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Dawson Odums completes makeover of football coaching staff

Southern football coach Dawson Odums has completed his revamped staff with three hires.

Charles Cheek, who worked with recently hired defensive coordinator Trei Oliver at North Carolina A&T, will coach the linebackers; Juan Navarro comes from the University of Redlands to coach the defensive line, and Matt Leone, who was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Webber International University, will coach the Jaguars quarterbacks.

Cheek, who played at Grambling, was an assistant at Benjamin O. Davis High School in Houston last season. Before that he spent three seasons with Oliver at N.C. A&T, the first as a defensive quality control assistant and the last two coaching the inside linebackers.

He played tight end for three seasons at Grambling before switching to running back and becoming a team captain in 2010.

Navarro rejoined the Redlands staff last season after serving as head coach at Los Angeles Valley College for one season. Before that he was defensive coordinator at Pierce College for one season and defensive line coach at Redlands.

Navarro, who played at Redlands, an NCAA Division III program in Redlands, Calif., also was an assistant at Miami and Florida International.

Leone, who grew up in Ocala, Fla., spent the last nine seasons at Webber International University, an NAIA program in Babson Park, Fla. He was offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for the last five seasons.

Under Leone’s direction, the Warriors offense was the most productive in school history. Last season it led the Sun Conference and was ranked fifth in the country in rushing yards per game.

Before taking over as offensive coordinator in 2011, Leone was passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach from 2009-­11 and wide receivers coach from 2007-­2009.

As a player at Webber, Leone was a four-­year letterman at quarterback and was voted team captain.

Odums, who relinquished the defensive coordinator duties to Oliver, fired defensive line coach Myron Jackson, linebackers coach Lorick Atkinson and cornerbacks coach Chris Scott shortly after last season.

Leone takes over the quarterback coach duties from Chad Germany, who was also co-offensive coordinator before resigning in November and subsequently being hired in a similar capacity at Jackson State.

Offensive line coach Chennis Berry, who shared the coordinator duties with Germany, is now the sole offensive coordinator.

Dawson Odums “leaning toward” relinquishing Southern defensive coordinator duties

Southern hires North Carolina A&T assistant Trei Oliver as new defensive coordinator

Southern remaking football staff, but won’t have spring practice

 

Injured WR Devon Gales regains feeling in knee, foot

Injured Southern wide receiver Devon Gales’ recovery from a severe spinal injury reached a milestone this week when he felt his knee and the bottom of his feet for the first time.

“It’s just amazing to know the feeling is coming back and I have a chance to walk again,” Gales told WSB-TV in Atlanta during an interview Wednesday.

Jaguars coach Dawson Odums spoke by phone with Gales, who suffered the injury during a game against Georgia last Sept. 26.

“He’s getting better,” Odums said. “He had a little feeling in his knees and we talked about that. He said, “Coach, you know what’s next, I get to my feet. And you know what’s going to happen when I get to my feet.”

“I said, “let’s take it one day at a time” and he said, “Coach, when I get to my feet you know something good is going to happen.” He hasn’t had a bad day. He works hard every day to overcome his adversity. He’s excited. If you didn’t know his story you wouldn’t know he’s going through what he’s going through.”

Gales felt his knee for the first time Tuesday night when the staff at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, where he has been rehabbing since shortly after the surgery, moved him from one chair to another.

“Just when I transferred, they hit my knee and I was like, ‘Ow! I felt that,’ and then I started feeling the hair on my legs,” Gales told WSB.

Then on Wednesday he felt the bottom of his feet for the first time, which his mother was there to witness.

“She was pushing me and I was like, “OK, I feel that,’” Gales said. “It was a weird feeling because I couldn’t feel that before. Just to know I had feeling coming back and I could feel the carpet I was like, ‘Ooh, I like it.’”

WSB said Gales has been transferred from the main part of the Shepherd Center to the residence building, which is more like independent living, because he has made so much progress.

“It’s just a blessing that there’s still people out there supporting me through this accident and knowing I’m getting better,” Gales said.

A benefit concert for injured Gales will take place at The Varsity Theatre in Baton Rouge at 7 p.m. Friday.

The “Groovin’ For Gales” benefit, presented by Red, Rock & Blue, will feature performances by the Michael Foster Project, U4RIA the Band and The Neighborhood Stars along with special guest Kool DJ SupaMike.

Tickets for the fundraiser are available at www.varsitytheatre.com.

Here’s the video of WSB-TV’s interview with Gales:

http://m.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/injured-player-devon-gales-feels-knee-feet-first-t/np4d8/

Dawson Odums finally gets his man in new Southern defensive coordinator Trei Oliver

Former Southern pitcher Cody Hall traded to Diamondbacks

Southern star Willie Quinn is among FCS first-team All-Americans

Southern remaking football staff, but won’t have spring practice

Southern coach Dawson Odums is making progress in remaking his staff, but the new group won’t be able to conduct spring practice.

For the second consecutive year the Jaguars will not have spring practice to fulfill lingering NCAA sanctions from 2012 related to insufficient Academic Progress Rates.

Odums said Wednesday that Southern chose the forfeiture of spring practice rather than accept a postseason ban for last season.

At a news conference to discuss the hiring of new defensive coordinator Trei Oliver, Odums revealed additional staff changes. Oliver, who had coached the outside linebackers at North Carolina A&T, will also oversee the Jaguars secondary. He will choose whether to coach the safeties or the cornerbacks and special teams coordinator Steve Adams, who coached the safeties last season, will coach whichever group Oliver doesn’t choose.

Last year’s cornerbacks coach, Chris Scott, was among three defensive assistants Odums fired shortly after last season. The other two were defensive line coach Myron Jackson and linebackers coach Lorick Atkinson.

Odums, who had doubled as defensive coordinator since being elevated to head coach two games into the 2012 season, and Oliver will huddle this weekend to discuss filling the other two openings.

Southern is making progress in filling the offensive staff as well in the wake of the resignation of co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach/recruiting coordinator Chad Germany, who subsequently was hired by Jackson State as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Offensive line coach Chennis Berry, who shared the coordinator duties with Germany, will be the new coordinator and running backs coach Elvis Joseph has taken over as recruiting coordinator. That leaves the role of quarterbacks coach to be filled.

Dawson Odums finally gets his man in new Southern defensive coordinator Trei Oliver

Former Southern pitcher Cody Hall traded to Diamondbacks

Southern star Willie Quinn is among FCS first-team All-Americans

Devon Gales fundraiser at the Varsity Theatre on Friday night

A benefit concert for injured Southern WR Devon Gales will take place at The Varsity Theatre at 7 p.m. Friday.

The “Groovin’ For Gales” benefit, presented by Red, Rock & Blue, will feature performances by the Michael Foster Project, U4RIA the Band and The Neighborhood Stars along with special guest Kool DJ SupaMike.

Proceeds will go toward helping the Gales family with expenses related to Devon’s recovery from spinal surgery for an injury he suffered in a game against Georgia last September.

Tickets for the fundraiser are available at www.varsitytheatre.com.

 

 

Southern finishes No. 8, No. 9 in HBCU polls

Southern finished No. 8 in the coaches poll and No. 9 in the media poll in the final rankings of programs from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, which was released Tuesday.

The Jaguars finished 6-5 after losing the season finale 34-23 to Grambling in the Bayou Classic on Nov. 28.

As expected, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference co-champion North Carolina A&T was named BOXTOROW national champion after beating Southwestern Athletic Champion Alcorn State 41-34 in the inaugural Celebration Bowl last Saturday. The Aggies were a unanimous pick in the media poll and received all but one first-place vote from the coaches.

Alcorn State, the back-to-back SWAC champions and the 2014 BOXTOROW national champions finished second in both polls.

In the coaches poll, MEAC co-champion Bethune-Cookman finished No. 3, followed by SWAC runner-up Grambling and North Carolina Central, the third MEAC co-champion, to round out the top five.

The second five consisted of No. 6 Prairie View, followed by South Carolina State, Southern, Hampton and Alabama State.

The top six in the media poll were the same as the top six in the coaches poll. The rest of the media poll had No. 7 Tuskegee followed by South Carolina State, Southern and Virginia Union.

In their seventh year, the polls are administered by FROM THE PRESS BOX TO PRESS ROW. The coaches poll is voted on by the HBCU Football Championship Subdivision coaches. The media poll is voted on by media members around the country who cover HBCU football.

Here are the complete rankings as well as Advocate Southern beat writer Les East’s ballot.

Coaches Poll

No.      Team                                            W-L     Pts.      Previous Rank (Nov. 23)
1.         North Carolina A&T (21)   10-2     218      5
2.         Alcorn State                               9-4       192      6
3.         Bethune-Cookman (1)         9-2       167      2
4.         Grambling                                   9-3       145      1
5.         North Carolina Central       8-3       140      4
6.         Prairie View                                8-2       118      3
7.         South Carolina State              7-4       82        7
8.         Southern                                       6-5       58        8
9.         Hampton                                       6-5       44        9
10.       Alabama State                           6-5       26        10

(1st place votes in parentheses)

Other receiving votes: Tennessee State (4-6) 4, Morgan State (4-6) 2.

Media Poll

No.      Team                                           W-L     Pts.      Previous Rank (Nov. 23)
1.         North Carolina A&T  (16) 10-2     160      3
2.         Alcorn State                              9-4       139      6
3.         Bethune-Cookman               9-2       111      2
4.         Grambling                                   9-3       106      1
5.         North Carolina Central       8-3       98        4
6.         Prairie View                               8-2       76        5
7.         Tuskegee                                     10-3     54        7
8.         South Carolina State             7-4       49        8
9.         Southern                                       6-4       34        10
10.       Virginia Union                           8-3       19        NR

Other receiving votes: Bowie State (9-3)13, Hampton (6-5) 7, Alabama State (6-5) 6, Winston-Salem State (6-5) 2, Virginia State (6-4) 2.

Les East’s ballot

No.      Team                                       Previous Rank (Nov. 23)

  1. North Carolina A&T              4
  2. Alcorn State                               5
  3. Prairie View                               2
  4. North Carolina Central       3
  5. Grambling                                   1
  6. Bethune-Cookman                6
  7. Tuskegee                                      7
  8. South Carolina State              8
  9.  Virginia Union                          10
  10.  Southern                                       9 

    MORE NEWS ON SOUTHERN;

    Southern gets back on winning track by beating North Carolina Central

    Southern star Willie Quinn is among FCS first-team All-Americans

Willie Quinn FCS All-American and HBCU Special Teams Player of the Year

Southern wide receiver/return specialist Willie Quinn won two major national awards Tuesday.

The junior from Miami was named a Football Championship Subdivision first-team All-American as well as the Special Teams Player of the Year from programs representing Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Quinn returned four kickoffs and one punt for touchdowns and led the SWAC and is sixth in the FCS in kickoff return average (28.8). He is the Jaguars’ first FCS All-American since wide receiver Lee Doss in 2013.

Several others representing Louisiana colleges and high schools were honored on the STATS FCS All-America team and the BOXTOROW HBCU annual awards.

Prairie View and former Glen Oaks High School all-purpose back Johnta’ Hebert was also named first-team All-America after finishing second in the country with an average of 201 all-purpose yards per game.

McNeese State defensive back Wallace Scott, who played at West Feliciana High School, and Southeastern Louisiana defensive back Harlan Miller, who’s from Kentwood, La., were named to the second team.

Northwestern State kicker Chris Moore and McNeese offensive lineman Quinton Marsh were named to the third team.

Grambling quarterback Johnathan Williams was named HBCU Offensive Player of the Year and the Tigers’ Broderick Fobbs was named Coach of the Year.

Williams led the the Southwestern Athletic Conference in passing yards (2,910) and total offense (296.8).
Fobbs led Grambling to a 9-3 record and a SWAC West division title in his second season as head coach.

MORE SOUTHERN NEWS:

Southern women end four-game losing streak with 81-48 win against Tougaloo

Southern unfazed by big-name programs as it visits Memphis

Southern shakeup: Dawson Odums fires 3 defensive assistants; co-offensive coordinator Chad Germany resigns

 

Willie Quinn named HBCU Special Teams Player of the Year

Southern and Grambling combined Tuesday to win half of the BOXTOROW national awards for teams representing Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Jaguars wide receiver/return specialist Willie Quinn was named Special Teams Player of the Year, Tigers quarterback Johnathan Williams was named Offensive Player of the Year and the Tigers’ Broderick Fobbs was named Coach of the Year.

South Carolina State defensive tackle Javon Hargrove received the Willie Davis BOXTOROW Defensive Player of the Year Award for the second straight year.

North Carolina Central running back Dorrel McClain and Virginia Union running back Hakeem Holland were Co-Rookies of the Year and Alcorn State quarterback Lenorris Footman was awarded the first-ever Impact Player Award.

Quinn returned four kickoffs and one punt for touchdowns and led the SWAC and is sixth in the FCS in kickoff return average (28.8).

Williams led the the Southwestern Athletic Conference in passing yards (2,910) and total offense (296.8).

Fobbs led Grambling to a 9-3 record and a SWAC West division title in his second season as head coach.

MORE SOUTHERN NEWS:

Southern women end four-game losing streak with 81-48 win against Tougaloo

Southern unfazed by big-name programs as it visits Memphis

Southern shakeup: Dawson Odums fires 3 defensive assistants; co-offensive coordinator Chad Germany resigns

 

 

 

Willie Quinn named first-team FCS All-American

Southern return specialist Willie Quinn and Prairie View and former Glen Oaks High School all-purpose back Johnta’ Hebert were named to the STATS Football Championship Subdivision All-America team Tuesday.

Quinn, who had five returns for touchdowns this season, is the Jaguars’ first FCS All-American since wide receiver Lee Doss in 2013. Hebert was second in the country with an average of 201 all-purpose yards per game.

The All-America selections were comprised of three teams featuring 102 players from 57 schools in all 13 FCS conferences.

Top-ranked Jacksonville State, which will play in the national semifinals for the first time Saturday, had the most All-Americans (five), led by junior Eli Jenkins, the first-team quarterback. Northern Iowa and national semifinalists North Dakota State and Richmond had four selections each.

McNeese State defensive back Wallace Scott, who played at West Feliciana High School, and Southeastern Louisiana defensive back Harlan Miller, who’s from Kentwood, La., were named to the second team.

Northwestern State kicker Chris Moore and McNeese offensive lineman Quinton Marsh were named to the third team.

MORE SOUTHERN NEWS:

Southern women end four-game losing streak with 81-48 win against Tougaloo

Southern unfazed by big-name programs as it visits Memphis

Southern shakeup: Dawson Odums fires 3 defensive assistants; co-offensive coordinator Chad Germany resigns

Lenard Tillery and Willie Quinn named HBCU All-Americans; Anthony Mosley gets honorable mention

Southern running back Lenard Tillery and return specialist Willie Quinn were named to the Historically Black Colleges and Universities All-America team Tuesday.

Tillery, a junior from Baton Rouge who played at McKinley High School, had his second consecutive 1,000-yard season, finishing with more than 1,200 yards as he became the Jaguars career rushing leader.

Quinn, a junior from Miami who was also Southern’s leading receiver, returned four kickoffs and one punt for touchdowns as he became a repeat All-American.

Jaguars junior offensive lineman Anthony Mosley received honorable mention.

Grambling had three players – quarterback Johnathan Williams, offensive lineman Justin Miller and defensive back Guy Stallworth – on the All-America team.

Williams was named Southwestern Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year after leading the conference in passing yards (2,910), total offense (296.8) and passing touchdowns (an FCS-leading 39). He has also rushed for 355 yards and four touchdowns.

Only North Carolina A&T, which had five All-Americans, had more than Grambling and Bowie State, which also had three.

Other SWAC All-Americans were Alabama State redshirt-junior linebacker Kourtney Berry, Alcorn State senior tight end Jordan Payne, Jackson State junior defensive lineman Javancy Jones and Texas Southern senior punter Cory Carter.

Tuskegee senior linebacker Jewell Ratliff, who’s from New Orleans and played at McDonogh 35, was named an All-American.

Former Glen Oaks High School running back Johnta’ Hebert (Prairie View) was one of seven SWAC players besides Mosley to receive honorable mention. The others were Grambling wide receiver Chad Williams, Alcorn State offensive linemen Detonio Dade and Isekelli Ongosia, Alabama A&M kick returner Octayvius Miles, Alcorn State defensive back Alcorn State Warren Gatewood and Mississippi Valley State defensive back Marquis Green, who’s a freshman from New Orleans and played at Landry-Walker High School.

The individual national awards will be announced next week.

The All-American team has been administered by national sports talk radio show FROM THE PRESS BOX TO PRESS ROW (BOXTOROW) since 2007. The voters are comprised of media members from around the nation that cover HBCU football.

Here are the complete teams:

OFFENSE
QB: Johnathan Williams, Grambling State, Sr., Tampa, Fla.
RB: Tarik Cohen, North Carolina A&T, Jr., Bunn, N.C.
RB:  Lenard Tillery, Southern, r-Jr., Baton Rouge, La.
OL: Brandon Parker, North Carolina A&T, r-Soph., Kannapolis, N.C.
OL: Addison Hayes, Virginia Union, Sr., Savannah, Ga.
OL: Carl Jones, North Carolina Central, r-Jr., Nashville, Tenn.
OL: Justin Nester, Bowie State, Jr., Dayton, Md.
OL: Justin Miller, Grambling State, Jr., Ruston, La.
TE: Jordan Payne, Alcorn State, Sr., Racine, Wis.
WR: Nyme Manns, Bowie State, r-Jr., Baltimore, Md.
WR: TJ Mixon, Hampton, r-Jr., Charlotte, N.C.

DEFENSE
DL: Javon Hargrave, South Carolina St., Sr., Salisbury, N.C.
DL: Javancy Jones, Jackson State, Jr., Macon, Miss.
DL: Marquis Ragland, North Carolina A&T, r-Jr., Fayetteville, N.C.
DL: Gabriel Sherrod, Delaware State, Jr., Perryville, Md.
LB: Kourtney Berry, Alabama State, Jr., Merrillville, Ind.
LB: Jewell Ratliff, Tuskegee, Sr., New Orleans, La.
LB: Austin Jacques, Johnson C. Smith, Sr., Springdale, Md.
LB: Deon King, Norfolk State, Sr., Reston, Va.
DB: C.J. Moore, North Carolina Central, Sr., Raleigh, N.C.
DB: Carlo Thomas, Johnson C. Smith, Soph., East Orange, N.J.
DB: Tony McRae, N.C. A&T, Sr., Laurinburg, N.C.
DB: Jonah McCutcheon, Tuskegee, r-Soph., Mobile, Ala.
DB: Guy Stallworth, Grambling State, Jr., Gulfport, Miss.

SPECIALIST
P: Cory Carter, Texas Southern, Sr., Raymond, Miss.
PK: Nick Christiansen, Miles, Soph., Clayton, N.C.
RS: Willie Quinn, Southern, Sr., Miami, Fla.
PR: Khris Gardin, North Carolina A&T, Soph., Morganton, N.C.
KR: Kendall Jefferson, Bowie State, Gr., Temple Hills, Md.

Honorable Mention
QB: Drew Powell, Livingstone
RB: Johnta’ Hebert, Prairie View A&M
OL: Detonio Dade, Alcorn State; Javarius Leamon, South Carolina State;
Anthony Mosley, Southern; Isekelli Ongosia, Alcorn State; Jac’Que Polite,
Winston-Salem State; Kelvin Shelton, Tuskegee; Torian White, Hampton
TE: Tammarrick Hemmingway, South Carolina State
WR: Jawill Davis, Bethune-Cookman; Chad Williams, Grambling State
DL: Michael Bloomfield, Winston-Salem State; Braysean Jones, Miles;
Anthony McDaniel, Bowie State; Paulin Miano, Virginia Union; Justin
Woods-West, Central State
LB: Darius Leonard, South Carolina State
DB: Marquis Drayton, Bethune-Cookman; Warren Gatewood, Alcorn State;
Marquis Green, Mississippi Valley State; Clim Robbins, Central State
PK: Nigel Macauley, North Carolina Central
PR: Curtis Pumphrey, Bowie State
KR: Octayvius Miles, Alabama A&M; Ryan Smith, North Carolina Central

Southern shakeup: Dawson Odums fires 3 defensive assistants; co-offensive coordinator Chad Germany resigns

Southern focused on getting better after roller-coaster season

Les East: Bayou Classic loss sums up Southern’s season quite well — the Jaguars couldn’t sustain success against the SWAC’s best

 

Southern dominates All-SWAC team with 11 selections, 5 on the first team

Southern dominated the All-Southwestern Athletic Conference football team Wednesday, as 11 Jaguars were selected including five to the first team.

No other team had more than six overall selections or more than four first-team selections.

Southern’s first-team selections were running back Lenard Tillery, who had his second consecutive 1,000-yard season and became the school’s all-time leading rusher; return specialist Willie Quinn, who had five returns for touchdowns; guard Anthony Mosley; noseguard Gabe Echols and cornerback Danny Johnson.

The Jaguars second-team selections were quarterback Austin Howard, offensive linemen Terrell Lee and Reginald Redding, tight end Montrell Jones, defensive end Aaron Tiller and safety Dionte McDuffy.

Grambling, which won the West Division with a 9-0 record and will play Alcorn State in the SWAC championship game Saturday in Houston, had the Offensive Player of the Year (quarterback Johnathan Williams) and the Coach of the Year (Broderick Fobbs).

Grambling and Alcorn finished second to Southern with six selections each, including four each on the first team.

Alcorn State’s Marquise Warford was named Newcomer of the Year, Alabama State linebacker Kourtney Berry was Defensive Player of the Year and Mississippi Valley State wide receiver Booker Chambers was Freshman of the Year.

Williams and Fobbs led Grambling to its first division title since 2011 and helped the Tigers become the first school to have a perfect conference record since 2008.

A graduate student, Williams ranks first in the FCS and in the SWAC in touchdown passes (36), first in the conference in passing yards (2,910), third in the SWAC in passing yards per game (262.8) and total offensive yards per game (294.6).

Berry led the SWAC and finished fifth in the NCAA-FCS in tackles with 130. He is on the CFPA Defensive Player of the Year Watch List.

In his first Division I collegiate season after transferring from Memphis, Warford had nearly 1,000 all-purpose yards.  He led the Braves in receptions and was second on the team in receiving yards.  He was also fourth on the team in rushing yards.

Chambers led the Delta Devils in scoring with seven touchdowns. He had 15 receptions for 194 yards and three touchdowns and returned 35 kickoffs for 777 yards. Chambers also rushed for three scores and threw one touchdown pass.  He totaled 1,098 all-purpose yards.

The selections were made in voting by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.

Southern focused on getting better after roller-coaster season

Les East: Bayou Classic loss sums up Southern’s season quite well — the Jaguars couldn’t sustain success against the SWAC’s best

“Those guys were hungry”: Huge second half boosts Grambling to 34-23 victory over Southern in the Bayou Classic