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Southern University head coach Dawson Odums strides toward the sideline, just before opening kickoff in the Jaguars' 37-31 win over Prairie View A&M, Saturday, Nov. 4 , 2017 at A.W. Mumford Stadium.

ADVOCATE STAFF PHOTO BY TRAVIS SPRADLING

Southern coach Dawson Odums is not allowed to address any individual potential recruit ahead of Wednesday’s newly formed early signing period, but he has no problem discussing the type of player he is looking for.

It’s all about needs, Odums said, and his team needs to get a little taller.

“We’ve got to get long, man,” Odums said. “Whatever position we’re signing we’re signing for length. We’re trying to get impact players and length.”

Southern needs to get longer at wide receiver specifically, Odums said.

By the time the 2017 season had reached its midway point, the Jaguars were running a pint-sized version of their offense, with freshmen Jamar Washington (5-foot-7), Cameron Mackey (5-9) and Kendall Catalon (5-9) frequently occupying the wide receiver positions together.

The youngsters were productive but it limited some of the ways Southern was able to attack opposing defenses.

It’s why, Odums said, the “biggest emphasis is getting taller and getting longer at wide receiver.”

“I think if we get the guys we’re supposed to get, we’ll accomplish that,” Odums said. “But who knows how this early signing day is going to go.”

Odums said to also expect his team to add some players to its offensive and defensive line ranks in this recruiting cycle.

The Jaguars lost two starters on the offensive line and one of the better defenders in the Southwestern Athletic Conference in Aaron Tiller on the defensive line.

“We follow our needs; we don’t deviate from what we need,” Odums said. “And if we don’t get what we need this signing period? Well, we’ve got another signing period to go get what we need. That’s where we are with that.”

With this being the first year of the early signing period’s existence, Odums isn’t quite sure what to make of it yet.

While he acknowledged that it is beneficial for programs at the Football Championship Subdivision level — the FCS semifinals wrapped up this past weekend, and only two teams remain — he is not sure how FBS teams are mixing it in with bowl preparations.

“I mean, there are teams playing a bowl game tomorrow and we’re having signing day,” Odums said. “Should we have one maybe the first week of January instead of December?”

Johnson earns All-American honors

Former Southern defensive back Danny Johnson was named a third-team FCS All-American Tuesday by STATS FCS.

Johnson, who will participate in next month’s Senior Bowl, intercepted three passes and returned two of them for touchdowns. He finished his senior season as the FCS active leader in passes defended (55) and interceptions (16).

He was joined as an All-American by three other SWAC players in Alcorn State running back De’Lance Turner (second team), Grambling linebacker De’Arius Christmas (third team) and Grambling kicker Marc Orozco (third team).

Follow Luke Johnson on Twitter, @ByLukeJohnson.