Jags Begin Spring Practice

February 28, 2013 · By · Filed Under Football 
Coach Joey Jones

Head Coach Joey Jones speaks to his team after the conclusion of the Jaguars first practice of 2012 preseason camp.

South Alabama began spring practice this morning as they gear up for their first season as a full FBS member in 2013. Though the Jags are coming off a 2-11 season and have questions going forward, there is an excitement and eagerness to meet the challenge head on.

The Jags defense last year played very strong and surprised many for a first year FBS program. But they allowed too many big plays.

Out goes Bill Clark, who accepted the head coaching position at Jacksonville State, and in comes new defensive coordinator Kevin Sherrer from Alabama. Sherrer will have experience on the defensive line with Romelle Jones, Montavious Williams, Randon Carnathan, Alex Page and Pat Moore all returning. Likewise, the Jags will return some linebackers that should be the core of a solid unit as well.

But the secondary will be where help is needed, which is where Sherrer will coach.

The offensive line will need to replace Trey Clark, who started every single game the Jaguars have played in the last four years. A group of experienced players return giving second year offensive coordinator Robert Matthews a lot to work with. Drew Dearman and Melvin Meggs return with redshirt freshmen Joseph Scelfo and Clay Machen, among others, looking to earn more playing time as well.

The position that gets the most attention year in and year out is quarterback. The Jags return Ross Metheny who won the starting job from C.J. Bennett last season, but cannot sit back and expect to keep that position with the stable of players behind him. Trey Fetner who came in at times last season on designed run plays on short yardage third and fourth down plays. Fetner has a strong arm, runs great strong with the ball and is settling into Matthews spread offense.

Many will be looking to Brandon Bridge to see what he does this spring. Bridge transferred in from Alcorn State and brings a big arm, but needed work on his accuracy. He is quick and could bring something extra to the spread offense. The key will be his accurancy, the Jags cannot afford many turnovers as a second year FBS program.

Redshirt freshman Grant Powell will look to get an opportunity to show what he has, and the same with Kolt Peavey.

South Alabama will need playmakers to step up and show what they have this spring. They lacked a big receiver who could be counted on to come through in key situations. They converted Gabe Loper to wide receiver from defensive back last season, but he has since graduated. Who will be able to fill that role this season?

Another big player at tight end is also gone as Greg Hollinger left after the season. Hollinger was a go-to guy who could make miss-matches against the defense.

More players will join the team in time for fall camp. But Coach Jones and his staff will be looking to see how the players have progressed from last season before looking at the the influx of mostly young talent this fall.

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