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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 →

Business as usual: SWAC features four new coaches

FILE - In this July 18, 2014, file photo, Mississippi Valley State coach Rick Comgey answers questions from the media during the Southwestern Athletic Conference NCAA college football media day  in Birmingham, Ala. Comegy joked with his new players during Southwestern Athletic Conference Media Days earlier this summer, seemingly oblivious to his not-long-ago previous employer and players were sitting just a few feet away. (AP Photo/AL.com, Frank Couch) MAGS OUT

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Mississippi Valley’s Rick Comegy joked with his new players during Southwestern Athletic Conference Media Days earlier this summer, seemingly oblivious that his previous employer and players were sitting just a few feet away. It didn’t take long for the former Jackson State coach, who was scooped up by the Delta Devils… 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 →

Southern Fall Fan Fest is Saturday

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Junior running back Malcom Crockett runs a drill during practice at Southern's Practice Fields, Tuesday, August 5, 2014.

Southern will hold its third annual Fall Fan Fest in the F.G. Clark Activity Center on Saturday. The event will follow the morning football scrimmage, which concludes preseason camp. Doors open for the Fan Fest, which is free, at 12:30 p.m. The Jaguars’ allotment of tickets for the season opener at Louisiana-Lafayette on Aug. 30 will be on sale… 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 →

Brandon Thibodeaux eyes Southern’s center spot

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Offensive linemen Anthony Mosley (75), Brian McCain (45) and Brandon Thibodeaux (66) run a drill to protect the punter during Southern's first day of practice Friday, August 1, in the Clifford T. Seymour Gymnasium.

Brandon Thibodeaux could be the final piece to Southern’s offensive line. At the very least he figures to be a key part of the interior of a line that’s expected to be one of the strongest positions on the team. The Jaguars return four line starters, the exception being center, where Aaron Hall started as a… Continue reading →

Volunteers help Jaguars cool off

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUKPlayers stay hydrated between drills during practice at Southern's Practice Fields on Aug. 5.

When Southern gets done practicing, players take turns cooling down in an ice bath. The technique has become common-place at football practice around the country, but the Jaguars have had to improvise because of a tight budget. Fortunately for the players, one of the booster clubs, A Nation of Dominance, has taken on the responsibility of making… Continue reading →

Southern liking what it sees in fresh-faced secondary

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Southern defensive back Kevin King (15) reacts to the Jaguars secind touchdown.

Defensive backs in the Southwestern Athletic Conference can sometimes feel like the proverbial finger in the dike, able to do little more than slow down an oncoming barrage. Half of the teams in the SWAC averaged at least 221 passing yards per game last season. Southern alone had seven games in which opponents scored multiple passing touchdowns,… Continue reading →

Southern camp report: kicker Greg Pittman has knee surgery

Advocate file photo by JOHN OUBRE -- Southern kicker Greg Pittman attempts a field goal during a scrimmage last season. Pittman had surgery Wednesday on the meniscus in his right (kicking) leg and will be sidelined four to six weeks, coach Dawson Odums said.

Southern place-kicker Greg Pittman had surgery Wednesday on the meniscus in his right (kicking) leg and will be sidelined four to six weeks, coach Dawson Odums said. Pittman, a junior from Helen Cox High School, injured the leg when it got rolled during practice last week. He made 8 of 12 field goals last season, inluding a long… Continue reading →

Southern basketball roster evolving in wake of departures

Advocate file photo by John Oubre -- Trelun Banks, the 2013 SWAC Freshman of the Year, is one of nine scholarship players returning in 2014.

The Southern men’s basketball program has a new assistant coach and a schedule for the upcoming season. Soon the Jaguars hope to have something approaching a complete roster. On Wednesday, Southern released its schedule and coach Roman Banks announced the hiring of former Nicholls State and Prairie View assistant Jethro Hillman. Banks also confirmed the departure… Continue reading →

Southern down to nine scholarship men's basketball players

Southern men’s basketball coach Roman Banks announced the hiring of a new assistant coach and the school released its schedule for the upcoming season Wednesday. But as is par for the course nowadays, the school’s ongoing ban from NCAA post-season play and its effect on the Jaguars program stole much of the attention. Banks confirmed that… 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 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: 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 quarterback competition mostly unchanged

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Freshman quarterback Austin Howard (7) takes a snap behind redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Terrell Lee (65) during practice at Southern's Practice Fields, Tuesday, August 5, 2014.

Southern’s quarterback competition looked about the same during Saturday’s scrimmage as it has in the most recent practices. Deonte Shorts worked with the first-team offense and looked like he belonged there. Austin Howard and Jarrad Hayes split time with the second team and looked like the first-year freshmen they are, mixing good and not-so-good plays. And Francis… 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 →

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 →

Hard work pays off Southern's Lenard Tillery

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Redshirt sophomore Lenard Tillery (21) participates in a drill during practice at Southern's Practice Fields, Tuesday, August 5, 2014.

One of the toughest things Southern running back Lenard Tillery has had to do during his time with the Jaguars didn’t come in response adversity. The moment the Baton Rouge native had to muster up the most strength came in Southern coach Dawson Odum’s office when Tillery found out he was no longer a walk-on status with… 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 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →