Southern football: Final scrimmage set for Saturday

Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Southern quarterback Deonte Shorts
Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Southern quarterback Deonte Shorts

With school set to start Monday and preseason camp winding down, the Southern football team practiced one last time Friday before Saturday’s final preseason scrimmage.

The Jaguars went through a walkthrough Friday morning — better known around The Bluff as “Recovery Day” — ensuring the players are mentally prepared to make final impressions Saturday before their Aug. 30 tussle with Houston at Reliant Stadium.

“Today we just wanted to get out here, polish some things off,” co-offensive coordinator Chad Germany said. “We wanted to get a good walkthrough in before the scrimmage tomorrow.”

Head coach Dawson Odums reflected on what has been a long, hot camp.

“You can tell camp is winding down,” he said. “Guys have moved into the dorms and are just getting ready for the scrimmage on Saturday.”

Throughout camp, the defense has routinely been ahead of the offense, which Odums credits to the simplicity of the defense.

“What I try to do is, I take the combined grade-point average of all my guys and, whatever average that is, (that’s) what I say they are capable of learning,” he said. “And from that, you go coach them.”

Positional battles

The Jaguars will have their final two intrasquad scrimmages at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The coaches will have a eye on several positions where the starters have yet to be determined: the top four wide receivers, the linebacker rotation, the secondary and backup quarterback.

Senior Lee Doss is a lock in the receiver rotation, but there are others vying for the remaining three sports.

“Dontrell Brown has come on lately,” Odums said. “Bradley Coleman is a tight end/wide receiver. Justin Morgan, Sam Altman and Chuck Baker are all in the mix. We’ve got a few guys to sort out for that top four.”

Sophomores Willie Quinn and Mike Jones are in contention as well.

Senior linebacker Anthony Balancier will lead the way from his inside linebacker position, but the rest of the group is in flux. Junior Detrane Lindsey and defensive back-turned-linebacker Jason Dykes, a sophomore, are battling for the Jack position in the 3-4 front.

Senior Franchot West and junior Antonio Garrett are in competition for the Mike position; sophomore Treyveon Evans and junior Daniel Brown are vying for the Sam spot.

First team All-Southwestern Athletic Conference selection senior Virgil Williams is the veteran of an inexperienced secondary that includes Dionte McDuffy, a transfer from South Alabama and Williams’ old high school teammate at Evangel. McDuffy and juniors Jaleel Richardson and Omar Cook are battling for the two safety spots.

Junior D’Andre Woodland and senior Johnathan Mack are vying for the cornerback position opposite Williams.

Junior Wynton Perro and freshman Deonte Shorts, a former Southern Lab standout, are set to end what has been a close competition throughout camp at backup quarterback. Germany identified a key factor he will be looking for.

“We want them to get us out of bad plays,” he said, “to understand and recognize what the defense is doing to us.”

Upcoming schedule

Following Saturday’s scrimmage, the players are set to be off Sunday and Monday.

Wednesday’s practice will consist of a mock pregame walkthrough, followed by a closed practice Thursday night under the lights at A.W. Mumford Stadium.