Jags Taking The Rest Of The Week Easy; Quarterbacks Set Themselves Apart

August 25, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Brennan Sim looking to throw under the watchful eye of Coach Jones during the first scrimmage.

The Jags final scrimmage of the preseason will be on Friday instead of Saturday. Saturday will be reserved for the fans to meet the players and coaches as well as an opportunity to pick up a copy of Tommy Hicks’ book, “Kickoff: The Story of the University of South Alabama’s Inaugural Football Season”.

Tuesday was the Jags final full contact practice before Saturday’s scrimmage. This will give the players a few days to mend their many bumps and bruises over the last couple of weeks.

The rest of the week will see team go out and work in limited to no contact drills.

Meanwhile back on the practice field, the quarterback position is starting to clear up just a little. Gibbon and Bennett have set themselves apart from Sim and Cotton. Sim looked like he was poised to be the starter coming out of spring drills, but as many know, things can and do change.

Gibbon put on about 20 pounds from last season but still runs a 4.56 40 if I was told correctly. But the different in Myles from last season to this season is quite a lot. His deep passing is still great, he still has decent speed but his drop back passing game still needs some work.

Sim also put on some weight, about 15 pounds to be exact. But he has been nagged with some shoulder problems and missed some practice this preseason.

C.J. Bennett came in and has done a great job learning the offense. He has done well and Coach Gregory seems to be confident enough that he can run the offense that he has been splitting time with the 1st and 2nd team offenses with Gibbon. Gregory also said that Bennett was a polished passer and is as good as anyone you have seen, but could work on his ball handling skills in the run game.

Raymond Cotton has had the most to contend with though. He transferred from Ole Miss just before preseason camp started and had to learn a new system. But probably the largest factor has been his injured shoulder. He injured it back in spring practice at Ole Miss and was feared that he may need surgery to repair it.

But as we know from last season, things do happen and starters can get injured. Thus it’s great to have quality players beyond the starter, not only to step in when needed but also to help keep the pressure on and the competition going to make everyone a better player.

Jag Defense Plays Better In Second Scrimmage Of 2010

August 21, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Myles Gibbon, running the first series with the first-team offense, scores the first touchdown of the scrimmage.

The second scrimmage of the preseason was a bit more even than the first one last week. Less touchdowns but also less turnovers. Which pleased Coach Jones when it was all said and done.

Several players were out due to injury on the defense. None severe, just nagging injuries which the coaching staff decided to sideline for the scrimmage. Randon Carnathan, Justin Dunn, Tim Harvey, Jake Johnson, Romelle Jones and Alex Page all sat out the scrimmage.

The Jags ran about 93 plays, close to their goal of 100. Overall the offense gained 251 yards with the first team defense only allowing 48 in their seven series on the field. The only two turnovers of the day were recovered by Jarred Williams and Montavious Williams, but both were committed by Ellis Hill, but one was a bad exchange from Brennan Sim. Anthony Taylor made back-to-back sacks for the first-team defense while Kendell Bagnerise added one right after Taylor to back the offense up 18 yards in one possession.

With so many playmakers out on defense, Jonathan Cameron and Bryson James led the defense each with four tackles. Zach Rone lead the second team defense with five tackles.

Myles Gibbon led the first team offense 80 yards in seven plays on their first possession to score the first touchdown. Brandon Ross made the big gain on the series with a 39 yard run, including knocking a defensive back flat on his tail, to set up the touchdown. After two runs by Santuan McGee, Gibbon ran to the left and made the corner of the end zone for the score.

C.J. Bennett led the first team offense the second time they were on the field. He would lead the offense down the field but could not get into the end zone and they settled for a 37 yard Michel Chapuseaux field goal.

The second first-team touchdown would be from a combination of Gibbon and Bennett under center. With the offense facing fourth down from the defense’s 43 yard line, Myles would hit Bryant Lavender for a 14 yard gain on the left sideline. Then Bennett would enter the game who would fine Ralph Turner open on the right side of the field for a 29 yard touchdown. The series covered 60 yards in six plays.

The second-team offense would have it’s best drive of the day on their first possession of the game with Bennett at quarterback. He would start the series off with a 14 yard completion to Lamontis Gardner. Then after a handoff for a short gain, he complete a pass to Gardner for eight more yards and a second first down of the series. But the series would come to an end after a fumbled handoff on third down was recovered by the offense and forced them to punt.

Bennett went 5 of 8 passing for 65 yards and a touchdown, Brennan Sim completed three for 27 yards and Gibbon completed one for 14 yards. Corey Besteda, Gardner and Lavender each caught two passes while Ralph Turner led the receivers with a touchdown and 29 yards on one reception.

Coach Jones had the following to say after the scrimmage: “We changed things up, but I thought we looked a little sharper. There were a few penalties out there, which we have to get corrected in the next couple of weeks, but I thought it was a good day. It was more like a game, we called all the special teams out there so they had to be alert on the sidelines. My overall feeling is that the offense and defense got better, and special teams were pretty consistent.”

He continued, “We will evaluate this film and go into next week with an idea of who our ones and twos will be. Of course, it’s not over because these kids compete for jobs every day, but we have to find a starting point when we begin next week.”

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South Alabama’s First Scrimmage of 2010 Preseason Coverage

August 14, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

T.J. Glover running down the sideline on his 79 yard reception.

The defense started the scrimmage by allowing a 70 yard touchdown pass from Myles Gibbon to Lamontis Gardner but the defense would come back stronger after that by not allowing another score for the next seven series.

The defense would intercept two passes and recover a fumble during the seven series, scoreless stretch by the offense. C.J. Bennett would lead the offense to drive from mid field to score. However, the touchdown pass went through the intended receivers hands short of the end zone but Bryant Lavendar would catch it in the end zone for the touchdown.

After a break, the offense came back with something to prove. The offense, lead by Gibbon, would see three holding calls on the opening drive of the second half. However they worked hard and eventually put the ball into the end zone. T.J. Glover made it into the end zone twice but each were called back on holding penalties. Hill eventually got the ball into the end zone.

There would be three more touchdowns by the offense with two of them being keyed off of big plays. Santuan McGee had a 42 yard touchdown and 79 yard reception by T.J. Glover set up the offense for another score.

Myles finished 6 of 8 for 119 yards and two touchdowns. C.J. Bennett went 7 of 13 for 162 yards and two touchdowns and an interception. T.J. Glover had two catches for 106 yards. Corey Besteda, Lemantis Gardner and Ralph Turner all had multiple receptions. Brandon Ross only rushed twice for 23 yards. Cotton and Ellis Hill both had 17 yards rushing.

Enrique Williams lead the team in tackles and added an interception. Bryson James added three stops and an interception as well. Kendell Bagnerise and Rodney Thomas both recorded sacks with Thomas.

Watch the video of Coach Jones’ speaking after the scrimmage in our previous post by clicking here. Plus check out http://local15tv.com/ and http://fox10tv.com/ for coverage of the post scrimmage talk as well.

Full Scrimmage Coverage Read more

Jags First Day In Pads Plus Media Day Coverage

August 11, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Tuesday was the Jaguars’ first day in full pads and it did not disappoint. An hour long, 70 play “mini” scrimmage in addition to Coach Jones, the coordinators and a handful of players talking with the media to preview the 2010 season.

Reflecting on the scrimmage, coach Jones thought it wasn’t very good. Actually he said, “I think that our practice today was marginal at best. It was our fifth day of practice in a row, we had a heavy lifting session yesterday afternoon so there legs were tired, it was our first day in full pads, it was hot and we had a scrimmage. We didn’t have a good energy level today for the first time this camp. Our first four days were great, but today we hit a wall.”

He continued, “Is that okay? It will be if we come back tomorrow and work our tails off. I’m okay with having a bad day because sometimes I think it shakes you up. You rattle the tree, shake out all the bad apples and then you continue. I don’t want every practice to be happy, sometimes you have to struggle to succeed.”

In the press conference on Tuesday, Coach Jones talked about looking into the future of the program and their goal to be a big-time Division I program. He spoke about how the kids understand the process they are going through and how they have to work hard to get there. He said from day one they have taken a Division I mentality and that they will continue to do so, from the classroom to the weight room and to the practice field.

Coach Jones himself and the players are all excited to move up in competition by facing all four year institutions, including several Division I-AA schools.

Coach Jones went on to mention some of the differences between last year and this year. They tried to get the best player they could get and get them out on the field. Last year they didn’t have any standards, they went out and did their best. Now they can use last season as a standard to improve upon.

During recruiting, they had higher standards. They only went for players better than what they had on the roster. I’m sure this was a time consuming task as they brought in some really good players last year.

My favorite segment was about the character of this seasons team. He said, “It’s probably as good as I’ve ever been around, and I’ve had some great teams with tremendous character. We preach that and believe in it, it’s something we can control. We can’t control how big they are, if we have a 6-foot-3, 270-pound lineman that’s what he is. But we can do something about character and the choices we make, and we really harp on that. I think our edge is doing things that are intangible. By that I mean, the work ethic and commitment to the team. We stress that every day.”

In the state of Alabama their are two teams which everyone compares every other team against. Nick Saban’s philosophy is character and work ethic. Coach Jones philosophy, similarly, is to outwork their opponent. But unlike other programs, South Alabama is not where they want to be yet and that gives them a fire to work harder than the team on the other sideline.

However, he still stressed that they are taking great strides but that they are not ready to face a Division I opponent yet. Having North Carolina State scheduled for next season, the Jags have work to do and a target to meet.

Talking about preseason camp, coach Jones said he stressed to his team that they are going to win games this week. The Jags are in the middle of a nine consecutive day stretch of practice. With heat indices of around 108 degrees, he stressed that the one who fight through these workouts will be on top in the fall.

Coach Jones spoke about the ghosts of an undefeated season. “We’re fighting our success last year a little bit. Just because we were 7-0 doesn’t mean anything. If we had been 0-7 it wouldn’t have meant anything to me either. I think that as coaches and players we need to look at it through regular glasses rather than rose-colored glasses because we all get comfortable and think everything is okay. We have to keep looking to be critical of ourselves no matter what the circumstance.”

When he spoke about offseason transfers, he said “Sometimes they fall into your lap, it just kind of works out.” The excitement of a new program and opportunity for early playing time is quite alluring. They can also see how they are doing thing right from the coaching staff to the facilities. Those kind of things are quite compelling to very good players at big schools where they don’t see much playing time.

Coach Jones addressed South Alabama’s quarterback talk by saying, “We are trying to get every one of our quarterbacks reps now, I’m not going to rank them one through four because they all have good qualities. We have a good problem. It will filter out as time goes, and we will have to make a decision in three weeks.”

Then he spoke about Brennan Sim specificly, “Brennan’s a leader. When I talked to [head strength and conditioning coach] Justin Schwind last summer when Brennan came, he told me that he was one of the best leaders we had in the weight room, and he had just gotten there. He is one of those guys who is just a born leader. I haven’t known him since he was growing up, but when he walks into a room there is a presence he has. Brennan has a calming effect on our young players, he has an experience factor that a lot of guys on the team don’t have right now.”

Defensive Coordinator Bill Clark spoke next about the defense. He spoke about how he could not think of how last season could have gone any better from a team standpoint. But that they will have a larger challenge to tackle this season with back to back weeks of games. Last season they had several breaks between games. His list of positives was that they have lots of veterans returning from last season. Last year they were trying to find out who could play, this season they will have to step up.

Players have returned bigger and stronger and they are working on developing depth. One position that he feels that they have developed depth is at cornerback. A position of concern is safety and that the coaches are working on that. He is said that the coaches were very excited about linebacker position with a lot of depth. Defensive end, however, is a position he is looking for players to step up in.

He has a goal of getting three players at each position for depth. They want the defense to be dynamic, which means they need the new players to come in, get the scheme down and play at the level they expect them to. It will take some time in order to progress to that point.

Offensive coordinator Greg Gregory said that he expects the offense to be a good football team since they have so many players returning with experience. The continued by saying that they are fostering as much competition at every position as they can. Returning players know that they have pressure on them from the new guys.

However, the Jaguars are returning a good core of skill players in addition to the entire offensive line from last season. Add into the mix the “exceptional” group of freshmen and incoming players and he thinks the pressure and competition will drive them to be even better.

They know that they need to improve since every team on the schedule this season is better than any team they faced last season.

The hot question, again, was about the quarterback position. Coach Gregory said he thought Sim was a little better than Gibbon in the spring, but only slightly. But C.J. Bennett has picked things up quickly since he was there all summer. The newest addition, Raymond Cotton, is in a position where he is playing catch up since he wasn’t on campus during the summer. He was quick to point out that he was very talented. But he ended the QB talk by saying, “The bottom line is we’re going to play whoever gives us the best chance to win games.”

There was no hesitation from Coach Gregory when he spoke about what the offense needed to get better. “The key to getting better offensively is the line. I think a great quarterback deflects praise to the offensive line, because it’s not going to happen if we don’t have an offensive line. I think that’s where we have to make the biggest step in our football program. We’re a little bit undersized with our returning guys, but they are athletic and we need them to step up and play at a high level. Our freshman are just young, but they have size. We’re trying to find out who can provide us depth at each position, but I think we have some young guys who are going to help us out up front.”

He spoke similarly about the freshman running backs as he did about the quarterbacks saying, “The best players will be out there, and if they’re capable of playing, we’ll get them out there. They all have a chance.”

For a more in depth read and quotes from players, check out www.usajaguars.com.

Jaguars Hit The Practice Field In Shells

August 9, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Sunday

Sunday saw the Jags hit the field with shells while adding more contact. The hits were easy to hear and were definitely hard but full tackling was not allowed. They were only allowed to hit and hold up short of bringing someone to the ground.

Sunday’s practice began with more special teams practice. On Friday, they began with punt coverage but on Sunday they began with kickoff coverage. After beginning with special teams, the Jags then broke off into positional drills. Quarterbacks worked with receivers on timing and routes while running backs worked on handoffs and blocking. Linebackers, defensive linemen and defensive backs all working on basics as well.

After positions, the Jags then went into an inside drill session, which actually had the Jags hitting for the first time in summer camp. The offensive and defensive units swapped players in and out numerous times to more reps in for the new players. As Coach Jones said after practice, “The only way you can find out about guys is by giving them reps. I think we have some good young players who can build some depth for us at each position. Today, I felt like we got more people in practice, and we need to continue to do that.”

After the inside drill, the offensive and defensive linemen seperated to work on individual position technique. The secondary, linebackers, receivers and running backs worked against each other in pass coverage drills.

Monday

Similar to before, they had an 11-on-11 live-action session for ten plays. Freshman running back T.J. Glover rushed twice and broke one off the left end for 25 yards. In the two carries, he totaled about 30 yards but impressed the coaches and onlookers in the process. The Jaguars running backs coach Tommy Perry said, “He’s fast and you notice it. We’re trying to make things work so we can get him the ball in space, because he is electric. He’s a freshman, so he has to learn what to do, but as a coach you get excited when you see that extra gear, because he definitely has that.”

I would definitely look for Glover to be used in motions, misdirections and screen plays in the coming year with his speed.

The defense stepped up on six plays by stopping the offense for no gain on three rushes. They also forced two incomplete passes and and interception by redshirt freshman Eddy Cabrera.

After the 11-on-11 session, the offense worked on picking up the blitz with the defense. The first play of the drill saw Myles Gibbon hit Bryant Lavender, a freshmen, on a go route for 30 yards. Brennan Sim went 3-for-3 in the passing drill averaging close to seven yards per pass. He completed passes to Jereme Jones and Courtney Smith.

Monday was another practice in shells for the Jaguars. Practice began with a period of special teams practice, again focusing on kickoff returns and ended the practice with kickoff coverage.

The practice was similar to what the Jags will continue to do throughout preseason camp, but only with shells and limited hitting. They had multiple periods of third down situational drills and multiple 11-on-11 drills.

The first third down situational drill had the offensive line and running backs practice running plays against the defensive interior. On the other side of the field, quarterbacks and receivers worked against defensive backs  in coverage. During this set of drills, Anthony Taylor and Charlie Higgenbotham came away with sacks as well as forcing and recovering a fumble.

One of the 11-on-11 sessions was running plays in the red zone. The offense started witht he goal of making a first down starting at the 20. On the first play, Sim connected with Courtney Smith for a nine yard gain, short of the first down when Anton Graphenreed tackled Smith one yard shy of the first. The offense then had two big gains on the defense with Houston on a rush and a screen play to Johnny Lockett from C.J. Bennett. But the defense held on the next two plays.

The final 11-on-11 of the day continued the outstanding play by the defense. They only allowed two first down in ten plays with three consecutive sacks. Jake Johnson was in on two of them as well as Ben Giles and Ucambre Williams. The first play saw the offense make a first down with a pass from Sim to Courtney Smith on a slant. The offense’s only other first down was on a quarterback draw by Raymond Cotton on their last play.

The offense was hot early in the third down 7-on-7 drills. They converted about half of their attempts with Bennett being responsible for four first downs with four completions to four different players. Brennan Sim helped to get three first down. Only two Jaguars, Taylor Noon and Bryant Lavender, caught two passes for first downs.

Coach Jones commented on the practice afterwards by saying, “It was a very good practice, though I thought we had a little lull in the middle to latter part for the first time. That’s normal, and what I was proud of is that they fought back at the end of practice. We’re in the middle of nine straight days of practice, and that ‘s tough. They just have to get a little better every day, and so far we have improved.”

The Jags continue their nine consecutive days of practice on Tuesday when they don full pads for the first time this preseason camp.

Jaguars First Practice Of 2010 Preseason Camp

August 7, 2010 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

South Alabama hit the field early Friday morning for their first day of preseason practice. With more returning players, the Jags have more leadership and more organization in their first practice. Not that last years practice was disorganized by any means. These returning players have a determined focus and knowledge of the South Alabama system that they can help guide the incoming freshman through their initial paces.

In a little over two hours of practice time, it quickly became obvious to both the new transfers and the incoming freshmen that the Jaguars mean business. After coming off of an undefeated inaugural season, it would be easy to begin preseason camp with ease. But that would not make their road to FBS any shorter.

Practice began with about 15 minutes of special teams punt coverage before the offense and defense split to opposing sides of the field. The quarterbacks went through pass plays beginning with wide receivers, then running backs and finally tight ends. While the defense worked on pursuing ball carriers down the sidelines.

After about 35 minutes of split offensive and defensive drills, or about 50 minutes into the practice session, linebackers and defensive backs grouped up and began going through pass play coverage while the offense continued going through passing plays but they also added running plays.

The next 15 minutes had 7-on-7 skeleton passing drills while defensive linemen and outside linebackers faced the offensive line and attempted to pressure the quarterback.

After that session, the offense and defense split again. The offense went back to working on its plays while the defense focused on formations, coverages and rushing the passer.

A 10 minute period had 11-on-11, offense versus defense, drills. The offense was able to complete three of ten passing attempts, including the last two attempts by Brennan Sim. The only other to complete an attempt was Raymond Cotton who found Erling Riis on a screen play.

The returning players came out and were definitely bigger and stronger. Coach Jones attributed their first day effort to their weight and conditioning training over the summer. During the summer, only the strength and conditioning staff are allowed to work directly with the student-athletes. Coach Jones commented, “One thing I noticed in walking around with the other coaches is that we look a lot better than we did last year physically on the field. Now, we have to translate that into playing well. Just because we look good doesn’t mean we’re going to play good. The challenge for the guys is that they have to transfer some of that weight they’ve gained into being great players.”

Linebacker Justin Dunn, one of ten returning defensive starters, was quoted saying, “The talent level has improved, and so has our depth.” Not only are more players are on the team in the way of freshmen, but five transfers from  FBS (formerly Division I-A) should make an immediate impact for the Jaguars.

Raymond Cotton, one of the latest and definitely biggest press garnering transfers to the South Alabama program was quite impressed with his first practice. “They bring it out here, harder than I thought they would,” he was quoted saying.

Jake Johnson, linebacker transfer from Virginia Tech, was also impressed with his first practice with the Jaguars. “It was intense, especially compared to what I was used to at Virginia Tech. This is the hardest practice I have been a part of since high school two-a-days. It was non-stop, which made it tough, but it was a fun practice.”

Coach Joey Jones can see improvements in the size, strength and depth of his team as they hit the field in preparation for their second season. But one of his goals since the end of last season was to make sure that he and his staff take time to thoroughly examine the program to see where they could improve as well. Coach Jones said, “We spent the whole off-season trying to get better. The staff has done a great job of looking at what we did last year, seeing what people are doing around the country and trying to learn. We’re not going to make wholesale changes, but would like to add things that fit with us.”

With the unfortunate passing of Jaguar running back Anthony Mostella, Coach Jones announced that his memory was to be honored by having a distinguished senior wear his jersey in his honor. The team took a vote on Wednesday when the players reported to campus and Coach Jones announced that Justin Dunn would wear the number 5 jersey. “I’m excited about it,” Dunn said about the honor. “Mo was a close friend of mine, my next-door neighbor actually, and we played together at Birmingham-Southern for three years. It’s an honor, because he’s one of the best people I know, a great athlete, a great student and a good person. More people like him would make the world a better place.”

The Jaguars will return to the field at 7:10am Saturday morning for another two hour practice in shorts and helmets. On Sunday and Monday mornings, the Jags are scheduled to hit the field in shells before donning full pads on Tuesday.

Two Basketball Players Dismissed; Cotton Joins Football Team

August 4, 2010 · Filed Under Basketball, Football, News · Comment 

Basketball

On Monday, it was announced that South Alabama head basketball coach Ronnie Arrow dismissed Labree Sledge and Kentari Nettles from the basketball program. Both signed National Letter of Intents with South Alabama in November and enrolled in summer school classes but violated team and University rules.

Coach Arrow had this to say about Sledge and Nettles, “Due to recent circumstances we felt like it would be in the best interest of both the program and the individuals involved that we part ways at this time. We wish them the best in their future endeavors.”

Sledge averaged 9.8 points per game while attending Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas. Nettles attended LeFlore High School and led them to the 5A semifinals in 2008.

Football

It’s official, Raymond Cotton is joining the Jaguars and is expected to practice with the team when they hit the practice field for the first time on Friday morning. Raymond, a redshirt Freshman received his official release from Ole Miss on Wednesday.

He joins a good stable of quarterback at South Alabama. Brennan Sim, Myles Gibbon, Gabe Graham who were all there last season. Including incoming Freshman C.J. Bennett from Tampa, Florida and Matt Saucier who took snaps at quarterback in the Spring of last year but moved to Safety before the season started. Nick Owens transferred after last season when it became obvious that he was not going to get as much playing time with the Jags.

Cotton was ranked among the top 30 quarterbacks nationally by both ESPN and Scout.com as well as being in the top 15 players in the Mid-Atlantic region. He also participated in the Elite 11 Quarterback Camp last summer after his one season with Fort Meade.

It was also announced on Wednesday that Jarred Williams is transferring from Florida-Atlantic to South Alabama. he will also be able to participate in the teams first practice on Friday morning.

Williams is a 6’3″ 245 pound defensive end originally from Fort Walton Beach, Florida and will have four years of eligibility for South Alabama after redshirting last season with FAU.

Williams marks the fifth student-athlete to join the Jaguars from a NCAA FBS (formerly Division I-A) program.

As stated above, the Jags will begin preparation for their second season of football on Friday. They will be facing a tougher schedule so the coach staff made spring drills more physical and challenging to fit the bill. They also recruited well to fill specific needs and to add depth at certain positions.

The schedule will expand from seven game to ten with all of their opponents being four-year institutions as well as the Jags first three road games. Coach Jones expects 129 Jaguar players to report on Wednesday and will take care of all of their academic preparation on Thursday and probably have meetings to prepare for practice on Friday.

One of the positions that was of major concern was the secondary. Saucier was among the players who were converted from offensive positions to help give the Jags depth in the secondary. Another was Ken Barefield who flourished in the secondary. They added Jonathan Cameron from Mississippi Gulf Coast CC and Darrow Fisher for experience as well as some freshmen who will add to the depth.

Coach Jones also wants more depth on the offensive line. He said only about six players got the majority of the playing time last season and he wants to get more involved. “We need to have at least 10 guys that we feel like we can count on. We’re recruiting to try and get to that point. Playing the schedule we’re playing this year, we’ve got to create some depth there, and competition. Last year, those guys knew it didn’t matter what they did, they were going to start. We didn’t have any depth. Now we’re going to have some guys breathing down their necks and pushing them and that’s always good.”

Another position of interest to Coach Jones is defensive end. “We need to find guys who can come off the edge and sack the quarterback. We feel like we’ve got some big guys on the defensive line, some very good players, but we’ve got to develop some pass rush,” Coach Jones said. “They’ve really gotten bigger, faster and stronger. But most of those guys we’re playing with on the defensive line, they’re freshmen. We don’t have a lot of veterans there to help them out.”

Friday’s practice will go from 7:10-9:45am to begin the first of nine straight days of practice. Friday and Saturday the team will be practicing in T-shirts and shorts. They will then add shells for practice on Sunday and Monday then will practice in full pads beginning on Tuesday.

Raymond Cotton Leaves Ole Miss For South Alabama

July 29, 2010 · Filed Under Football, News · Comment 

According to Raymond Cotton Sr. his son Raymond Cotton has received his release from Ole Miss on Thursday and plans to sign with South Alabama. South Alabama could not comment since no scholarship papers have been signed yet. Also according to Cotton’s father, his release was only good for South Alabama.

Cotton has ties to the area when he led Faith Academy to the AISA final as  junior before moving to Maryland. He originally committed to Auburn before changing his mind for Ole Miss. He threw for 2,243 yards with 24 touchdowns in Fort Meade, Maryland as a senior.

Cotton joins the Jaguars and will not lose any eligibility since South Alabama has not yet reached FBS status. Cotton adds to the Jaguars impressive lineup behind center with Myles Gibbon, Brennan Sim and Gabe Graham on the roster and incoming freshmen C.J. Bennett and Calvin Jenkins. Althought it looks like Jenkins may greyshirt, which means he would enroll at South Alabama in January. Nothing formally has been announced yet about his status.

At Ole Miss he redshirted his freshman year but threw for 178 yards and two touchdowns in the Grove Bowl, the Ole Miss spring game. He was bothered by a partially torn labrum but still came out of the spring drills as the Rebel’s number 2 quarterback.

Cotton’s departure from the Rebels leave them thin at quarterback with sophomore Nathan Stanley penciled in at the starter and a junior college transfer Randall Mackey as their only other quarterback on the roster. Several sites have been reporting that Jeremiah Masoli, who was suspended from Oregon’s team, could transfer in and walk-on for the Rebels as a graduate student.

As far as transfers goes, each announcement get higher and higher in profile. A former starting linebacker from Virginia Tech and now a quarterback with the ability to start in the best football conference in the nation, the SEC. Coach Joey Jones and his staff are racking up the style points quickly.