When Southern gets done practicing, players take turns cooling down in an ice bath.
The technique has become common-place at football practice around the country, but the Jaguars have had to improvise because of a tight budget.
Fortunately for the players, one of the booster clubs, A Nation of Dominance, has taken on the responsibility of making sure they can cool down after two-hour practices in the sweltering August heat. For the third consecutive summer, ANOD’s members have taken it upon themselves to provide the ice baths during preseason camp.
The post-practice set-up consists of 10 tubs of two different sizes — “one for a big guy and one for a little guy,” said Chuckie Wells, who has coordinated the effort.
Each of the 10 members of the club chipped in $100 to pay for the 40 bags of ice needed for nearly 100 players to each have a chance at an ice bath after each of the preseason practices, which conclude with a scrimmage Saturday.
“That’s a very helpful thing for us as we go through these hot days because there hadn’t really been a mild day,” WR Justin Morgan said. “The ice tubs have been a big factor with us. It’s helped a lot of us come back faster, especially somebody like me with an ankle injury. It was a big help.
“That’s what’s so good about this university. Everybody is willing to help out. We’ve got people coming out from all over the place, buying ice, providing these tubs, filling them up with water, bringing fruits and snacks for us. We appreciate everything we get.”
Coach Dawson Odums hasn’t been shy about addressing the need for facility upgrades. The ice baths are a short-term answer to one need.
“We do the best we can with what we’ve got,” Odums said.
Defensive ends nicked up
The Jaguars were a little thin at defensive end for practice Thursday morning. Donald Phillips didn’t wear pads and just watched after suffering a hip-flexor injury Wednesday. Christian Allen, who’s battling Phillips for the starter’s job on the right side, watched team drills with ice wrapped around his left shoulder after being nicked in individual drills.
Neither injury is serious, Odums said.
In their absence, nose tackle Jaylen Jordan, who missed several practices early in camp after being involved in a car accident, got some reps at end.
Linebacker Javon Allen, who returned to practice Wednesday after injuring his left elbow in the scrimmage Saturday, took Thursday off as he eases his way back.
Odums said there was “good news” on LB Demetrius Carter. The knee injury he suffered in the scrimmage was just a bruise.
“He should be back (soon),” Odums said. “We’re just waiting for him to get fitted for a brace.”
Odums said place-kicker Greg Pittman’s knee surgery “went well” Wednesday. Pittman is expected to miss four to six weeks.
On the road again
A Southern booster club is offering bus trips to the Jaguars road games this season.
The Strong United Unification Organization has scheduled trips to each of Southern’s six road games, beginning with the Aug. 30 season opener at Louisiana-Lafayette.
For information call (225) 355-6886, (225) 357-3833 or (225) 774-7617.
Three observations from Thursday’s practice.
1. WR Reggie Travis, a transfer from Memphis, continues to push for a prominent role. He got free to catch a long touchdown pass from Austin Howard, who threw a strike while rolling to his left.
2. Coach Dawson Odums wasn’t happy with the defense’s execution when Lenard Tillery found a clear path to the end zone after taking an option pitch from Jarrad Hayes.
3. QB Francis Kanneh took advantage of increased reps as Deonte Shorts rested a sore elbow. Kanneh’s reps had been minimal in recent days.