished with his second consecutive 1,000-yard season and a career total of 3,050. He still has the Bayou Classic… Continue reading →

Running back Lenard Tillery, the former walk-on, becomes Southern’s all-time leading rusher

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Southern running back Lenard Tillery scores on a 39-yard run as he dives into the end zone Saturday, carrying Alabama A&M cornerback Devonte Simon. On this play, Tillery broke the school's career rushing record.

Throughout his career at Southern University, junior running back Lenard Tillery has made it known that team goals superseded any personal achievements. Saturday night, after Southern handily dispatched Alabama A&M 46-7, Tillery couldn’t avoid talking about individual feats. Tillery picked up 127 yards and a touchdown on 12 rushes, but the number that had everyone talking… Continue reading →

Malcolm Crockett among 23 Southern seniors who go out winners in their home finale

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Southern running back Malcom Crockett sings the alma mater on the field following the Jaguars' 46-7 win over Alabama A&M on Saturday at A.W. Mumford Stadium.

Malcolm Crockett couldn’t leave Baton Rouge without one last goodbye. The Southern running back played his final game in A.W. Mumford Stadium on Saturday as the Jaguars wrapped up their home schedule with Alabama A&M, and Crockett made certain to make his finale count. Crockett produced 99 yards on 14 carries against the Bulldogs, including a pair of… Continue reading →

Lenard Tilley sets Southern rushing mark in with over Alabama A&M

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Southern running back Lenard Tillery scores on a 39-yard run as he dives into the end zone Saturday, carrying Alabama A&M cornerback Devonte Simon. On this play, Tillery broke the school's career rushing record.

On the day that Southern officially became incapable of winning its third consecutive Southwestern Athletic Conference West Division championship, the Jaguars still had plenty to celebrate. They clinched their third consecutive winning season Saturday by blasting Alabama A&M 46-7 in A.W. Mumford Stadium, giving 23 seniors a victory in their final home game. They avoided a losing… Continue reading →

After Saturday’s home finale against Alabama A&M, Southern’s seniors will leave Mumford Stadium a better place than they found it

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Southern coach Dawson Odums talks on the field during with defensive lineman Gabe Echols during a timeout against Prairie View on Saturday.

Southern nose guard Gabe Echols remembers his first game in A.W. Mumford Stadium. The Jaguars played a lethargic game and lost to Mississippi Valley State 6-0 to fall to 0-2 in 2012. “It was a bad, bad feeling,” Echols said this week. “Nobody likes to lose, but to lose in that fashion — not to mention that we… Continue reading →

Southern men open at Arkansas to start road-heavy preconference schedule

Advocate file photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Southern guard Trelun Banks drives past Mississippi Valley State guard Jabari Alex on  Jan. 19, 2015 at Southern's F. G. Clark Activity Center.

The Southern men’s basketball team doesn’t have to cross an ocean to play its season opener at Arkansas on Friday night. But for guard Trelun Banks and forward Jared Sam, a trip to Europe to play with an all-star team during the summer was good preparation for the Jaguars’ always arduous preconference travel schedule.… Continue reading →

Injured Southern linebacker Demetrius Carter expected to get another year of eligibility

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Jackson State quarterback La Montiez Ivy (9) grimaces as he is sacked by Southern's Demetrius Carter (39) and Arthur Miley (97), Saturday, Oct. 25, at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Southern will honor 23 seniors before their final home game against Alabama A&M on Saturday in A.W. Mumford Stadium. But one notable senior will not be included in the ceremony. That’s because linebacker Demetrius Carter, the team’s leading tackler a year, is expected to be granted a medical redshirt that will enable his to return as a fifth-year… Continue reading →

Southern linemen counting down to Lenard Tillery’s milestones

Advocate photo by WILLIAM HARVEY -- Southern University's Lenard Tillery (21) runs laterally to find the gaps in the UAPB defense as he makes his way through the blockers and gets down field for yardage.

Southern running back Lenard Tillery doesn’t pay a whole lot of attention to his history-making statistics. But the offensive linemen who clear the way for him keep him apprised. “They let me know how many away from 1,000 I am and how many away from all-time I am,” Tillery said. The junior from McKinley High School is 25… Continue reading →