WATCH Jace Conrad's postgame interview. http://t.co/nfXG0SSIRR
The 6'4" 230lb pass rusher had never played organized football until last season, having focused on basketball previously. Wells was in Mobile for the USA 7 on 7 tournament and really impressed the South Alabama coaching staff with his athleticism.
That athleticism was evident in the spring when he competed fro Dublin's track team, triple jumping 34-11 and running the 5000 meters, an unusual event for a big athlete as it requires a tremendous amount of endurance.
With his frame and physical abilities, Wells projects to add another 40+ pounds in the future and become a force on the defense line.
Wells is ranked a three-star player by 247Sports.com and the 80th best tight end in the country (he caught 29 passes for 600 yards and eight touchdowns) while Scout.com designates him a two-star prospect and the 123rd best outside linebacker.
His highlights can be seem at http://www.hudl.com/athlete/785767/highlights/13510381
The Jaguars now have 15 verbal commitments.
The Jags started their third day of fall practice Saturday morning, and it was also the first day that team was able to wear shells. Today was also the last day of practice until Monday morning, with Sunday being their first off day.
On offense, South Alabama was led by CJ Bennett, who had a good day controlling the hurry-up offense. Bryant Lavender showed good hands on the outside. Lavender was praised several times by the coaching staff for his hard work. Corey Besteda had two great catches during the pass skeleton, one of which seemed to resemble Tyrone Prothro’s over-the-shoulder catch. Greg Hollinger showed great hustle and very physical play. On one play, Hollinger played so hard on a block that his helmet flew off. Coach Turner ran over and congratulated him on his play.
On defense, the first team forced a fumble on two consecutive plays, one of which by linebacker Enrique Williams. The coaching staff has been looking to Darrius Marrow to teach the younger defensive backs the plays.
Special teams worked on punt protection and punt return for the first time. Trey Fetner was used as a personal protector on punt formations. Scott Garber, Aleem Sunanon, and Logan Gunn all split time punting, while TJ Glover, Jereme Jones and Cameron Broadnax shared time receiving the punts.
Many players seemed to be drained from the grueling practice today. Several were gasping for air and cramping up towards the end of practice. Andy Dalgleish said this was the hardest he had been worked in his 18 years of playing football. Hopefully the Jags hard work will pay off this upcoming season.
The South Alabama Jaguars returned to the practice field on Thursday night for the first time since spring drills. 2012 marks the first season the Jags will be a FBS program and play a hefty 13 game schedule, which includes Mississippi State, North Carolina State, a full Sun Belt Conference schedule before wrapping up the season in Hawaii.
This season will be more grueling than any the Jags have faced before, and it showed in the tough practice they experienced during the first day of fall camp. Thursday’s practice also gave the coaches and the fans a chance to see what needs to worked on in the new spread offense.
The offense worked almost exclusively out of the hurry up the entire time, with CJ Bennett, Ross Metheny, and Trey Fetner getting reps with the first string offense. Metheny, a transfer from Virginia, didn’t seem to miss a beat in his new surroundings. Brandon Ross was back on the field after missing significant time with a knee injury, as well as Kendall Houston. Ross and Houston split time with Demetre Baker and Terrance Timmons, a speedy running back who impressed with his quickness and ability to catch the ball out of the back field. Newcomer Wes Saxton appeared to be a monster on the field, cutting through the defense with his impressive size and speed with catches across the middle.
On defense, the newest Jag, Lucas Melo, impressed with his quickness. Melo was exceedingly fast for a lineman that measures in at 300lbs. Transfer linebacker Pat Moore towered over most of his defensive counterparts, and showed great reaction to plays and good footwork as well. Senior safety BJ Scott looked to have become much bigger compared to last year, and also appears to be completely healthy as well.
Freshman kicker/punter Aleem Sunanon was kicking 35-yard field goals in only one stride, and freshman kicker Logan Gunn was very impressive and could battle for a share in the kicking game this year.
Overall, wide receiver TJ Glover, returning to the field after missing last season, was very impressive. His speed from the outside, as well as his hands and ability to find holes on screen passes will make him a valuable asset in the new spread offense. He and Terrance Timmons add a new definition of speed which is vital to the success of the spread.
Many players experienced cramps from the tough practice, but that is to be expected from the first practice of the season. The Jags will return again tomorrow night for Day 2 of fall practice.
JagsJungle.com has learned that defensive tackle Lucas Melo of Pierce College in Los Angeles will be joining the team on Tuesday, just in time for the beginning of summer practice. The 6'2" 305lb athlete was first team all-conference in the Southern California Football League as he racked up 47 solo tackles, 9.5 sacks, 13 tackles for a loss, forced two fumbles and blocked two field goals. He was a two-star recruit according Rivals.com.
How did USA manage to land such a talented player so close to the beginning of the regular season? Melo, who is from Lake Mary, FL, had early offers from BYU, New Mexico State and Texas State, among others. In February he chose to sign with FCS power Maine, but after Signing Day it was discovered that many of his credits wouldn't transfer to Maine or to several other schools. Granted his release, Melo picked up offers from South Alabama, Akron, Buffalo, Georgia State, Jacksonville State, Washington State and Boise State. Here's why he decided to join the Jaguars:
"I loved my visit," he said via text. "I loved Mobile, loved the campus and everything about the school but at the end of the day it came down to early playing time and being able to get into school without a problem."
Melo does have one more academic hurdle to get over before he can officially become part of the team. He must complete on online English course within 21 days of beginning practice at USA or he will have to leave the field until everything is done. He anticipates being through with the class within a week and having no more obstacles to becoming a Jaguar.
According to Melo, the coaches envision him primarily playing the nose for the USA defense, but in different packages he could play end or the 3 technique, in which his quickness will make him very effective.
The addition of Melo could have an such a positive overall impact on the entire defense that his importance can't be overstated. He will increase the overall size and depth of the line as the biggest defender in the rotation, but he will also provide a pass rush, which should help the back end of the defense as well. It's hard to imagine a team that could need him more than USA or a player that could have made as timely an arrival as Lucas Melo.
Sophomore Highlights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePQyjd-ZCEE