Saturday’s Starting OL – Tremain Smith (LOT), Drew Dearman (LOG), Trey Clark (C), Melvin Meggs (ROG), Shawn Artz (ROT)
Artz and Meggs look good on the right side.
Smith has to get more consistent on at LT. He’ll make a really nice play, then whiff at a guy on the next play.
Clark (and James Elliott) – there were a lot of bad snaps. Apparently, there’s an issue with a new ball. I think it has to do with our move to the SBC, and we now have to use the official SBC football which is a different brand than the Nike footballs we’ve been using. From what I’m hearing they are really slick, so much so that the holder was complaining about being able to catch them and get them down cleanly. At the end of practice I specifically watched during the FG segment and there were at least two attempts where the holder never looked to completely have control of the ball. I guess they’ll take some getting used to.
2nd team OL – Chris May (LOT), Damon Husband (LOG), James Elliott (C ), Shane Doty (ROG), Phillip Wyatt (ROT)
Chris May is athletic and light on his feet, but he’s got to get stronger.
Husband still needs a lot of S&C. He still has a lot of baby fat.
If the name Phillip Wyatt is not ringing a bell, he’s a 6’5,250 freshman from Fairhope. I’d have to guess he’s a walkon, because I’d never heard anything about him until now. However, he was late to the game of football at Fairhope, only playing his senior year and has natural ability. As a matter of fact, he earned five letters in high school in tennis. As a senior he won his first round match at No. 3 singles and advanced to the quarterfinals at No. 1 doubles in the state 6A tournament. As a junior, he advanced to the state finals at No. 5 in singles.
And he held up pretty well when I made it a point to watch him Saturday. On his very first play, he manhandled Will Thompson on about a 12 yard run.
Now, it’s not ideal to have a freshman walkon as your back-up RT, but he clearly has some upside.
Which brings me to Darrius McKeller. He looks to be in decent shape. He took part in technique work, but did not get in during inside drills or the scrimmage. I have to wonder if he’s a little dinged up, because he certainly looks the part.
It’s going to be really interesting in the fall to see how many of the incoming freshman can crack the 2-deep.
Bryant Lavender had a good day. He’s just so solid.
Anthony Ingram had a really good scrimmage. He’s quick and elusive and has a nice burst.
Wes Saxton is really athletic and Greg Hollinger does not look out of place at TE.
Brandon Bridge can move. When the pocket breaks down he can really take off.
C.J. Bennett had really good day. He was the sharpest QB by far. He seemed to have better timing with the WR than the other QBs. In the scrimmage, he threw for three TDs. One perfect throw down the left sideline to Lavender over Charles Watson for probably a 50+ yard TD. One very nice throw on a post pattern that split the safeties from about 30 yards out. The third TD was on an out route to Corey Besteda from around the 20. Corey caught it around the five, broke one tackle and dove into the endzone while being hit by another DB.
The play before that was a designed QB run that C.J. may have scored on in “real life” but he was blown down as a DL got a hand on him as he ran by.
He also threw another nice deep ball down the left side line (I think to Lavender again) that went for about 30 yards.
Another play from pass skel that the coaches got really excited about (Matthews and Perry especially), was a play where Bennett dumped it off to the Ellis Hill in the left flat and it may have gone for a TD he was so wide open. The excitement was probably from of combination of making the right read, throwing the ball at the right time and not forcing something into coverage.
There was a lot of emphasis on the tempo. “Go, go, go” could be heard quite a bit.
There was also a great deal of emphasis on execution. Players were being pulled out of the scrimmage or jerked out of drills for not knowing where they were supposed to be and what they were supposed to be doing. Dumb penalties were getting guys pulled, as well. C.J. Bennett had a really good day utilizing the hard counts. However, there were at least 4 occasions where he drew his own guys off sides. Interestingly enough, twice it was a WR and once it was a RB standing right next to him.
Robert Matthews was up in the tower with the headset on. That seems like a clear indication he’ll be in the booth on game days, which makes sense as the OC, but not as the OL coach. If I had to guess, I’d say John Turner will be responsible for the OL on the sidelines on game day – just like old times.
The starting Defense, from what I could tell, was Romelle Jones (DE), Andy Dagliesh (NT), Randon Carnathan (DE), Anthony Taylor (Jack), Jake Johnson (ILB), Desmond Levelle (ILB), Clifton Crews (SLB), Charles Watson (CB), Darrius Morrow (CB), Charles Harris (S) and Alonzo Long (S).
Gabe Loper was running with the 2’s at FS.
The DL has to be more consistent. Carnathan, Ronelle Jones, Ceasare Johnson – those guys can make plays when they turn it on, but they have be more consistent. We also need more quality depth. Some of our back-up DL are undersized or just not active enough.
Jake Johnson and Clifton Crews are really good.
Maleki Harris made a lot of plays, both in the open field and behind the line of scrimmage.
Pat Moore can get up the field. I don’t know if he has any counter moves, but he can flat run around the OT when he wants to.
Charles Watson is physical and can turn and run with the WR.
Darrius Morrow is a very good athlete. He’s fast, quick, agile and can break on the ball quickly.
The highlight of the scrimmage may have come with the 3’s. Husky ILB Robert Terrell intercepted a pass over the middle and returned it deep into the offense’s territory, side stepping one would be tackler and coming up just short of the goal line. The defensive coaches were fired up and the phrase “rumblin, bumplin, stumplin” came to mind.
This may be my only scrimmage until the spring game, but there were some real glimpses of what the offense can do.
The offense has a long way to go, but it will be fun to watch when they get there.
There were some recruits on hand. It appeared the majority of them were OL as they were observing the OL group.
(Check the Insider Board for a little nugget regarding the OL recruits.)
The Spring of 2012 will be a season of change for the USA Jaguars. Coaches have new assignments. Coordinators are coaching positions. Everyone is stepping up in preparation for
the transition for FBS.
The biggest questions for me this spring are what the new offense would look like and how it would be developed with our players. I can answer a few questions after watching practice.
We learned from CJJ the offense will be basically a spread with the quarterback operating out of the shotgun. Practice gives every indication there will be multiple sets with at times as many as 2 backs and at others as many as 5 receivers. I had a chance to see all the Qbs throw lots of balls in a drill where two Qbs worked at one time throwing to one receiver at a time running routes. Fast moving drill with lots of throws at all distances. For my untrained eye Brandon Bridge was the best of the group.
The one thing we can count on from this year’s offense is speed. Everything moves FAST. This no huddle offense is no huddle with the team running to the line to snap the ball for the next play.
Last year the no huddle seemed almost in slow motion by comparison. The offense spent about 30 min, running play after play moving down the field at high speed. It appears the communications is different too. The QB receives the basic set and play group as he moves toward the line after a play . As the line sets in position the play is called . Then the backs and receivers look to the sideline for a quick signal. The quick signal appears to be the specific play in the play group. The whole process is nonstop. Obviously the entire offense will have to be in great shape.
Scelfo definitely caught some people by surprise when he announced his decision to join USA, the newest FBS program in the NCAA. He took a few minutes with JagsJungle.com to talk about his choice and his expectations for the future.
JJ - First and foremost, congratulations on a successful Signing Day. Was it a stressful process?
JS - It was pretty stressful for about six months. At first it was fun but then it got serious as I realized that I needed to pick a school and that it couldn't just keep going on.
JJ - Coach Jones stated after your signing that you had been committed to South Alabama for a couple of weeks. Once you had committed, were there any doubts?
JS - I was solid. I gave my commitment to Coach Jones and it's not me to break my commitment. Once I committed I was all in. There were some teams that came in after I committed but I turned them down and told them I was going to South.
JJ - Who were some of the notable schools that were after you late in the recruiting period?
JS - North Carolina came in late. Florida State was in it for a while. They wanted me to grayshirt after they filled up (their recruiting class). Southern Miss and Syracuse also were there.
JJ - What made you decide on South Alabama over these and other schools?
JS - I just fell in love with it. It just fits me good. I don't care about a big name, I just want a place where I can be happy and I think South Alabama gives me the best opportunity to be happy. I love the campus, love the people, love the program, so why not go there? I like being comfortable and the name stuff isn't important. People have criticized me and asked why I'd want to go the South, but they don't have to live in my shoes and walk to class everyday. It's where I felt right.
JJ - Are you expecting a redshirt year?
JS - I'm coming in expecting to start. The center there now is really good, Trey Clark, and I've spent some time with him and I'm excited to learn from him. I'm going in there with the attitude that I'm going to be ready to start, that I'm going to work hard every day, and that I'm going to push myself to the limit expecting to start. If I get redshirted then I'll spend that time getting bigger, stronger and smarter.
JJ - Have you had a chance to meet the other offensive line signees?
JS - Oh sure. I met Daniel Aust and Clay (Machen). Me and Clay are probably going to be roommates. We hit it of pretty good this past weekend. And then there's big Steven (Foster) from Demopolis. That's my buddy, there. We all just clicked good. Steve McKenzie, he and I are both Georgia boys. We're a good group. It'll be fun.
JJ- You guys all seem to be a pretty good bunch of guys. I guess that similarity will help you guys get along.
JS - Exactly. There's no individual in the group, which I like a lot. There's no one in the offensive line group that thinks they're better than anybody else or is going to be trouble. There all really good kids and the kind of people I want to surround myself with. That's another reason I was sold on South.
JJ - How much input did your father or your uncle have in the recruiting process?
JS - Honestly, my Dad said 'this is your decision, I'm not going to say anything. Go where you want to go.' That's exactly what he told me when this whole thing first started. He would tell some things about a school that he didn't think that I would like but for the majority of the process he said 'go where you want to go.'
JJ- Did he have a good perspective for you in terms of honoring a commitment, things like that?
JS - Yes, sir. He made it perfectly clear that this is the coaches' livelihood and that when you decide to give a commitment, you don't break a promise. I grew up being taught that. I wouldn't do that to somebody, especially someone I've had a relationship with for a year and a half.
JJ - Tell us who was your primary recruiter and your thoughts about him.
JS - Coach John Turner. He was the only one (from USA) who recruited me. He seems like he really cares about his players. He's a high-energy guy. I could tell that he was full of energy and excitement and he made it clear that he wanted me really bad. I want to play for a guy like that, so it worked out perfect. I hope he's my coach the whole time. i know how the coaching world works but I hope he doesn't go anywhere.
Joseph Scelfo was a great interview. Polite, well-spoken and intelligent. In short, everything that we want a representative of South Alabama to be. Welcome aboard.