The Senior Bowl, who’s home is in Mobile, Alabama and play at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, will invite a total of 110 individuals to compete in a week of drills and workouts in front of NFL coaches and analysts leading up to the game that is scheduled to be held on Saturday, January 24 at 3PM and will be broadcast on the NFL Network.
In South Alabama’s five seasons of football, three players have been invited to participate in the game. Courtney Smith was the first to represent the Jaguars in 2011. Both linebacker Jake Johnson and safety B.J. Scott were selected fro the 2013 game, though Johnson was unable to participate due to injury during drills.
B.J. Scott will be playing in the 2013 Senior Bowl representing South Alabama on Saturday. Scott joins Courtney Smith (2011) and Jake Johnson as the only the third Jaguar in South Alabama’s four year history to be invited to play in the post-season All-Star game for NFL prospects.
Scott confirmed over twitter that he will be back in Mobile in the morning to practice with the team for Saturday’s Senior Bowl. Carson Tinker, a teammate of Scott’s during his time at the University of Alabama was one of the early people breaking the story via social media and congratulating Scott.
Scott, a 5’11″ 205-pound Prichard Alabama native, was chosen for honorable mention all-Sun Belt after collecting 84 tackles, six tackles for loss, two interceptions, three passes broken up and two forced fumbles. He notched a career high 12 unassistend tackles in Hawaii. He was credited with double-digit tackles four times in the 2012 season and seven times as a Jaguar. One of those double-digit games came against Mississippi State and in the Jags first-ever FBS and SBC win over Florida Atlantic.
In two seasons at South Alabama Scott collected 132 tackles, nine pass break ups, three forced fumbles and averaged 29 yards per kick return. He also missed the final three contests in the 2011 season with a knee injury.
Last weekend Scott participated in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, along with fellow Jaguar Jake Johnson, and was credited with two tackles and one punt return for no gain. Johnson was added to the Senior Bowl roster on Tuesday, however in his first practice on Wednesday he ruptured his Achilles tendon and will miss the game.
Good luck B.J.! Jaguar Nation will be behind you all the way!
South Alabama’s second invitee to participate in the Senior Bowl ended about 15 minutes into his first practice with the team. Jake Johnson ruptured his Achilles tendon very early in his first practice on the field at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and was carted off the field.
Johnson got the news yesterday that he was being invited to the Senior Bowl. So he drove down from Atlanta where he has been living and working out preparing for NFL workouts. Then just about 15 minutes into his first practice, the worst happened. A ruptured Achilles.
The Achilles tendon is the strongest and thickest tendon in the body and also the most commonly injured one as well. A rupture can occur while performing actions requiring explosive acceleration such as pushing off or jumping. The usual time for recovery is about 11 months.
Good luck Jake! Jaguar Nation will be pulling for you during your recovery!
University of South Alabama linebacker Jake Johnson has been added to the Senior Bowl according to sources and social media reports.
Johnson, a 6’1″ 240-pound Fredericksburg Virginia native, was the only Sun Belt player to average more than 10 tackles per game and was a first-team all-conference selection after finishing the season with a school record 131 tackles and 15 tackles for loss. He was the leading tackler for the Jags in seven of their 13 games and notched double-digits in tackles on five seperate occasions. He had a season-high of 15 tackles against Florida International and Middle Tennessee. He also collected 14 tackles against NC State and 10 against Mississippi State.
Johnson collected 245 total tackles and 25.5 stops for loss and nine sacks with two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two pass break-ups during his three seasons with South Alabama.
He participated in the NFLPA Collegiate bowl on Saturday where he recorded two solo tackles and two assists.
Jake Johnson becomes the second Jaguar in the schools short history of football to be invited to participate in the Senior Bowl hosted in Mobile, Alabama.
From the SeniorBowl website:
The Senior Bowl is home to a one-of-a-kind NFL Convention. In addition to the two NFL coaching staffs who coach the two Senior Bowl teams each year, over 800 NFL general managers, head coaches, assistant coaches, personnel directors, scouts and other front office personnel from the 32 NFL teams annually attend Senior Bowl Week in Mobile.
Coaching staffs for the game each year are selected by the NFL office. In addition to the coaches, each NFL team chosen by the league to coach the Senior Bowl teams also brings its training, video and equipment staffs to the contest to work with the Senior Bowl players and maximize the many benefits that the players will receive by playing in the contest.
The Senior Bowl has been played in Mobile every year since 1951. It’s first year in 1950, it was played in Jacksonville, Florida.
Tuesday saw more buzz amongst the NFL scouts for Courtney Smith.
A few updates from twitter said “small school wr Courtney Smith is a monster at 6-4, 220, runs well, limited route runner at this stage”, “Courtney Smith with a great deep ball catch…he’s arrived now, not a sleeper anymore…short, deep wherreever he’s been impressive”, “Courtney showing good focus on making the catch, looking it all the way in, showing athleticism” and “C.Smith is a bigger winner this week if the continues it today, which I think he will…Titus Young had 5 drops day one”.
Optimum Scouting wrote that Lenard Handerson has been their favorite all year long and could be a number two starter right away and going in the first round of the draft is not out of the question. But then they follow up with Courtney being “ultra-impressive” and with a frame that can dominate all day with great focus. He uses his body well to make plays and that he is flying up their boards quickly.
More written praise about Courtney comes from Sideline Scouting: “Great frame and above-average deep speed. During one-on-one drills, Smith ran a go-route and went up and over USC corner Shareece Wright for a beautiful leaping grab. His body control looks well above-average and he looks to be gaining steam here this week.”
NFL Draft Bible said, “The small school prospect has been flashing big-play ability early in practice and he’s surprisingly fast out of his stance for a 220 pounder. Smith had not problems gaining separation from the South corners and also flashed great hands, catching the ball away from his body consistently. Smith is looking like the sleeper wide receiver to watch this year in Mobile.”
Beacher Report says, “Playing in his home stadium (first South Alabama player ever to do so), Smith has sure made the most of it. At 6’4″, 220, he’s been able to win jump ball battles, blow past cornerbacks and has run efficient routes. He had some drops and Coach Chan Gailey was quick to point out, but talked a lot about how he’s a ‘raw talent’ and had great ‘potential’.”
Some not so glowing reviews of Courtney’s day on Tuesday, starting with Draft Insider. “Looks the part but only occasionally plays to it. Made some nice receptions but also dropped an equal amount of catchable throws. Poor route runner.”
Walter Football said “Courtney Smith was dropping passes throughout Tuesday afternoon’s practice.” While NFL Mocks said that “South Alabama Receiver Courtney Smith is struggling to keep up against the higher level of talent. Smith had multiple drops and was staying high coming out of his breaks. Smith did show flashes of brilliance with a few unbelievable catches. If he can adjust to the speed and level of play that he’s not used to facing, Smith can develop into a nice steal later in the draft.”
NFL radio had a nice interview with Courtney that aired around the 7:00pm hour. He spoke about getting the call from Steve Hale from the Senior Bowl to come down to the Hotel and meet with him. They then talked about Steve showing him around and how much fun he has been having being around great players from around the country. After that, they spoke about his size and how he has actually shaped up more by dropping about 10 lbs and that he could probably drop about five more to gain more speed yet keep his impressive frame.
Then they transition towards talking about he and his family relocating after the hurricane and how he couldn’t find his family for a while and the struggles they went through as a family. They spent a little time on how he came to play for coach Bill Clark at Prattville, then UAB and how he ultimately came to South Alabama via his ties to Bill Clark.
Posted shortly after noon, the San Francisco 49ers website had an article about Courtney Smith entitled “Smith takes road less traveled” which covers some of what was said in the NFL Radio interview. Read the article here.
Courtney Smith looks to the sidelines early in the Jaguars game against Lamar University.
South Alabama’s Courtney Smith has proven himself to the Jaguar Nation as a great receiver. He could have stayed at UAB but he believed that USA was the right place for him. He came in and helped the program to back-to-back undefeated seasons, 17-0, with wins over four FCS (AKA Division I-AA) programs. Additionally he has been a great face for the program’s short history, now he continues to represent the program in the Under Armor Senior Bowl.
In the first day of Senior Bowl week, Courtney has already impressed many scouts with his numbers. Online draft coverage by DraftDaddy, TalkNFLDraft, NFAuthority, DraftScout, OptimumScouting, Wes Bunting and Shane P. Hallam have all mentioned that Courtney is “quick and big”, “sleeper”, “real deal”, “built like a tank”, “Massive, completely looks the part” and “looked impressive” when mentioning him.
Additionally, the Sporting News mentions him in the second sentence of their article covering the Senior Bowl weigh-in.
Draft Daddy’s write-up of the South squads practice mentioned that Courtney wasn’t “wide-eyed” and that hey played very well by making several big plays and “impressive run-after-catch ability.” Also according to them, his speed as with all wide receivers and cornerbacks will dictate his draft value. But they also mentioned hs knack for getting open and according to them “looked big-time.” Then they asked the question, “We wonder what [h]is stock would be like were he wearing a helmet from a traditional football factory.” Story here.
We will try to bring you more good stories about Courtney Smith and his Senior Bowl experience. Go Quick6 and Go Jags!