Southern

Goodbye 2018, hello 2019

The Southern roster didn’t have much room to grow in the off-season, mainly because so many Jaguars are returning from the 2018 team. From the end of school in May to Tuesday’s Media Days, coach Dawson Odums said he didn’t add any players or transfers to the roster which sits at 117. Southern did lose wide receiver Kendall Catalon, who transferred to Arkansas, but the wide receiver position is chock full of capable replacements. The full roster resulted in the best attended off season sessions in Odums’ tenure.

What’s happening now?

The full roster means Southern has depth and experience galore. There won’t be an issue at quarterback where LaDarius Skelton figures to be even better after a strong finish in 2018, although Odums said last year’s opening game starter John Lampley has also improved and is pushing hard. That’s the prospectus for nearly every position — depth, depth, depth.

Coach speak

“We’re spending more time getting to know the players, working on their mindset, creativity. Getting a good understanding of what it’s all about beyond football, getting these guys ready for the next chapter of their life. It’s more time invested in our guys, so we have a better relationship with them. That’s what it’s all about getting them ready for life beyond football.”

Dawson Odums

Grambling

Goodbye 2018, hello 2019

Dropping its first Bayou Classic in four seasons was a bitter pill for the Tigers at the end of a sloppy season. Grambling averaged 101.9 yards per game in penalty yardage and were flagged 123 times in 11 games, 11.2 per game. Tack on an average of two turnovers per game and it’s easy to see why Grambling took a step back after three consecutive West Division titles. Something also has to be done about the league-high 41 sacks the offensive line allowed.

What’s happening now?

Maturity. Coach Broderick Fobbs is hoping a return to intense work on technique and fundamentals with his 69 returning letter winners will speed up the process for a team that still has only three seniors on its roster. In the returning starters contest with Southern, the Tigers have 15 to the Jaguars 17. Expect another hotly contested Bayou Classsic.

Coach speak

“We got to be consistent in our approach. If we develop into a team that doesn't beat themselves, then we'll have a chance in the end. We feel good about our talent level. We feel good about our experience. We feel good about our mental state. We feel good where we are. We just have to go out and prove it.”

Broderick Fobbs