After an opening week that seemed as if nothing could go as planned, the Southern football team finally conducted a whole day of practice without any hiccups Monday.
Southern was able to use its practice fields for the first time this summer after rain and insufficient conditions forced coach Dawson Odums to compensate for the early portion of his team’s camp.
Odums maintained his stance that the Jaguars are ready to practice anywhere, but senior left tackle Zach Brown said it’s still a relief to get on the practice field.
“It’s definitely more organized now that we have lines,” Brown said. “Receivers can run the right routs and the (offensive) line can get straight. It just makes for a better work environment.”
Brown added that the team would like to see better facilities, but for now, he’s happy just to get back to practicing anywhere.
Junior running back Lenard Tillery was more positive than the upperclassman, saying he thinks the practice field is in the best condition he’s ever seen.
“When I cut, I didn’t have to worry about my foot slipping or sliding,” Tillery said. “I just hope it stays like that for the entire season.”
Space under the trainer’s tent was limited Monday as several Jaguars watched practice from the sidelines because of injuries, including multiple prospective starters.
Odums said senior defensive back Kevin King was held out of Monday’s practice because of concerns about his weight and hydration. But Odums said he expects him to be back in the lineup Tuesday.
Odums also confirmed that junior offensive lineman Reginald Redding rolled his ankle during Sunday’s practice and was held out of drills Monday.
Odums said he doesn’t think anything was broken and expects Redding back in the next few days.
Senior nose tackle Jaylen Jordan did not participate in practice again Monday after a car crash on the way to camp sidelined him for the first week. Jordan said Sunday that he felt fine and was only waiting on a doctor’s clearance.
Odums said Monday that clearance should come, and he expects Jordan to be back to work Tuesday.
Junior wide receivers Willie Quinn and Justin Morgan could both be seen doing individual rehab workouts on the sidelines during Monday’s practice.
Life without Quinn
The Jaguars spent most of Monday’s practice working on special teams drills, including punt and kickoff returns, both of which typically feature junior wide receiver Quinn dropping back.
But with Quinn not due to return to practice for at least another week after suffering a jaw injury during a pickup basketball game, Southern has been forced to use other players in his absence.
“There’s no such thing as, ‘We have to have a player,’ around here,” Odums said. “The next guy is going to be ready in this program. The process we have, any body can go down at any point in time, and (the next guy) will be ready. This is just giving someone else a chance to be ready.”
Odums said the Jaguars don’t have any shortage of options to return kicks, specifically citing junior defensive back Jaleel Richardson as a kick returner.
Junior running back Lenard Tillery dropped back during Monday’s kickoff drills, but Odums said he was only helping catch balls and isn’t indicative of any potential lineup moves.