Joey Jones Show Recap 2008-12-17

December 18, 2008 · By · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show 

Coach Jones was back in Mobile for his radio show this week with Brian Turner, the recruiting coordinator for the South Alabama Jaguars. Today marked the first day for Junior college transfers to sign with new schools.

Coach Jones had 13 scholarships available from this signing year and would be able to sign up to about two weeks into 2009 if necessary to use all of the 30 allocated scholarships in a given year. Jags staff have been busy recruiting their areas as well as hotbeds like California and Texas for players. They have been focusing on offensive and defensive linemen.

When the show went on the air, Coach Jones and his staff had already received six faxes from signees and expected about five more to come in relatively soon. Here is a rundown of some of the signees from the show.

Early James, quarterback from Jones County Junior College who is listed at 6’2″ and 191lbs. Coach Jones said he was a dual threat and was very athletic. He can play all over the field from Wide Receiver to Safety in addition to Quarterback. LSU and some other big SEC schools were recruiting him and some had dropped off. His family lives in Moss Point, MS so he wanted to stay close to them which factored into his choice of USA. Many schools do not have the type of offense that West Virginia has so many of the schools recruiting him were trying to decide if they wanted to move him to safety. He was ranged 44th among all junior college players by Last seasons stats: completed 115-239 passes for 1,406 yards and 12 TD’s leading Jones County to a 7-2 record and a #14 ranking in the final National Junior College Athletic Association poll.

Kevin Helms is a tight end from Mississippi Gulf Coach Community College. He is listed at 6’3″ and 225lbs. His hometown is Gulfport, MS. He is skilled at both blocking and has good hands. He can line up on the outside or down in a three point stance and be respected and each. He is willing to block or catch on any given play. Coach Jones also gave the hint that they will be using the tight end alot in their offensive scheme. He was named to first-team all-state and his team was rated fourth in the final NJCAA rankings and he helped lead them to a 12-0 record and the NJCAA National Championship in 2007.

Corey Pittman, also from Mississippi Gulf Coach Community College, is listed as being 6’5″ and 300 lbs from Chickasaw, Alabama. He was selected first-team all-state as a sophomore.

Heath Blount from Northeast Mississippi Junior College is 6’6″ and weighs 290 lbs as an offensive lineman.

Chris Brunson from Tyler, Texas is listed at 6’3″ and weighs 300 lbs as a lineman.

Brian Krauskopf is another offensive lineman from Texas. He is listed as being 6’3″ and weighing 285 lbs. He was named second-team all-region and all-state last season at Blinn Junior College. He helped them to a 9-3 record and a final ranking of 11th in the NJCAA polls. They finished the season 3rd in the nation with an average of 427.5 yards of total offense per game in 2008.

Chris Payne from Vicksburg, Mississippi is a 6’3″ offensive lineman weighing in at 320 lbs.

Levi Slaydon from Pearl River Community College in Mississippi is a 6’3″, 270 lb offensive lineman. His squad finished 8-3 and ranked 13th in the last NJCAA poll. They also was 14th nationally with an average of 370.8 yards per game of total offense.

Steven Pease is a Freshman listed as 5’11”, 175 lb defensive back from Williamstown, New Jersey. He helped Millford Academy (N.Y.) to a 9-3 record by breaking up 10 passes, four tackles for a loss and one interception. He was chosen as the teams most improved defensive player.

Each of these players will enroll at USA in January and will be able to participate in the program’s first ever spring practice. The schedule still can not be released until sometime after the new year since it still has not been finalized.

USA has been recruiting against teams such as Memphis, Southern Miss, other Sun Belt teams, Conference USA teams, and SEC teams. One they are expecting to sign was being recruiting by UCLA.

The Jags may pick up more players in the coming weeks as they go home and think about things. They may decide that they are not where they want to be and after talking with family could decide that South Alabama is the school for them.

Lee Shirvanian asked if Coach Jones believed in giving kickers scholarships. He replied yes, that one reason why he believed in giving them scholarhsips is because they are starting a new program and they need to make sure to have kickers on the team.

After what they have signed, they are pretty much done on offense with the exception of another quarterback. On defense, they want to get more defensive linemen and defensive backs. Also, they would not turn away any good linebackers either, but the DL and DB’s are the spots they identified as being spots of real need.

Continuing with other aspects of recruiting, someone asked if building a program around too many junior college transfers is a bad idea, Coach Turner replied that you want to build your programs foundation with freshmen then use Junior college transfers to fill in needs.

Someone asked if Gene Chizik’s recruiting could put a dent in Saban’s recruiting in the state of Alabama. Coach Turner said that he is a good recruiter wherever he has been but probably not. He was a hot coach coming out of Texas two years ago but his tenure at Iowa State has seen him cool off alot since then.

On the topic of recruiting players who are verbally committed to other schools but are in the midst of a coaching change (hint, Auburn), there is a feeding frenzy for their recruits. When asked if USA would get into that and have they, Coach Jones said yes they will and yes they have and indicated that they have made some calls to players that have been recruited by Auburn.

A caller said that he saw on ESPN that an assistant from Iowa State was being interviewed by Gene Chizik and that two coaches from South Alabama were also being considered for positions. His question was that if they lost two coaches would that set the team back. Coach Jones said that they would not want to lose any of their coaches but they want to move up and he wants the best for them. Its the nature of the business. But if they did leave they would have to find coaches and work hard for the players to make sure that their loss does not negatively impact the team.

If anything about this comes to our ears here at, we will pass it along as quickly as possible.

Go Jags!


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