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Southern names Deonte Shorts its starting quarterback

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Freshman quarterback Deonte Shorts, left, celebrates with wide receiver Reggie Travis after Shorts walked in a touchdown during Southern's final scrimmage of preseason camp Saturday in A.W. Mumford Stadium.

Deonte Shorts officially became Southern’s starting quarterback Wednesday. Coach Dawson Odums informed each of his four quarterbacks of their roles heading into the season opener Aug. 30 at Louisiana-Lafayette. The naming of Shorts, a redshirt freshman from Southern Lab, was expected after he worked almost exclusively with the first team during preseason camp. “I figured… Continue reading →

Southern running back depth shows

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Junior running back Jamarcus Jarvis (17) evades the tackle by freshman defensive back Jamar Mitchell (29) during Southern's final scrimmage of fall camp, Saturday, August 16, in the A. W. Mumford Stadium on campus.

Southern plans to run the ball more frequently and more effectively this season than it did last season. The Jaguars demonstrated why during a scrimmage Saturday morning in A.W. Mumford Stadium. The depth shone through as Lenard Tillery, the incumbent starter, didn’t enter the scrimmage until late, and Tyre Bracken, a talented transfer who arrived just… Continue reading →

Scrimmage signals end of camp for Jaguars

Southern concludes preseason football camp Saturday morning with its second scrimmage. The Jaguars plan to run 80 to 90 plays during a workout that begins at 9:15 a.m. inside A.W. Mumford Stadium. The scrimmage is open to the public. Southern conducted a 115-play scrimmage on its practice field last Saturday. “It’s actually a little bit… Continue reading →

Tulane’s Taurean Nixon getting back up to speed

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTONTulane coach Curtis Johnson, right, talks with wide receiver Teddy Veal during the team's scrimmage Aug. 9 at Tad Gormley Stadium.

Senior Taurean Nixon, who entered Tulane’s fall camp as the expected starting cornerback across the field from All-American Lorenzo Doss, was back on the field during the morning practice at the Saints’ facility Thursday after sitting out a week with a lower abdominal injury. It was Nixon’s second practice back after participating in Wednesday’s afternoon session, which… Continue reading →

Southern quick read: Observations from Tuesday’s practice

1. Quarterback Deonte Shorts and wide receiver Justin Morgan caught fire during Tuesday’s practice with several big connections that would’ve been touchdowns in game situations. 2. Southern coach Dawson Odums showed off his moves at quarterback while filling in for defensive line coach Myron Jackson during position drills. Odums ran several option plays and threw a few… Continue reading →

Southern camp report: Injured Jaguars getting closer to full strength

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Offensive line coach Chennis Berry speaks to senior lineman Zach Brown between drills during an Aug. 5 practice. Brown returned to practice Tuesday after missing time with a shoulder injury.

For the first time all preseason, the sidelines at Southern weren’t packed with injured potential starters during practice Tuesday. Tuesday’s session saw a significant drop in the number of Jaguars rehabbing with training staff, with linebacker Javon Allen as the biggest name sitting out. “Like I told some of the guys last night, ‘You’re going to hurt in this… Continue reading →

SOUTHERN CAMP REPORT: Day off does Jaguars good

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Senior defensive back Kevin King walks on the sideline during practice at Southern's practice fields last week. King said Sunday's rainout 'let us get our leges back under us.'

The Southern University football team was back on the field for two-a-day practices Monday after rain canceled Sunday’s session. But the Jaguars aren’t looking at the day off as a setback. Southern coach Dawson Odums said the team watched film and did walk-throughs Sunday during a much-needed day off after a 115-play scrimmage… Continue reading →

Dawson Odums OK with Southern scrimmage

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Southern coach Dawson Odums

Southern tried to simulate a football game as best it could for its first scrimmage of preseason camp Saturday morning. A modest-sized crowd turned out, providing the largest group of spectators during the first nine days of practice. The coaches tried to give their headsets a dry run, though the reception didn’t work as well at… Continue reading →

Southern passing game crowded

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNONSouthern wide receiver Samuel Altman makes a break against Alabama A&M defensive back Marcus Dozier last season.

The Southern passing game has featured a large cast of characters so far in preseason camp. Even though three top receivers are sidelined, the permutations are nearly countless. The Jaguars are trying to give four quarterbacks — Deonte Shorts, Francis Kanneh, Austin Howard and Jarrad Hayes — a fair opportunity to see what each can do before choosing… Continue reading →

Southern camp report: Jaguars ready for scrimmage

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUKSouthern coach Dawson Odums fields questions from the media during the first day of practice last week at Clifford T. Seymour Gymnasium.

After eight days and 10 practices, Southern’s preseason football camp enters a new stage Saturday. The Jaguars will hold their first scrimmage from 9:15-11:15 a.m. on the practice field. It’s open to the public. Coach Dawson Odums was putting the final touches on the itinerary Friday but said Southern would run more than 100 plays in… Continue reading →

Southern, Daniel Brown look to keep winning

Advocate file photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNONNorthwestern State quarterback Zach Adkins is sacked by Southern  linebacker Daniel Brown last season in Natchitoches.

Southern linebacker Daniel Brown was part of a winning football team for the first time in his life when the Jaguars claimed the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship last season. He was a key contributor to that success, and he’s one of the main reasons this year’s Southern team appears capable of having a second consecutive winning season… Continue reading →

SOUTHERN CAMP REPORT: QB juggling completes first week

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUKQuarterback Deonte Shorts hands the ball off to  Herbert Edwards last week during Southern's first day of practice in the Clifford T. Seymour Gymnasium.

The preseason camp phase of Southern’s quarterback competition completed its first week Thursday. The Jaguars have held eight practices with redshirt freshmen Deonte Shorts and Francis Kanneh and first-year freshmen Austin Howard and Jarrad Hayes taking turns trying to demonstrate they are best suited to leading the Southern offense when the season begins… Continue reading →

QB juggling completes first week

The preseason camp phase of Southern’s quarterback competition completed its first week Thursday. The Jaguars have held eight practices with redshirt freshmen Deonte Shorts and Francis Kanneh and first-year freshmen Austin Howard and Jarrad Hayes taking turns trying to demonstrate they are best suited to leading the Southern offense when the season… Continue reading →

Southern nose tackles get chances

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southern defensive tackle Gabe Echols (90) rushes Texas Southern Tigers quarterback Homer Causey.

The Southern football team is getting an extended look at the depth it has at nose tackle. Starting nose tackle Jaylen Jordan has missed the first six days of preseason practice as he awaits medical clearance after being involved in a minor car accident the day before practice began. His absence has given Gabe… Continue reading →

CAMP REPORT: Southern starts two-a-days

Southern had its first two-practice day of preseason camp Wednesday, working for two hours in the morning and two more late in the afternoon. The enhanced work came after five days that featured a single workout each and kicked off the most intense part of the early stages of camp. The Jaguars will practice once Thursday and twice again… Continue reading →

CAMP REPORT: Jaguars line up on practice field

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Quarterback Deonte Shorts hands the ball off to Lenard Tillery in a drill during Southern's first day of practice Friday in the Clifford T. Seymour gymnasium. Monday, the Jaguars finally go to work out on their practice field, w hich Tillery said is in the best condition he has seen.

After an opening week that seemed as if nothing could go as planned, the Southern football team finally conducted a whole day of practice without any hiccups Monday. Southern was able to use its practice fields for the first time this summer after rain and insufficient conditions forced coach Dawson Odums to compensate for the early… Continue reading →

Southern quick read from Sunday

Three observations from Sunday’s practice session: 1 -- The quarterback group featured a familiar face. Dray Joseph, the Jaguars’ career leader in touchdown passes and a co-Southwestern Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year last year, attended practice and kept a watchful eye on the players competing to be his successor. 2 -- Freshman running back… Continue reading →

Southern works around weather

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Quarterback Deonte Shorts throws a pass during a drill at Southern's first day of practice Friday in the Clifford T. Seymour Gymnasium. Shorts has been working out with the first team for the Jaguars, who have experienced problems with each of their first three practices: rain Friday, poor practice-field conditions Saturday, and lightning and rain Sunday.

The Southern football team has had three preseason practices, and none has gone according to plan. “That’s usually how a season goes,” coach Dawson Odums said philosophically Sunday afternoon as lightning near A.W. Mumford Stadium forced a 30-minute delay just as the Jaguars were finishing their pre-practice stretching. After 30 minutes, Southern returned to the… Continue reading →

Quick read from Southern practice Sunday

Three observations from Sunday’s practice session: 1 -- The quarterback group featured a familiar face. Dray Joseph, the Jaguars’ career leader in touchdown passes and a co-Southwestern Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year last year, attended practice and kept a watchful eye on the players competing to be his successor. 2 -- Freshman running… Continue reading →

Quick read: Observations from Southern practice

Quick read Three observations from Saturday’s practice session: 1 — WR Willie Quinn is making the most of his time even while being held out of drills because of a jaw injury. Quinn dressed out, except for helmet and shoulder pads, and caught passes while the QBs warmed up. He’s due… Continue reading →

Rain chases Jaguars indoors

Southern’s first day of preseason football camp was disrupted by persistent rain Friday. The weather forced the Jaguars to adjust, but it didn’t seem to put a damper on Day 1. The team moved from the outdoor football practice field to the Cliford Seymour Gym. The tight quarters forced the… Continue reading →

As Jaguars open camp, no early clues on QB situation

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Quarterback Deonte Shorts hands the ball off to Jamarcus Jarvis in a drill during Southern's first day of practice Friday, August 1, in the Clifford T. Seymour Gymnasium.

Southern’s quarterback competition resumed Friday with the first practice of preseason camp. Every snap, every throw and every decision of four inexperienced players is being dissected by the coaching staff as they try to choose the one most capable of leading the offense when the Jaguars open the season Aug. 30 at Louisiana-Lafayette. While the coaches… Continue reading →

107 report to Southern

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Jonathan Wilson, right, carries a flat screen TV into Gradison Hall dorm while moving in as Southern reports for football.

Friday is the first official day of preseason football practice for Southern. But it’s really just a resumption of the work the Jaguars have been doing during the summer. “We’ll just be adding a helmet,” senior defensive back Jaleel Richardson said as the team reported Thursday afternoon. “It’s same ole, same ole.” Of course, the coaching staff is being… Continue reading →

Southern training camp preview: Everything you need to know

Advocate staff photo by CATHERINE THRELKELD -- Quarterback Deonte Shorts throws the ball during spring practice at the Southern University practice fields in Baton Rouge.

Top storylines, key dates, newcomers to watch and a slew of other items as the reigning Southwestern Athletic Conference champions report for preseason camp: 1. Crowded under center The quarterback competition was the most talked-about story in the spring and it will continue to be during preseason camp until coach Dawson Odums… Continue reading →

SWAC media day: Four downs

Photo provided by Arthur Williams -- Southern coach Dawson Odums is interviewed by Advocate columnist Scott Rabalais during SWAC football media day Friday, July 18, 2014.

1. THE CHASE IS ON There was no pick for overall SWAC champion Friday, but the fact that Southern won the conference in 2013 and is picked to win the West seems to put the Jaguars in that position by default. “We’ll be the target,” DE… Continue reading →

SWAC media days: Best of the best

Advocate file photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southern defensive end Arthur Miley sacks Arkansas-Pine Bluff quarterback Benjamin Anderson last season.

Top individual honors Offensive Player of the Year: QB Benjamin Anderson, Ark.-Pine Bluff The junior threw for 2,787 yards and 19 touchdowns while running for a team-high 824 yards and nine scores. Defensive Player of the Year: LB Kourtney Berry, Alabama State The sophomore… Continue reading →

SWAC media day: Jaguars put 6 on all-conference teams

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southern receiver Willie Quinn

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Southern re-emerged as a dominant program in Southwestern Athletic Conference football last season by going 9-4 and winning the conference title by topping Jackson State 34-27 in double overtime. All that success has the Jaguars on everyone’s minds. As the 2014 season nears, they put six players on the preseason… Continue reading →

Podcast: Does Doss deserve a chance to catch on in the NFL?

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southern wide receiver Lee Doss makes a touchdown grab against Clark Atlanta's Joshua Tate during a Nov. 16 game in A.W. Mumford Stadium.

The NFL Draft is Thursday through Saturday. Will any Southern football players get drafted or sign free-agent contracts with teams in the NFL? In this "Advocate Sports: Southern University athletics podcast," Advocate Online Sports Editor Pierce W. Huff and Advocate sportswriter Les East make a case for Southern receiver Lee Doss getting a chance to play in the… Continue reading →

A look ahead after Southern’s spring football season

Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Southern coach Dawson Odums

Southern football coach Dawson Odums wasn’t ready to release a depth chart when spring practice ended last weekend. There’s plenty of work to be done over the summer and in fall camp before the pecking order is transferred from pencil to ink, but nonetheless Odums has seen enough to be confident he has what he needs.… Continue reading →

Southern spring game showcases new quarterbacks

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Southern quarterback Deonte Shorts passes during the spring game Saturday at the A.W. Mumford Stadium.

The Southern offense won’t be the same next season without All-Southwestern Athletic Conference quarterback Dray Joseph. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be as good or even better just because it’s different. Southern’s spring game Saturday at A.W. Mumford Stadium demonstrated how the offense will evolve with an inexperienced quarterback in either Deonte Shorts or Francis… Continue reading →

Southern football seeks strong spring finish

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

Spring football is winding down for Southern. The Jaguars held a walkthrough Friday afternoon in the parking lot next to A.W. Mumford Stadium to preserve the wet field for the spring game at 2 p.m. Saturday inside the stadium. The 70-75-play spring game will be a little more than half the length of a scrimmage last… Continue reading →

Odums sets tone for Southern spring

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southern receiver Justin Morgan runs after a catch.

Southern coach Dawson Odums established the theme for spring football practice at the outset. When the team convened before dawn last Wednesday for the first of 15 practices, Odums mentioned the theme and continued to through the first week of practice, which concludes Sunday. “Our theme this whole spring is your ‘get to’ versus your ‘go… Continue reading →