Team begins to prepare for first preseason scrimmage
August 20, 2012
Senior wide receiver Charles Hawkins missed Southern’s fifth day of practice Wednesday, but the junior was back in action Thursday as the Jaguars went through their first session of two-a-days.
Southern coach Stump Mitchell said Hawkins looked like his usual self.
“He looked like he always does — pretty doggone good,” Mitchell said. “He’s going to have a great opportunity this season to show people he can play, and he’ll get a lot of looks I think from NFL teams.”
Mitchell said Hawkins missed practice Wednesday to attend a dentist’s appointment.
Running backs Sylvester Nzekwe (ankle) and Jerry Joseph (knee) and wide receiver Michael Berry (hamstring) continued to miss practice Thursday. Mitchell said he does not expect any of the three back on the field until sometime next week.
Southern holds its first scrimmage of fall camp Saturday at the practice fields.
Mitchell said he was looking forward to “seeing guys in a live, game-like situation, and guys getting an opportunity to realize they can seal a position. That’s going to be huge for those guys.”
Southern will conduct a single practice Friday morning in full pads. Mitchell said Friday will be “our regular routine” rather than a lighter workout aimed at producing fresh legs for the scrimmage.
The ‘other’ kicker
A close eye will be kept on place-kickers Matt Hill and Greg Pittman as they battle for the job of kicking field goals and extra points. But freshman punter Chase Tuten could have just as much say in improving Southern’s special teams.
“When he works his technique, we have a great chance to punt the ball where we need to,” special teams coach Marty Biagi said. “He knows it’s his role as one of 11 guys on the punt team to execute that. What we’re trying to do is get great hang time. We’ll take 40 yards and a 4.6 hang (time) any day of the week, because that allows our coverage guys to get down field and do what they need to do.”
Tuten averaged 38.8 yards per punt as a senior at North Marion High in Citra, Fla. He also played quarterback, throwing for 1,113 yards and 14 touchdowns. He is the son of Rick Tuten, who punted for four NFL teams from 1989-99.
Southern is replacing 2011 senior Manuel Canto, who served double duty as the primary punter and place-kicker.
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