Chad Germany played football at Capitol High. He coached there for six years. He has moved a few miles north to Southern University, where he now coaches quarterbacks.
In other words, Baton Rouge is home.
But when the Jaguars open their season at 6 p.m. Saturday in Nashville, Tenn., against Tennessee State, Germany will certainly know the landscape. Nashville might not be home, but it’s a close second.
Germany, who threw for 2,180 yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior at Capitol High in 1989, moved on to a successful career at Tennessee State.
He played quarterback, strong safety and tight end for coaches Joe Gilliam Sr. and Bill Davis from 1990-93 - and while Baton Rouge is obviously home, Nashville is a close second.
“I’m real excited about it. I still know a lot of people up there,” Germany said. “I’m a friend of (current coach) Rod Reed, and the offensive coordinator, Mike Jones. We talk a lot.”
Germany, who jumped to Southern this summer, said that while he was head coach at Capitol from 2005-10, he routinely visited Tennessee State during spring practice, learning and sharing ideas with the coaches there.
“Any time you can go back, it’s like going back home. They say there’s no place like home, but I have a lot of friends there,” Germany said.
“Coach Gilliam, who coached me in college, is there, and I’ll get a chance to see him, so it’ll be a small reunion. ... But I think the big thing is taking care of business, getting out of there with a victory.”
This will mark the second straight year in which Southern has played in a city that’s been home to one of its assistants.
Last season, SU opened against Delaware State in Orlando, Fla., at the Citrus Bowl - a familiar place for offensive line coach Paul Lounsberry, who served as offensive line coach and offensive coordinator for Central Florida from 1987-99.
Fixing the kicking
Fans who watched Southern’s final preseason scrimmage got a long look at something that concerned head coach Stump Mitchell for much of training camp: kicking and punting.
SU kickers Manuel Canto and Matthew Hill were perfect on extra points Saturday. After that, things got rocky.
They were 0-for-5 on field goals, though two of their attempts were from 55 yards away. Their three kickoffs reached the 5, 7, and 13.
And although Canto dropped one punt on the 10-yard line, he averaged 37 yards per attempt. Another punt was blocked.
Is Mitchell concerned? In a word, yes.
“It didn’t go well. So that means offensively, we need to score more,” he said.
“Defensively, our kickoff and our punt teams ... need to perform exceptionally well to create a long field. I don’t think our opponents will have a whole lot of successful drives when they have to go 80 yards. So our kick-coverage teams have to be great.”
Mitchell was quick to note that Southern will work more on special teams the rest of the week.
LP Field: a familiar sight
Mitchell noted Monday that his team shouldn’t be in awe when it steps onto the grass at LP Field, which is best known as the home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans.
Ten current players were on Southern’s roster in 2008, when the team played Tennessee State at LP Field.
That game happened five days after Baton Rouge took a pounding from Hurricane Gustav, and the two schools considered canceling or postponing the meeting.
In the end, Tennessee State rallied in the fourth quarter and held on for a 34-32 win.
Southern will play in three NFL stadiums this season - LP Field; the Georgia Dome on Sept. 24 against Florida A&M; and the Superdome on Nov. 26 for the Bayou Classic.
“It’s always a thrill to let those guys see the field some of the NFL guys actually play on,” Mitchell said.
Saturday’s game is the back end of a home-and-home agreement between SU and Tennessee State. The teams played at A.W. Mumford Stadium in 2009, when the Jaguars rallied for a 21-17 win.
According to school records, Tennessee State leads the all-time series 23-11-2.