SU football team dealing with injuries

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Southern football coach Dawson Odums shouts to his players during the team's first spring practice in January. Players will report for preseason camp July 31. Show caption
Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Southern football coach Dawson Odums shouts to his players during the team's first spring practice in January. Players will report for preseason camp July 31.

As the Southern football team enters its third week of spring practice, the Jaguars find themselves dealing with a case of the injury bug.

Coach Dawson Odums announced Tuesday that senior Lee Doss, the team’s top returning receiver, will miss the rest of spring ball because of a knee injury.

Junior running back Terence Clayton had a boot on his left leg as he watched Tuesday’s practice from the sideline. Sophomore linebacker Christopher Scruggs did not practice because of swelling in his knees.

Three more Jaguars — senior defensive lineman Dion Palmer, senior offensive lineman Clinton Boyd and senior defensive back Jonathan Wilson — were held out of practice Tuesday as well.

However, Odums said none of the injuries appear serious.

“We’re happy that we don’t have any major injuries to report,” he said. “Mostly, it’s just spring ball, typical bumps and bruises.”

Odums said one of the advantages to holding spring practice early in the year —
Southern began Feb. 26, well before many college teams -- is it gives injured players a time to get healthy again before the season starts.

“That’s the luxury of going early,” he said. “You go early enough so these guys have more time to heel and are 100 percent by the time we’re ready to go in August.”

Tuesday’s practice marked the ninth of 15 for Southern leading up to its March 23 spring game.

The Jaguars will hold their second scrimmage of the spring at 1 p.m. Friday after having their first scrimmage Saturday afternoon.

Odums said freshman running back Leonard Tillery, freshman center Terrell Lee, senior running back Darrius Coleman and junior defensive back Dionte McDuffy were among the players who stood out Saturday.

Odums said Coleman, known for his bruising running style, broke a long run.

Tillery, a walk-on from McKinley expected to challenge Coleman and Clayton for a starting job, continued to earn praise after establishing himself as hard worker during the offseason.

“We were expecting a lot from him, but it was still nice to see,” Odums said. “You hadn’t ever seen.”

McDuffy, a former Evangel star, enrolled at Southern in January after beginning his college career at South Alabama.

“He made some bit hits out there,” Odums said.

Lee did not participate in the scrimmage Saturday because of the knee injury.