Southern had its first two-practice day of preseason camp Wednesday, working for two hours in the morning and two more late in the afternoon.
The enhanced work came after five days that featured a single workout each and kicked off the most intense part of the early stages of camp.
The Jaguars will practice once Thursday and twice again Friday, though the afternoon workout might be scaled back because the team will scrimmage for the first time Saturday.
“You want guys to be comfortable in what they’re doing so they don’t make as many mistakes,” coach Dawson Odums said.
“We shut down the installs because you don’t want to go into the scrimmage with new stuff. Now it’s about mastering our technique. As they learn to do so they play faster. I like the communication and I like the mindset. Their legs are probably shot, but you can see the effort.”
Senior offensive lineman Dewayne Houston said the work that most of the players did during the summer paid off.
“The first two-a-day is the day when you test how you’re going to play when you’re fatigued,” Houston said.
“Are you going to keep your technique when you’re tired and it tells you how you’re going to do in the third and fourth quarter when you’re tired. It went well. A lot of people came with a lot of energy.”
Injury list grows
The SU injury list continues to grow, but apparently no one has incurred a long-term injury.
Two players didn’t finish the morning practice and sat out the afternoon workout as WR Justin Morgan aggravated a twisted left ankle and DB Dionte McDuffy took a knee to the helmet late in the practice. Morgan was returning after a two-day absence because of the injury he suffered Saturday.
WRs Randall Menard (foot) and Willie Quinn (jaw), DB D’Andre Woodland (hamstring) and OL Clayton Slyve (back) missed both practices. RB John West (undisclosed) watched the afternoon practice from the sideline.
NT Jaylen Jordan (car accident) and OL Neako Jones (personal matter) were late arrivals to camp and are awaiting medical clearance to begin practicing.
Three return to practice
There have been a lot of comings and goings in the early days of camp.
Three players returned to practice in the morning. RB Dakota Starks, who took a blow to the head in Sunday’s practice, returned. Also returning were DB Kevin King and LB Javon Allen, both of whom had been held out after losing too much weight in the early days of camp.
Marcus Harper, who had just been moved from running back to defense, told Odums he was leaving the team to deal with a family matter in Bossier City.
Bus trips offered for road games
The SU Quarterback Club is offering bus trips to each of the Jaguars six road games this season. The cost of the trips are: UL-Lafayette $70,
Prarie View A&M $185 single/$260 double, Alcorn State $80, Alabama A&M $210 single/$260 double, Jackson State $100, Bayou Classic $40. All trips except the Bayou Classic include a game ticket.
For information visit www.southernuniversityqbclub.com or call Jonathan Dearbone (225-572-5878), Reginald Jarvis (225-939-5906) or Robert Brown (225-287-8385).
Three observations from Wednesday’s practice:
1Four tight ends are getting regular work in team sessions — senior veteran Larry Pettus, sophomore letterman Nick Byrne, junior Lafayette native and Tulane transfer Evan Tatford and redshirt freshman Matthew Barnes. “We play with two a lot,” said Hudspeth, who tabbed Byrne as No. 2 on the depth chart but said Barnes is bidding for playing time.
2What’s been missing so far in camp? Strength coach Rusty Whitt’s nonstop exhorting and motivating. The four-year Cajuns staffer and former Army Special Forces Iraq veteran had recent foot surgery, and has to keep it elevated for at least two more weeks.
3Center remains a question. Grant Horst, a 6-foot-6 redshirt freshman, worked most snaps with the No. 1 group, but transfer Eddie Gordon got in some work and caught Hudspeth’s eye. “I noticed (him) a lot, I think he’s got a really good base,” he said. “Eddie’s coming on strong.”