As they finished a two-hour workout Tuesday morning on the Southern practice field, the Jaguars removed their helmets and gathered to hear coach Dawson Odums speak.
The players wore full gear, sweat pouring from their foreheads.
A few hours later, they would return to the same place and do it all over again.
“It’s grind time,” Odums told the team after Tuesday’s practice. “Got to grind.”
The sixth day of preseason camp at Southern brought the first of five two-a-day sessions, welcoming the most grueling stretch of the preseason.
Odums advised the players to “stay off their feet” between practices and drink plenty of fluids.
A veteran of the two-a-day grind, senior linebacker Anthony Balancier said he would take a cold bath and a nap.
But he had no doubt he’d be ready to go again Tuesday afternoon.
“Champions don’t complain,” Balancier said.
“We just come out here and work in the heat.”
Southern will practice only once Wednesday morning, then return to the two-a-day schedule Thursday. Preseason camp ends Aug. 17.
The buzzword for the Southern defense this season is relentless.
During the early portion of camp, that defense has been plenty relentless in its pursuit of the football.
Sophomore defensive tackle Justin Woods and junior linebacker Antonio Garrett were among the players who got in the offensive backfield to make plays during a situational scrimmage at the end of Tuesday morning’s practice.
“We’re going to stop the run this year — that’s our main goal,” Balancier said. “If we stop the run, everything will be straight.”
Odums said the depth of the defense has stood out.
Running back Lenard Tillery sat on a training table under a tent Tuesday as Southern finished the situational scrimmage. The freshman from McKinley left practice early with what Odums believed was an ankle injury.
Also missing Tuesday was All-Southwestern Athletic Conference receiver Lee Doss, whom Odums said suffered a hip contusion during Monday’s practice.
Junior linebacker Daniel Brown sat out Tuesday morning with a shin injury.
“With the veterans, we know what they can do,” Odums said. “Another day to get recovered is not going to hurt them.”
Brown in the mix
Odums said former Capitol standout Bradley Brown is one of several newcomers looking to make an impact in a young receiving corps.
Brown transferred to Southern from Louisiana-Lafayette and is listed as a junior on the Southern roster. He began his college career at Northwestern State.
“You can see why he played Division I football,” Odums said, complimenting Brown on his route-running and smarts. “Having another receiver with that kind of experience is really a plus for us.”
Brown played for Southern co-offensive coordinator Chad Germany in high school. He had 15 catches for 187 yards playing for ULL last season.