When you reach the R’s on the Southern University football roster, it’s hard not to wonder if you’re seeing double.
There’s Corey Ray, a linebacker who wears number 57. Then there’s Corry Roy, another linebacker who wears number 58.
“There’s only one difference in our names,” as Ray pointed out. “His is an ?O’ for Roy and mine’s an ?A’ for Ray.”
The easiest way to distinguish the two may be to call them by the names of the positions they will play for Southern this fall. Ray, a fifth-year senior, is penciled in to start at Mike linebacker; and Roy, a junior, the early favorite to play Jack.
Some teammates have tried referring to Roy as “C-Roy,” but it’s too close to Ray’s longtime “C-Ray” moniker.
“So since I’m from Hawaii, they just call me the Hawaiian,” Roy said.
A transfer from Eastern Arizona Community College, Roy grew up surfing in Maui and has closely cropped hair. A veteran of the Southern program, Ray hails from Clinton, Miss., and wears dreadlocks.
Ray is 6-foot-2, 235 pounds with a sturdy build. Roy is 6-1, 210 with speed off the edge.
They are different kinds of players with different styles and backgrounds. But their names are seemingly separated at birth.
Roy introduced himself to Ray when the two met over the summer while living in the same apartment complex.
“Corry Roy?” Ray remembers saying. “I’m Corey Ray.”
But Roy said that Ray, entering his fifth year in the Southern program, wasn’t concerned about the newcomer stealing his thunder.
“He actually thinks it’s funny,” Roy said.
Back to work
Southern was back on the practice fields Monday morning as the Jaguars worked out in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts.
“Guys are starting to settle in and earning positions,” coach Stump Mitchell said. “Things are looking great. We had a bunch of young guys, guys learning what to do. But today I think we came out and competed really well.”
Mitchell singled out the running game as a highlight of Monday’s workout.
During a “thud” scrimmage late in practice, senior defensive lineman Kedy Enabulele was helped off the field by trainers after becoming overheated. He was taken inside for treatment.
“A little shortness of breath,” Mitchell said. “I’ll know a little more when I get in.”
In other practice news, Lee High graduate Manuel Cantu got his first action of fall camp after settling some academic issues.
The senior joined Jamie Galvin and Mathew Hill in a punting game that has been one of Southern’s early sore spots. Mitchell said Cantu hardly distinguished himself and expects to see more from the veteran in future practices.
“Manny’s like these other guys - he has to compete,” Mitchell said. “I wasn’t really pleased with the way he performed today, having been out and having been here. A veteran guy, you expect for him to come in and be better than the other guys. But that wasn’t the case today.”
Southern will work out again Tuesday morning in helmets and shoulder pads before donning full pads Wednesday for the first day of two-a-days.
After practice Tuesday, the Jaguars will head south to watch the New Orleans Saints practice in the afternoon.
Get your tix
Tickets for the Bayou Classic went on sale Monday and can be purchased at http://www.MyBayouClassic.com/, Ticketmaster, the New Orleans Arena Box Office, Grambling State’s ticket office or the Southern ticket office.
Tickets are available for the Nov. 26 game on every seating level of the Louisiana Superdome.