Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2011-08-23

August 24, 2011 · By · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show 
Baker and Jones

Coach Jones looks on as Demetre Baker looks to the sideline before blocking for a field goal attempt.

The Joey Jones Radio Show started season three with host Lee Shirvanian and guest Joel Erdmann today.

They started the show off by talking about the depth chart now that they are finished with preseason camp and are into game prep mode. The first thing that Lee asked coach Jones about were there any surprises that emerged that he wasn’t thinking about. Coach Jones said that they don’t have many changes.

He mentioned on the offensive line that Levi Slaydon did not return so they had to fill that position. Jermaine Smith and Brian Krauskopf have stepped up and are neck-and-neck for that starting job. Other than that change, the offensive line is the same as last season. At tight end it is pretty much the same with Kevin Helms and Paul Bennett there. A little bit of a change will be the backfield with the addition of Georgia transfer Demetre Baker with Kendall Houston. He indicated that they would be co-starters in the backfield.

When coach Jones moved onto receivers, he mentioned that they have more names out there than they did last year. Last year Courtney Smith was the big name and the other receivers were ‘the others’.

Lee then started talking about the defense and mentioned that there were many familiar names on that side of the ball. He first mentioned Cori Barnett at the Sam position with Ken Barefield as his backup. Barefield played defensive back last season for the Jags.

When asked about how Cori emerged as being a starter, Coach Jones said that he had a great spring and awarded him with a scholarship for how well he did in the off-season. He mentioned that he is a bit undersized but still plays very well, he’s smart and knows all the answers to questions over on defense. Ken will still play alot.

The secondary will be very different this season. The lone returning starter is Anton Graphenreed, but he is joined by newcomers Charles Harris, Damon Smith and Alabama transfer B.J. Scott. When asked if he and defensive coordinator Bill Clark, coach Jones said it does not bother them. They are very good players and they feel very sound in the secondary.

Lee asked Dr. Erdmann about opening night for the Jaguars. He said that they are lots of ‘moving parts’ but that everything is coming along well. They are putting the final touches on Ladd-Peebles Stadium to make it a unique experience for South Alabama fans. They are also working on implementing instant replay and putting the final touches on that as well.

Turning back to training camp, the Fuego ‘Who’s Hot’ feature was C.J. Bennett on the offensive side of the ball. He has really stepped up as a quarterback, not only throwing ability and reading defenses but as a leader. Coach Jones said that Bennett is emerging as a great leader on offense. On defense, Coach Jones singled out Damon Smith at corner back. Saying that he has brought lots of energy to the team. He continued by saying that he is a very physical cornerback and can cover receivers well. He finished up talking about him by saying that he is a better player than what they thought they were getting when he arrived.

Lee asked about the quarterbacks behind Bennett since he seems to be a solid #1 on the depth chart. Lee said that on the depth chart the 2nd string position was listed as being Myles Gibbon or Trey Fetner, a freshman. Coach Jones said that Fetner has moved up really quickly and that Gibbon and Fetner are neck-and-neck right now. This is Myles’ third year and has done well while Trey has come in as a freshman and has been throwing the ball well with a strong arm. But he was quick to say that they are very fortunate to have three guys who are great quarterbacks that they can count on in case someone gets hurt.

Lee then asked Coach Jones what needs to happen between now and gameday against West Alabama. Coach Jones answered that they started ‘dabbling’ with the gameplan some during last week’s practice. But said that they really got into it yesterday. He said that what they need to accomplish is to do a situational scrimmage on Thursday that covers situations that they have not covered in practice. They will treat it kind of like a game with running onto and off of the field. They want to make sure that the players are paying attention on the sidelines and get onto and off of the field in a timely and orderly manner.

Lee then directed a statement to Dr. Erdmann that he thought that people see the undefeated 17-0 record and tend to take the program a little bit for granted about how far the program has risen in such a short amount of time. Dr. Erdmann immediately said that it cannot be overstated what Coach Jones and his staff has done in starting this program and getting it to this point when just about two years ago it didn’t exist.

Lee then transitioned into this season by asking about season ticket sale. Dr. Erdmann indicated that, to date, that ticket sales is ahead of what it was last season. He then compared the season ticket sales trend at emerging schools, talking about South Florida in particular, is to drop off from year one to year two but have their largest drop off from year two to year three.

However South Alabama has defied that by increasing season ticket sales in each of the previous years. Actually South Alabama’s season ticket sales is currently second in the Sun Belt conference only trailing Troy. But Erdmann quickly mentioned that North Texas will probably get a bump in sales due to their new football stadium opening this season. Erdmann also said that some schools in Conference-USA and the MAC would be envious of the Jaguars season ticket sales.

Lee transitions over to talking about stadiums, which garners some chuckles from both Coach Jones and Dr. Erdmann. As for news about stadiums, neither one had anything to say beyond that it’s fun to talk about and obviously it would be nice to have an on-campus stadium. The key word was that Erdmann said that “no formal action” is happening towards a stadium.

After the first break, Lee came back to talk about the depth chart and Demetre Baker. He observed that many people don’t concern themselves too much with the depth chart at other positions other than quarterback. Coach Jones agreed and qualified it with the caveat that the quarterback position does not rotate much if any in most program. He said they [South Alabama] rotated quarterbacks in previous seasons because there wasn’t much difference between the first, second and third string quarterbacks. But at running back and other positions, in order to play Division I football, you have to rotate players because you are going to have some injuries here and there.

One listeners question was about how recruiting changed after last season than it was after the first season. Coach Jones answered it by saying that it has changed alot. Places know where South Alabama is and where Mobile is. When they walk into a school, they know where South Alabama is.

The next email question asked about what would be the focus of the 2012 signing class. Coach Jones said that the biggest need would be offensive linemen, because you cannot get enough offensive linemen. After that, their focus would be on defense looking for a little bit at each position. They are okay at quarterback, probably don’t need much at running back either. Also he mentioned that they probably need to sign one or two tight ends.

A third email asked about how much current players factor into helping recruit former teammates to the program. Coach Jones said you think that would naturally occur. If a player comes in for a visit, they look to pair them with someone they will be comfortable with. If someone played with them in high school, then that may be the best choice for them when the visit.

Lee then introduced the injury report sponsored by The Orthopedic Group. coach Jones said that they are looking pretty good right now. At one point they had 22 guys sidelined at one time with injuries. There are three guys who out right now. One is freshman receiver Anthony Ingram who had surgery on his shoulder and will miss the season. Running back Devin Robinson, another freshman, hurt his hand and will be out for three or four weeks. Then Brandon Ross who will most likely miss the season, but has an outside chance to be ready halfway through the season or later. On the bright side, Coach Jones said that Ingram can be redshirted this season and will have four more years of eligibility.

Lee then asked about Enrique Williams, who is listed as a starter for the West Alabama game but has not practiced much this season so far. Coach Jones said that Williams practiced on Tuesday and is back with the team. Most of the 22 returned on Monday or Tuesday with only about six players still out right now.

Coach Jones, Dr. Erdmann and Lee next talked about NCAA issues. Some representatives met with the NCAA recently about different issue. Three of the main issues they talked about was academic reform, cost containment and examining rules. They raised the APR from 925 to 930 and they may raise core course grades and also SAT/ACT scores needed to get into school. As for rules, they want to set new presidents by upping enforcement and upping consequences.

Coach Jones, like many others, would like to see more streamlined rules and be able to keep a level playing field, which is keyed off of enforcement.

Lee asked about social networking and Coach Jones said he has cautioned his players to be very careful how they portray themselves and the program. They want to have a first class program so they have to portray themselves in a first class way. Dr. Erdmann said that the institutions are supposed to monitor social media like Facebook, twitter and others. So they have to spot check so they can intervene if unethical interaction of athletes may be occurring.

Speaking towards the problems that have surfaced down in Miami. Coach Jones said that he tells his staff to recruit the player and the family and not to get involved with any third parties. Dr. Erdmann also said that rules help to ease pressure on recruits.

Speaking directly about the Miami problems, Dr. Erdmann said that it was said to hear and that it was not the right way to do things. He also added that if the allegations are true, that parts of the program could be on the chopping block. Erdmann also said that the kids are 18-22 years old and are old enough to know better and are told to avoid over and over.

Lee asked about the 10 game schedule and why the Jags could not get more games than that. Dr. Erdmann said it was their intent to have more games but early in the year, around February or March, they were informed that UC Davis wanted to opt-out of their contract with USA. USA and Edward-Waters mutually agreed to drop their contract. But the UC Davis game was scheduled later in the season and was able to find a replacement game with Mississippi Valley State.

After adding the 10th game back, they made sure they were fulfilling their requirements for their two-year transition to FBS. Then after looking at what teams were out there available for a game, they decided that the possible games out there weren’t the best fits for the school and decided to stay with 10 games. Additionally they have some off weeks that may be very advantageous during this season.

Coach Jones made sure to stress that Division I-A and Division I-AA are still Division I school. They still have 63 scholarships, which isn’t the I-A number of 85, but they are still very good programs.


One Response to “Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2011-08-23”

  1. Batjag on August 24th, 2011 3:55 pm

    Great write up, Brian! I wasn’t able to listen to the show since they moved it to 11, so thanks for taking the time to do this.

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