Maybe it was because Wednesday marked the first session of two-a-days. Maybe it was because Southern practiced at 2 p.m. instead of 3:30, its usual afternoon start time.
Whatever the reason, it certainly seemed like it was blazing hot. I mean, it’s been hot every single day — bright sun, high-90s temperatures, heat index factors in the 110s — but Wednesday afternoon was ridiculous.
Remember, folks: sleep well, and drink lots of water. Even if you’re not wearing helmets, shoulder pads and pants.
Anyway, Southern football coach Stump Mitchell offered a few more nuggets of information after the first round of two-a-days. Here you go.
—Southern is still very thin at defensive tackle.
Right now, the Jaguars have three players — Dexter James, Casey Narcisse and Brandon Turner — who have college experience at DT. James was academically ineligible last year. Narcisse and Turner are both coming off of ACL injuries.
Jonathan “Tank” English won’t be eligible until he finished summer school elsewhere (the courses should be transferable to SU). But as Mitchell noted, English hasn’t been in practice or conditioning drills (translation: he’ll probably need more time to get in shape).
To that end, Southern has played a lot of 3-4 so far during camp.
“We’re counting on the guys we have here,” Mitchell said. “We understand that, scheme-wise, so we have to do what our guys will allow us to do.”
—Should the Jaguars need to play a few freshmen on the offensive line (six of their 13 linemen are true freshmen, though none of them is expected to start), Mitchell said the coaches will have to simplify the offensive scheme.
“It’s to cut down the things that they would actually have to learn and execute, in terms of different pass protections, in terms of different run executions and techniques,” Mitchell said.
As it is, the starting offensive line would probably look like this: Chris Browne (LT), Taylon Jones (LG), Lee Almanza (C), Dwayne Houston (RG), Clinton Boyd (RT). One caveat: Jones and Boyd have missed some practice time with what appear to be minor injuries.
—The Jaguars are still a long, long way from their Sept. 3 season opener at Tennessee State (23 days to go, not counting Thursday), but at the moment, it seems as if Dray Joseph is inching closer to becoming the No. 1 quarterback.
Mitchell told his team Wednesday that it’s much farther ahead now than it was 12 months ago. Asked why he felt that way, the coach replied:
“Offensively, I think Dray, for the most part, understands where we want to go with the ball on every play. And he’s getting the ball to his check-down receivers when he needs to. Right now, I think he really has a pretty good grasp of the offense.”
Note that Mitchell did not mention freshman J.P. Douglas or junior Jeremiah McGinty.
Of course, it’s only been a week. They’re just getting warmed up.