Southern University might have gone light on the beginning of the early football signing period Wednesday, but added speed to its offense.
The Jaguars signed two players, Hinds Community College dual threat quarterback Kobe Dillon (6-foot-1, 195) and wide receiver Devin Ellison (6-1, 190) of Cherokee High School in Canton, Ga.
Dillon led Ferriday to the Class 2A state championship in 2019, and Ellison was a three-star recruit. Both were sprinters on their respective high school track teams.
Southern coach Dawson Odums said he will sign “maybe two or three more” before the end of the year and that he also has three transfers who will be added officially in January.
Odums said he may not sign any more players on the Feb. 3 signing day because of the NCAA rules allowing players an extra year of eligibility amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You’ve got to make a decision,” Odums said. “Our seniors coming back have put their time in. We bring most of our guys back. We may not have room for the new guys. That’s unfortunate for the class of 2021. We may sign more guys in May.
“It’s hard for us to sign guys we haven’t seen. We’re not going to play that game. We’re going to keep our process, be thorough and investigate our guys. We’re not going to take guys just to be taking them. We can’t oversign and then have to cut anybody. We’ll reevaluate in the spring.”
Dillon completed 120 of 199 passes for 2,112 yards and 23 touchdowns with only four interceptions to lead Ferriday to its first state title in 63 years. He also rushed for 1,730 and 21 TDs. He was named MVP of the 56-17 Class 2A title game victory against Many, completing eight of 12 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 51 yards and two more TDs.
At Hinds, Dillon was a backup quarterback. He rushed for 35 yards and a touchdown on 11 carried in a 56-21 victory against Southwest Mississippi Community College. He also completed one of two passes for seven yards. Dillon also had a 2-yard TD run in an overtime loss to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Hinds played only four games because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
Ellison caught 104 passes for 1,113 yards and seven touchdowns in his sophomore and junior seasons at Cherokee. No stats were available for his senior season.
Odums said his team spent most of the fall in conditioning and weight room work but were able to put in about “seven or eight” practices before dismissing the players for the holidays. The team will report back to campus Jan. 11.
Southern will play a seven-game schedule in the spring beginning Feb. 27 at Alabama State, followed by the home opener against Arkansas-Pine Bluff March 6. The Jaguars will play Grambling in the Bayou Classic April 17 in Shreveport’s Independence Stadium.
The SWAC Championship Game is set for May 1 at the home of the division champion with the better record.