The three-way quarterback competition remains open at Southern University, but sophomore John Lampley took most of the snaps with first unit during scrimmage action Saturday morning at A.W. Mumford Stadium.
The practice session featured referees and situational down-and-distance settings for the team to work on. Many plays ended without an official spot, but Lampley completed more passes than either of his counterparts during the morning workout that lasted roughly 2 ½ hours.
For the day, Lampley completed 15 of 21 passes with no interceptions, one touchdown, and was near 200 yards of production. Sophomore Glendon McDaniel was 5 of 18 with an interception, good for about 50 yards. He also rushed four times for 32 yards.
Sophomore Ladarius Skelton, who transferred from Fullerton Community College, was 6 of 14 passes, and was close to 100 yards.
“(Lampley) did a good job. I really thought the offense overall did a good job,” Southern coach Dawson Odums said. “I thought all three quarterbacks made good decisions… It was good to see those guys playing with a lot of confidence.”
Southern opens its season in three weeks when it plays at TCU, but Dawson is in no hurry to name a starter.
“We don’t really have a timeline,” Odums said. “We’ve got to continue to see how it plays out. We’ve got one more week of camp and then we’ll see if we can narrow it down. If not, we’ll continue to go the next two weeks, put a gameplan together for the first game, and we’ll also have a gameplan with our quarterbacks.”
The practice opened with four plays of goal-line offense at the 3-yard line. Lampley threw a touchdown pass to Jamar Washington before running back Devon Benn was stopped for no gain. McDaniel came in for two cracks at the end zone, and threw two incompletions.
After some work on the kicking game, Southern moved to a session where all three quarterbacks rotated possessions that started from their own 30.
The session was highlighted by tight end Dennis Craig’s 70-yard catch-and-run touchdown on a halfback pass from Benn. Lampley had a 50-yard completion to Kendall Catalon and a 40-yard keeper around left end. Skelton had three completions including a 40-yarder to Elijah Allen.
Later in the practice, defense dominated a session that featured offensive possessions beginning at their own 20. There was a forced fumble on a bad exchange between Lampley and Benn to start things off. Later, Trey Smith picked off McDaniel’s long throw on a third-and-20 play.
Lampley directed a seven-play touchdown drive, the only score of the session. The key plays were two hookups with Washington, a 31-yarder on a short route, and 36-yarder on a busted coverage that carried to the 2-yard line. Chris Chaney took a handoff into the end zone on the next play.
“Its good to see the guys we’re trying to get the ball to make plays, but when you get hit in the mouth, its good to see the defense respond and come back in the next period to dominate,” Odums said. “Offense dominated the first one, defense dominated the second, and then it was an up-and-down battle in the third one.”
— Odums said he feels like cornerback Demerio Houston has the ability to play man-to-man coverage, and take over the role of lockdown corner that was previously held by Danny Johnson. Also like Johnson, Houston was the kick returner when the team used three kickers as it worked on its punting game.
— Linebacker Calvin Lunkins is one of the leaders on defense, a role that Odums said is shared by several players. Tackle Jaron Johnson, Houston and rover Montavius Gaines were all singled out by Odums as marquee players for the Jaguars defense.
— Plenty of Jaguars got touches during the practice session. Thirteen different receivers caught passes while nine running backs had carries.