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.'
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 Saturday.

“We’ve been going hard,” Odums said. “As coaches, we have to gauge how our team is doing during camp. … I was definitely excited about what I saw (today).”

Senior defensive back Kevin King appeared elated about having the day off.

“That was great,” King said. “It let us get our legs back under us and get mentally focused with another two-a-day coming up. It was good.”

Self reflection

Sunday’s day off also gave Odums the chance to look over film from Saturday’s team scrimmage.

Odums said the defense looked strong, creating several turnovers, but added that those same turnovers point to issues with the offense.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” Odums said. “We have to work on our communication, and we were doing that today. We had some mental errors, but you expect that. And now we’re just working on getting them better.”

When asked how close Odums thinks the Jaguars are to being ready for their season opener against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on Aug. 30, the second-year head coach said his team would need every day they can get.

“Close? We have to keep working them every day until game day,” Odums said. “We’re nowhere near where we want to be. We’re going into a hostile environment. It’s going to be a sellout crowd, and I know they’re at least a top-30 football team.”

Odums added that Southern hasn’t started preparing for the Cajuns yet but plans to start watching film next week.

Injury update

Several Jaguars returned to the field Monday after missing significant time through the past few weeks.

Junior wide receiver Willie Quinn participated in practice for the first time all summer after suffering a jaw injury playing pickup basketball during the break. Quinn participated in all drills and even dropped back to practice punt returns.

Sophomore wide receiver Randall Menard and junior wide receiver Justin Morgan joined Quinn on the field after spending little more than week sidelined with minor injuries.

Senior left tackle Zach Brown was a full go Monday after being held out of contact drills during the early portion of camp because of shoulder surgery. Brown repeatedly said he was ready to get back to practice while being held out, but trainers were opting for a more cautious route.

Senior fullback Brian McCain sat out Saturday’s scrimmage with a knee injury but participated in all drills during the morning portion of practice. McCain did not dress out for the afternoon session but did participate in conditioning drills at the end.

Senior defensive tackle Jaylen Jordan fully participated in Monday’s afternoon practice after being pulled during the morning session despite dressing out.

Odums was adamant that Jordan will be ready to play once the season starts. But the team is choosing to slowly bring him back after his involvement in a car crash on the way to camp.

In addition to those returning from injury, several Jaguars continued to watch from the sidelines Monday.

Freshman quarterback Deonte Shorts didn’t participate in drills during Monday’s afternoon session but did join conditioning drills. Odums said it was soreness and he expects Shorts back by Tuesday.

Linebacker Daniel Brown and running back Herb Edwards both sat out practice with knee injuries after playing in Saturday’s scrimmage.

Linebacker Javon Allen suffered an elbow injury during the scrimmage and was held out of practice.

A team spokesman said none of the injuries appear to be major.

Mike Gegenheimer