Coach Jones Q&A Session Before L’Arche Football Preview

June 3, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

A video was posted online of the question and answer session with Coach Jones before the DEX Imaging L’Arche Football Preview Thursday night at the Mitchell Center.

When asked about the status of the Jaguars Division-I transfers, he said that Brandon Bridge (quarterback) will not be eligible. Bridge is a transfer from Alcorn State and the NCAA did not grant a waiver. The Jags are still waiting to hear about the eligibility of offensive lineman James Elliot, who came from Kentucky and applied for immediate eligibility.

Coach Jones said that almost all of the incoming class are enrolled this summer, except for “about two or three” he said.

A question was asked about the players work in the weight room and how this year’s work will be as important as anything they do. Coach Jones said that, number one, they try to prevent injuries with their offseason strength and conditioning. Number two, they have to develop their athletes. He continued by saying that the other schools they will be facing have been Division-I programs for a long time and that this year will be the Jags first season as a Division-I school. This is their first “Division-I signing class.” They have to develop these players and move them along in the process. “If they’re 260 pounds, they need to be 285. We’ve got to have them at 285. It’s vital if we’re going to have a chance to compete.”

Q: Are you going to plug Jake Johnson (Senior Linebacker) for the Senior Bowl when you talk with Phil Savage (Senior Bowl Executive Director) tonight?

Jones: “No doubt. I certainly don’t make those decisions, but we’re excited about the possibilities of our players having a chance to play in the Senior Bowl.”

Q: What do you think of the changes in the Sun Belt?

Jones: “There’s a lot of shake up out there and everybody is trying to grab and pick, and conferences are grabbing and picking teams here and there. A couple of our teams, FIU and North Texas are going to Conference USA. So, therefore, we’ve gotten Georgia State and Texas State with Dennis Franchione and Bill Curry. With those guys, they’re goign to be good football programs. And with the Atlanta market you would think Georgia State’s going to be a threat down the road and with Franchione out there at Texas State they’ll get going as well. So it’s good to have both of them.”

On the video, which you can view below, he answers the following questions.

Q: Between now and August, what are your priorities and what do you hope to accomplish?

Jones: “First of all, I want our coaches to get away from about a week, this week. The kids came to summer school Tuesday and we made sure they all got settled in and got on the right track. Made sure they got with the people they needed to get with to get in class and got to know the strength coach and that type of thing. Then we have camps. Our goal with the camps is obviously to get as many kids in camp as we can and hopefully as many prospects in camp as we can so we can evaluate them and get to know them personally. Hopefully get to know their parents if they come into town and kind of get an unofficial visit type situation. It’s also a chance for them to see our facilities and see our university and the city of Mobile. We feel like if they come here to Mobile we’ve got a chance to get them. Even though our name is getting out there to households – we went down to Miami and people know us – we’ve still got to get kids on campus and let them see South Alabama. Just the name itself is not what some of the other names are right now, so we need to get them on campus. Once they see that, they see that we’re for real and we have a much better shot.”

Q: What’s your opinion on playoffs to determine the NCAA Football Champion? Do you support a four-team playoff?

Jones: “That’s something I think they needed. It’s something, a four-team playoff, that I always thought would be perfect. I think you have 1 against 4 and 3 against 2 in bowl games or wherever; they may be at home fields or whatever they decide to do – (but) having a semifinal-type situation and later a national championship game a week later, I always thought it would be a great thing for college football and I think that’s going to happen.”

Q: Do you favor playing the games at neutral sites or on campuses?

Jones: “I would vote for on campus. Crowd-wise, that’s going to create a much more electric atmosphere. If you go to a neutral site, sometimes that doesn’t work. So I think the home site would be a much better situation.”

Q: Why do you advocate student-athletes entering school the summer prior to the fall football season?

Jones: “A couple things, it gives the kid a chance to know the campus and to get acclimated academically. Then number two, obviously to get acclimated from a football standpoint. Also with that, get to know our players, over the course of the summer make some friends and get some mentors that they can count on. Lastly, having them in summer school gets them to graduate on time or early. If they graduate early, they can get started working on their masters before they leave here.”

This will be the fourth season for the Jaguars football team, and the second in their two-year transition into full FBS membership.