Lackawanna CC tight end Julian Allen is rated the 83rd best Junior College prospect for 2015. South Alabama has had a long line of talent at the tight end position and looks to have another great season from that position in 2014 with Wes Saxton and Braedon Bowman. With Allen’s commitment, that should continue to be the for seasons to come.
James Bynes, another tight end/wide receiver prospect from Dodge City CC committed over the weekend. He’s been very vocal about his commitment while visiting campus and the coaches over the weekend.
The third commit over the weekend was class of 2015 offensive lineman Steven Clark of Brindlee Mountain School in Guntersville, Alabama. Clark recently visited South Alabama but also had good experiences with the staffs at Southern Miss and Arkansas State among others. But the difference was how the USA staff’s dedication to let him know how much they wanted him at South Alabama.
Quinton Lane, a cornerback from Itawamba CC. in Fulton, Mississippi also gave his verbal commitment to the Jaguars over the weekend. The 6’2″, 185-pound cornerback is rated a three-star by 247Sports.
These four come on the heels of Jalen Thompson’s verbal last Tuesday where he chose the Jaguars over a host of other schools including South Carolina, who was heavily recruiting him and had hosted him for a visit the previous weekend.
Jones and his staff currently have seven verbal commitments for the class of 2015.
Jon Johnson of the Dothan Eagle had a nice writeup about South Alabama assistant coaches and brothers John and Brian Turner as they were in town for the football camps the Jaguar coaching staff have been hosting across the state of Alabama this week.
John and Brian were both hired in 2008 as head coach Joey Jones was assembling his first coaching staff. John, who now coaches tight ends for the Jaguars, and Brian, who is recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach, have both been with the program since the very beginning. Actually, they are the only remaining coaches from that first coaching staff.
Click here to read the article from The Dothan Eagle.
The University of South Alabama, head coach Joey Jones and his staff and players as well as head baseball coach Mark Calvi, his staff and players all made a huge ripple in college football recruiting coverage today. In a surprise to the SEC schools recruiting St. Paul’s senior cornerback Jalen Thompson, none of them received his verbal commitment. Instead Thompson gave his verbal to the Jaguars.
Thompson, a 6′ 170-pound cornerback was heavily recruited by several SEC schools including Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Auburn and Alabama. His interest was not limited to SEC schools though. He also had offers from California, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Minnesota, NC State, Northern Illinois and Southern Miss, however he ultimately chose to stay close to home in Mobile to play both of the sports he loves at his hometown school.
Depending on which recruiting service you look at, he is either a 3 or 4 star recruit which is arguably the highest rated player to commit to the Jaguars to date. Though he cannot sign with the Jaguars until February 4, 2015 he claims to be “100%” committed to South Alabama.
As a junior in 2013, Thompson recorded seven interceptions and returned two for touchdowns while also forcing a fumble, recovering a fumble and recording 39 tackles. On the baseball diamond he was a Mobile Press-Register All-Region selection at shortstop while hitting .350 with 35 stolen bases as the St. Paul Saints finished the season with a 29-4 record and a berth in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs.
Thompson expects to move from shortstop to center field for baseball and play cornerback and return kicks for the football team.
Could Jalen be the domino that Coach Jones, Coach Turner and the rest of the staff have been looking for? Could he be the one that opens the floodgates of 3*, 4* and opens the door to potentially getting one of the elite 5* recruits to the Jaguars? Only time will tell.
The recruiting process is not over, Thompson will continue to get interest from the other schools who offered scholarships to him, but the hometown school has the upper hand with the Mobile standout.
“It’s close to home,” Thompson told AL.com. “I think South is a school on the rise, and I really wanted to play football and baseball. I’m excited.”
Congrats Jalen and welcome to #JagNation!
It began with a two-day camp on campus on Friday and Saturday and continued last night in Dothan at Rip-Hewes Stadium. This week they will be in Montgomery from 5-7:30pm at Park Crossing High School, followed by Birmingham on Tuesday at Oak Mountain High School from 6-8:30pm and will wrap up on Wednesday at Decatur High School from 6-8:30pm.
Each of the remaining camps will cost $30 per participant and is open to ninth through 12th graders. These camps are shorter versions of the two-day camp the coaching staff hosted over the weekend at the University of South Alabama. The coaches will be working with the participants teaching fundamentals for each position.
On Saturday, USA Today’s Paul Myerberg posted the next in a series counting down to the beginning of the College Football season. He ranked the Jaguars 72nd in his list of 128 teams that he is counting down.
In his article he broke down the Jaguars in depth position by position. He heaped lots of praise on the Jaguars offensive line who he said should be the difference. He pointed to the Jags having All-Conference linemen at both tackles and both guard positions, which I think anyone would agree, is very impressive. Everything begins with the offensive line.
He also wrote about all the holes that need to be filled in the defensive front seven for the Jaguars. The Jaguar coaches and players have some big shoes to fill on the defensive line and at linebacker.
To read the whole article, click here.
University of South Alabama head football coach Joey Jones officially announced that Matt Floyd will be joining the Jaguar football program this fall after he signed a Grant-In-Aid with the school.
Floyd, a 6’1″, 200-pound Milton, FL native, joins USA from South Florida with two years of eligibility remaining. He was voted team captain prior to the start of the 2013 season. After sitting out his redshirt season in 2011, he saw action as a redshirt freshman with a 20-for-35 and 175 yard performance at Miami and in his first career start at Cincinatti he went 21-of-39 for 176 yards. He started against McNeese State last season going 9-for-20 for 72 yards.
He also garnered attention off the field by receiving the Freddie Solomon Community Spirit Award in 2013, which honors a collegiate football player from the state of Florida or South Carolina each year who has impacted the lives of others through giving and community service. He was also named to the American Athletic Conference All-Academic Team last season along with the BIG EAST All-Academic Team in 2012.
In high school at Milton High, he was a three year starter where he threw for 4,988 yards, 37 touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns in his career. In his senior season he led the area with 2,277 yards passing as he went 150-of-272 with 17 touchdowns as he earn Super Senior honors along with the IMG Academic All-Madden and First-Team All-Area squad honors. As a junior he threw for 1,711 yards and 14 touchdowns while completing 112-of-205 passes to be named to the Second-Team All-Area team. As a sophomore he threw for 1,000 yards and five touchdowns while adding five more on the ground.
South Alabama recruited Floyd out of high school but ended up choosing South Florida instead. Jones said that he was recruited both for his athletic ability but also because of his character and leadership skills. He fits in a similar mold that Ross Metheny filled the last two seasons as a dual-threat quarterback who can both throw with a strong arm and run with good size. He should fit into the Jaguars offensive scheme well.
Along with Floyd, the Jags added quarterback Hunter Vaughn to the to team. Vaughn, a former Robertsdale High School and Butler (Kansas) Community College quarterback transferred to USA and joined the team this summer. He is another dual-threat quarterback that the Jags were recruiting but they already had a commitment that season. Vaughn will most likely redshirt this season and had three years of eligibility remaining.
With the two newcomers, the Jags have a nice stable of quarterbacks for the approaching season. Current number 1 quarterback Brandon Bridge, last year’s number 2 quarterback and a senior this season, is sitting in the drivers position for the starting spot after showing lots of improvement in the spring and flashes of greatness last season. Trey Fetner, a junior, who knows the offense and has been regularly used in short-yardage “wildcat” situations but has a good arm is currently pegged as the number 2. Grant Powell, a sophomore, who has a good arm and can run, but needs more time to get comfortable with his decision making and the offense. Dallas Davis, a freshman, who will most likely be redshirted this season who is another dual-threat quarterback who should fit well into the offensive scheme Robert Matthews has going.
South Alabama will begin their season on September 6 against Kent State with kickoff scheduled for 1pm CDT. The Jags finished 6-6 and bowl eligible in their first season as a full FBS member, but did not receive an invitation to a bowl game. They also finished third in the conference with a 4-3 record after a three-game winning streak to close out the season with a 30-8 win over conference co-champion Louisiana-Lafayette to cap off the season.
South Alabama volleyball head coach Amy Hendrichovsky announced an addition to her coaching staff on Monday. Faith Steinwedell has joined the team as an assistant coach with her duties including defensive game-planning, scouting and coordinating team travel, Alumni relations and heading up community outreach.
Steinwedell is a native of El Cajon, California where she was a two-time All-Conference and All-League standout at Santa Fe Christian School in Solana Beach, California. She was part of two state championships in 2005 and 2007 and also district titles from 2004-2007. She earned a third-team Untion Times All-San Diego honors and First-Team All-Coastal North League honors in both her junior and senior seasons.
She began her collegiate career at Mississippi State where she had to work through two knee injuries yet still managed to play three seasons for the Bulldogs. Prior to the 2011 and 2012 seasons she was named team captain and ended her career with 493 kills, 559 digs and 162 blocks. She continued her excellent work in the classroom by earning Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll each year from 2008-2012. She was also one of four MSU players to earn SEC Freshman Academic Honors in 2008 and President’s Scholar as a sophomore with a 4.0 GPA.
She then moved to Cal Baptist in Riverside, California where she started all 26 matches in which she played and ranked third on the team in digs (256), total blocks (56), fourth on the team in hitting percentage (.267) and also had 217 kills. During her only season with the Lancers she was selected both 2012 All-PacWest Honorable mention and second-team NCCAA West All-Region while also earning 2012-2013 PacWest Conference Academic All-Conference honors.
Steinwedell earned her bachelors of science degree in kinesiology for sport pedagogy from Mississippi State in 2011 and her master’s degree in kinesiologoy for sports management from Cal Baptist in 2012.
The Jaguars open in the Asics Classic in Malibu, California on August 29 and 30 when they face Pepperdine, Nevada and Oral Roberts in two days. For the full schedule visit the Jaguar Volleyball site here.
The Jags had a trio of freshmen in Mallory Moore, Jessica Lewis and Mechell Daniel who earned numerous Freshmen of the Week honors. Daniel also earned Offensive Player of the week honors, only the fourth Jaguar to earn that honor in program history. Daniel was chosen as the SBC Freshman of the Year, only the second player in program history to earn an individual award, and First-Team All-Conference honors. Lewis also earned Second-Team All-SBC honors.
Welcome to Mobile coach Steinwedell! Go Jags!
It was announced on Friday that South Alabama assistant coach Mark Ryal has joined the Oklahoma State Cowgirl softball team in a similar capacity. Ryal was part of the Jaguar program for one season as the Jaguars went to their third-consecutive NCAA Regional appearance.
This past season the Jaguars went 42-14 overall and were ranked as high as #11 in the NFCA Coaches poll midway through the season. They eventually lost to national runner-up Alabama 3-0 in the Tuscaloosa Regional final. Three players received All-Sun Belt Conference honors this season.
Ryal is a native of Dewar, Oklahoma which is about 115 miles from Stillwater, so his return to Oklahoma is not a surprise.
Kaitlyn Beans’ freshman season finished up on Friday and what a freshman season it was. She jumped a 12.67m mark on her second jump to finish 17th in the 24 person field and finish one spot and two-hundredths of a meter shy of earning a second-team All-American honors.
Beans, a native of Montgomery, Alabama, qualified for the national meet after a 13.18m mark and a seventh place finish at the regional preliminary to become the first individual in program history to advance to the NCAA finals in any of the jumping events. She is also the first freshman to qualify for the nationals in any event. She finishes the season as the school record-holder of 13.19m when she earned the gold-medal at the Sun Belt Conference Championships in May.
Locke St. John, a junior, has reportedly signed with the Detroit Tigers after being drafted in the 32nd round of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Draft. He was the 970th overall pick and one of 22 pitchers taken by the Tigers in the draft.
St. John finished the season, his only with the Jaguars, with a 6-3 record with a 3.24 ERA in 15 starts. He struck out 52 batters and walked 29 in 97 1/3 innings pitched. He threw one complete game and combined for a shutout this season.
He is the second left handed pitcher to be selected in the draft in as many seasons.
St. John hails from Pell City, Alabama and came to South Alabama by way of Southern Union Community College in Wadley, Alabama where he pitched 100 1/3 innings as a freshman and had an 8-8 record with a 3.93 ERA with 88 strikeouts and two complete games. In his sophomore season he only pitched 8 1/3 innings with eight strikeouts and three walks with a 3.24 ERA before joining the Jaguars.
Congratulations Locke! We will be cheering you on!
South Alabama’s Renaldo Frechou finished seventh in the men’s hammer throw at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships while setting a new school record with a throw of 67.64m. He also became the sixth individual in program history to be claim All-American honors with his first-team selection.
Frechou entered the event the 15th overall seed and the school record holder in the event. But he would break his own record four different times in his six attempts before finishing with his 67.62m mark on his final throw. That was more than tree meters better than his 64.36m school and Sun Belt Conference record setting throw in the East Region Preliminaries just two weeks ago.
He is the first All-American since the pair of Tonny Okello and Vincent Rono earned honors in 2007 and only the fourth in the history of the men’s program. He is also the first thrower in school history, man or woman, to earn the honor.
Track and Field head coach Paul Brueske had lots of praise for Frechou, “Renaldo came out here against the best hammer throwers in the country and had four throws over his personal best in the biggest meet of the year. This is a great day for him and for our program. He really stepped up and did a fantastic job, and I’m really proud of the way he handled himself today.”
Kaitlyn Beans will represent the Jaguars on Friday in the triple-jump. The event is set to get underway at 5:25pm CDT where the she is seeded ninth among the individuals participating.