Harris And May Represent Jaguars At 2014 SBC Media Day

July 23, 2014 · By · Filed Under Football, NCAA, Sun Belt Conference 

Helmet_CameraThe student-athletes who represented the school and their teammates were Maleki Harris and Chris May. Here is a sample of what they had to say at the 2014 Sun Belt Conference Media Day at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Harris was named to the preseason second-team All-Sun Belt Team by Phil Steele and Athlon Sports. Last season he started 10 games but saw action in all 12 games. He finished fourth on the team with 63 tackles and 8.5 tackles for loss. He led the team with seven pass breakups and with two fumble recoveries. He also recorded 2.5 sacks, three quarterback hurries and an interception.

Harris, as a sophomore, also played in all 13 games and recorded 20 tackles while leading the team with two fumble recoveries and set a school game record when he recovered both of them in the same game against Hawaii.

May, a 6’5″ 290-pound native of Tuscumbia, Alabama, was selected as a First-Team All-Sun Belt player and was selected as a Second-Team All-Conference by both Phil Steele and College Sports Madness. He led the team last season with 65 knockdown blocks and was second on the team with an 87% grade overall after starting all 12 games for the Jaguars last season at right tackle. He allowed only one sack on 394 passing attempts by the Jaguars last season. He had a season-high nine knockdowns in the Jaguar win over Lousiana-Monroe.

As a redshirt freshman in 2012, he appeared in all 13 games and started the final seven at left tackle. He was named to the conference All-Freshman Team by the Sun Belt Conference beat writers and earned a coaches’ award on the offensive line three times to tie a season-record.

Chris May (Jr. Offensive lineman)

Speaking about his Sun Belt Conference Media Day: “It’s really cool. I was talking with Maleki (Harris) about how cool it is to not only be here, but to be here representing our team, university and city.”

Speaking about the offense’s greatest challenge this football season: “I think our main challenge will be to keep everyone on the same page. We have so many different athletes and so many people that can do so many different things that if we stay together and maintain great team chemistry then we can do some special things.”

Speaking about the cohesion among the offensive line: “We have some special players upfront. We get Melvin Meggs back who was a great player for us two years ago, but he suffered an injury and had to miss last season. Drew Dearman and Ucambre Williams, an All-SBC performer, and Joseph Scelfo will probably step up and play center for us this year. He has the potential to be really good too. Four of us that start on the line came in together in the same signing class. It’s been cool to see everyone mature and grow as players and men.”

Speaking about competing for the conference championship: “I felt like we were at that point last year. We obviously struggled a little late in some games, but we finished 6-6 and were bowl eligible. This year is a big year for us. We have a lot of returning starters on offense, and some guys who are building depth for us on defense. I feel like this is the year for us to not only compete for the Sun Belt (title), but to win the whole thing.”

Speaking about the team heading into this season: “Coach (Joey) Jones has really been hitting us hard with discipline and team-building exercises. We did a workout with some Navy Seals about midway through the summer. As long as we can have that team chemistry and can stay disciplined, I feel like we have the potential to have a great year.”

Maleki Harris (Sr. Linebacker)

Speaking about his role in the defense: “I definitely feel that I have more responsibility to lead the defense. When I first got here, I butted heads with some of the guys who were seniors last year. But they took me under their wing, and I think the coaches saw that and have put me in a position to be a leader. I feel a lot of responsibility for this season and how it goes, especially defensively. I feel like a lot of it is on me. If I can’t make the play, there may be something I can tell a teammate that they can use in certain situations. But I feel like there isn’t a play that I can’t make. At the end of the season when my career here is over, I want South Alabama to succeed. That’s part of being a leader. You have to lead, but you also have to prepare others to lead. When you have that, then you have a great program and that’s what we want at South Alabama.”

Speaking about the defense: “I feel like our weakness is experience, and the only way you can get experience is going through it. But our strength defensively is toughness. We are going to be a tough, hard-nosed defense because that’s how we are coached. It starts with our defensive coordinator Coach (Travis) Pearson. It is discipline and toughness, mental toughness to be more specific. That’s some of the points where we fell short last year. Those close games we lost came down to mental toughness. Now that we have been through that, I feel like we are ready for it.”

Speaking about the 2014 schedule ahead of them: “I see so much potential for a great year and the opportunity to get Mobile recognized for more than just the Senior Bowl. We want Mobile to be known as the home of South Alabama. We want to be nationally-known. We want that recognition but at the same time we are going to stay humble and keep working toward our goals.”

Speaking about what he learned by playing in the Sun Belt Conference last season: “It was tough, but it was fun. It can get a little crazy going on the road in the Sun Belt. But the team that wins on the road is the team that will come out on top. You have to do it. There is not a sport that you can succeed in if you don’t win on the road. It’s going to be a tough challenge, but I think we will be ready for it.”

Speaking about the team this season: “We want the Sun Belt championship. I feel like we are very talented across the board, and we may not have been able to say that at times in the past years. We are young, but this may be the most talented team to come through South Alabama. Talent-wise we won’t be lacking at any position.”

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