BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Southern re-emerged as a dominant program in Southwestern Athletic Conference football last season by going 9-4 and winning the conference title by topping Jackson State 34-27 in double overtime.
All that success has the Jaguars on everyone’s minds. As the 2014 season nears, they put six players on the preseason all-conference teams, announced Friday, and they’re the favorite to win the SWAC West Division.
Junior receiver Willie Quinn and junior offensive lineman Anthony Mosley received first-team nods. Sophomore running back Lenard Tillery, senior offensive lineman Zach Brown, senior linebacker Daniel Brown and senior defensive lineman Arthur Miley were voted to the second team. Quinn also was honored as a second-team return specialist.
Alabama State is the favorite in the SWAC West.
Baseball tournament back to New Orleans?
The 2014 SWAC baseball tournament was moved to Wesley Barrow Stadium amid safety concerns at LaGrave Field in Fort Worth, Texas.
But SWAC Commissioner Duer Sharp wants to bring the tournament back to the Crescent City — as scheduled, this time.
“Every baseball coach that I talked to had no complaints,” he said. “Then you look at the fan experience. Every fan thought it was the perfect size, and it had the awnings so the sun wasn’t really burning you up or all of that.”
Sharp said the drainage was also a plus, considering Barrow is a turf field.
The conference’s athletic directors want to see more championships on campus, so Barrow would not be a permanent site.
A different perspective
For the majority of the players at Friday’s SWAC media day, the event is an opportunity to represent their programs and give a first glimpse of their squads before preseason camp.
But the Birmingham Marriott was just another classroom for Alcorn State sophomore quarterback John Gibbs Jr.
Gibbs is a mass communications major, and he had his own live radio show on campus this past semester. He has written everything from program logs to editorials that appeared in the school newspaper; he said he wants to be a sportswriter or TV analyst for Fox Sports or ESPN.
Gibbs was taking pointers as each reporter approached.
“I’m happy to be here sitting in this chair right now, but actually I’m trying to look at it as a player being interviewed because I know I’ve been on the other end of it as the interviewee,” he said. “I love watching that because it’s a part of my major. Those are things I could see myself doing.”