New Orleans, Louisiana 2021-01-09 23:08:00 –
Spring football took on a new meaning at Southern University in 2021, as did pre-season camps.
After an empty and quiet fall semester on campus, and 13 months after Jaguar lost the 2019 Southwest Athletics Championship game in Archon, the Dawson Odams team finally began full-scale preparations for the season. did.
Players will report on Thursday and will begin practicing the delayed season of seven games five days later. Of course, it’s late because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ninth-year coach Dawson Odams is pleased to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but is realistic about the challenges he faces when running the program at uncertain times.
“I practice six days a week, just like in August,” says Odums. “But we don’t have the opportunity to unite as a team like in a camp. This is the hand we were dealt with. We can’t throw it back. We play it as much as we can and we keep it safe and healthy. I hope they are ready to play because they keep up and know the mission in front of them. “
In the normal college football season, players can report in early August, three weeks before school begins, and focus solely on football. This format allows you to spend extra time processing meetings and any number of variables.
Next week, time will be limited by the players participating in the class and NCAA rules.
According to Dawson, a challenge beyond the daily preparation of football is to keep players healthy and safe from viruses. Based on how the fall 2020 season has progressed nationwide, player health and availability will be a daily concern — number one in the Odums book.
“We have a lot to do just to make sure everyone is safe and healthy,” he said. “I don’t know what will happen when the players report. The coaching staff kept calling the players and there were several team meetings, including one (Friday).
“The structure of our practice is the same. The biggest is unknown. We carry out the plan, our discipline runs us, the minimum number of people for injuries and positive tests Hope there is only. I think we can bring a good product to the field. Our strength and conditioning were good. Until we get them back, we don’t know what they are doing . “
Odums is also invading five new coaches, including aggressive coordinator / quarterback coach Zach Grossi. The staff spent time creating offensive and defensive playbooks after the players went on vacation and tweaked them rather than overhauling them. Most of that work was done last fall while the players were conditioning. According to Odams, Jaguar practiced “7 or 8” in November and December before the players departed.
“Passing games are where we see the most changes,” Odams said. “Zack brings some NFL concepts. He attacks from a quarterback perspective, not from an aggressive line perspective. He describes quarterback strengths and how they relate to playcalls. And you need to know what we are trying to do.
“Our fundamentals should be improved. He did a great job of teaching them in the little things. (Former quarterback coach) Matt Leone did a good job in those respects. , But Grossi helps them go further. We are happy with where we are. “
Odums also hopes that the quarterback competition, which recorded 2,612 yards and 28 touchdowns last year, can be ignited under the senior repeater Ladarius Skeleton, who struggled with ball security. I will. The skeleton threw nine intercepts in the SWAC title game, making a total of five turnovers and losing to Archon 39-24.
The skeleton missed time due to an injury, and junior backup Baba McDaniel sometimes played well in his absence.
“By the amount of games he played, he understands what we are looking for. He knows what the meeting is about. There is a lot of talent in the room. Someone You need to be prepared. It will lead us to victory in the game. Whether it’s Ladarius or the person in the room, we trust that person is ready and trustworthy. Must be.
“He is more talented than anyone. When he is on, he is better than any body in the meeting. But he must always be on. He is hot and cold. No. You have to play like a champion and practice like a champion. Whatever man we put out there, it’s the guy we believe in. “
Odums also need to find three new attack line starters, and in defense, the top tackle Calvin Lunkins, the run stuffing tackle Dakavion Champion, and the safety Montavious Gaines are gone. Even if he departed, Odams said he had a lot of reinforcements.Southern had a very well-stacked roster, so it added only three recruits during the initial signing period.
“Many people who played on the offensive line are back,” Odums said. “Coach (Shenis) Berry was one of the best in the country. Coach (Brian) Lepac is a great teacher who understands how they play. I don’t think I’ll miss the beat. “
Odums may be looking for another kicker as last year’s panther and kicker Cesar Barajas entered the NCAA Transfer Portal. Odams said Barajas is exploring options and believes he will return to Jaguar.
At Southern, the long wait for spring football is nearly over. Here’s how preseason camp will look. | Southern Source link At Southern, the long wait for spring football is nearly over. Here’s how preseason camp will look. | Southern