Jags Announce Three Transfers To The Football Program

July 7, 2010 · By · Filed Under Football, News 

On Tuesday, South Alabama announced that three players were transferring from other programs and joining the Jaguars this season. Among these three is the Jaguars highest profile player to date, former starting linebacker Jake Johnson from Virginia Tech.

Johnson is listed at 6’2″ and 232lbs. He was highly recruited by Virginia Tech, Maryland and Virginia out of high school and has a reputation as being a monster in the weight room. Johnson started the first eight games of the 2009 season and lead the team with tackles against Alabama. For the season he finished tied for fifth on the team with 55 tackles and 4.5 of them for a loss with two sacks.

However, at the end of the season Johnson lost his starting job and Beamer and Company moved him to defensive end in the spring. He asked and was granted his release back in May. Once the Jags heard he had his release from the Hokies, South Alabama make phone calls to see if he would be interested in the Jaguars. “It means the world to us to have a guy like him who has experience in big games and can provide that experience to our team,” Coach Jones remarked. “He’s going to bring a lot to the table. He’s a hard worker and a leader and we hope that’s going to rub off on our younger players.”

Johnson commented on South Alabama’s facilities by saying, “The main thing that attracted me is it’s going to be a Division I program in a couple of years and we’ll be playing against Division I schools. I’ll have three years of football, three years of school here and playing Division I teams, and you can’t beat that. I couldn’t get that from some other schools. All the facilities are brand-new and the technology is the latest stuff. I didn’t really know what to expect when I got here, but everything is great from the fieldhouse to the meeting rooms and weight room. I was really impressed. I can’t wait to strap the pads back on and start hitting again. I just love the game and I can’t wait to get started in August again.”

Kendall Houston, who was a high school standout at running back at Vigor. He helped them win the 2008 Class 5A title by running for over 2,000 yards and 25 touchdowns as an all-state selection. He transferred from Arkansas State and is listed at 5’10” and weighting 180lbs. He participated in spring drills at ASU but never played in a regular season game. So he comes to South Alabama with five seasons of eligibility since the NCAA has South Alabama listed as an “unclassified” program, he is able to participate in games during what will amount to be his redshirt season in 2010.

The third transfer is Ben Giles from Pace, Florida. Another high school standout who transferred from Louisiana-Monroe to South Alabama. He is listed at 6’0″ and 235lbs. He sat out last season at ULM and comes to South Alabama with four years of eligibility. Coach Jones remembers recruiting Giles and said, “He’s a tough inside linebacker-type player. He plays tough and he’s a good addition to the team.”

With the addition of Johnson and Giles to the Higgenbotham and Dunn tandem, the Jags have firmly solidified the linebacker positions with even more depth and talent. Look for good things out of these four in the coming season.

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