All across this great state of ours, we’ve come to accept a few things as virtual guarantees.
Yes, death and taxes are obvious. So, too, are crawfish boils in the spring, snowball stands in the summer, and new Kardashian TV shows about once a month.
There is, of course, at least one other guarantee: When late summer arrives, football fans love preseason camp.
And they love to read about position battles, depth charts and areas of concern.
At Southern, “Camp Stump: The Sequel” is well under way, rounding Week 1 and headed for Week 2, and quite obviously, they absolutely must improve on last season’s 2-9 disaster.
A few areas to keep an eye on:
THE OFFENSIVE LINE:
As these guys go, so goes the Southern offense.
Last September, in a season-opening win against Delaware State, the line looked dependable, if not dominant, clearing the way for 394 yards from scrimmage.
Then the wheels came off. In the next two games, SU had 35 rushing yards and gave up nine sacks.
In other words, it got ugly quickly.
The team has two strong, stout veterans in Chris Browne and Lee Almanza. The key for Southern is to stabilize the rest of the line.
Often, while sleek, giant athletes battle for starting spots on offense and defense, kickers and punters are all but overlooked during the heat of camp.
Not this year. Not at Southern.
William Griswold left a Grand Canyon-sized hole in the roster when he returned home to Tampa, Fla., this summer. Now the team has two untested newcomers, Jamie Galvin and Matthew Hill, who struggled in the punting game after four days of camp.
This could get interesting.
Virgil Williams played out of position last season as a safety. Now the coaches plan to use him as their No. 1 corner.
The real intrigue lies on the other side, where three players — freshman Kevin King, junior D’Mekus Cook and junior John Mack — are out to prove they can handle the No. 2 job.
Ah, yes. The quarterback.
Last year’s top two starters, Dray Joseph and Jeremiah McGinty, have already proven they’re good athletes.
Now they have to prove they can be top-line quarterbacks.
Joseph has begun camp as the de facto No. 1, but coaches have made it clear that he’s in an “open competition” with McGinty and true freshman J.P. Douglas.
At some point, one of the three has to emerge as the clear-cut No. 1 option.
Of course, 26 days remain until the Sept. 3 season opener at Tennessee State, which means Southern has time to figure these things out. After all, that’s what preseason camp is for.
But sooner or later, the Jaguars have to find the answers.