BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - At the start of spring practice for the Southern football team, head coach Dawson Odums pretty much said the sky’s the limit for the Jags this season and we got a look at them for the 2019 spring game Saturday afternoon.
Names like Jordan Lewis and Ladairius Skelton burst onto the scene last year in the second half of the season for the Jags. This was just the second time under Odums that the Jags have been able to practice in the spring.
The Jaguar offense won the game, but it is not the end of spring practice for the team.
Southern is doing something different from many programs when it comes to spring practices. There were 10 practices leading up to the spring game Saturday. There will be another four practices next week. After the game, some of the coaches explained the strategy behind that.
“We’re a healthy football team through 10 practices, so the scrimmage will go a lot better,” said Odums. “Following days, a few more guys getting beat up, banged up, then you have a sluggish scrimmage. We want to come back the next four days and work some things that we don’t see much during the season and I think that’s what it’s all about.”
“At the end of the day, we just want to put our core, install ones and twos in, just our first two installs,” said offensive coordinator Chennis Berry. “Then, after that, we’re just doing things to fix our offense throughout the season.”
In terms of on the field, all eyes were on Ladarius Skelton (No. 8), the Southern quarterback that burst on to the scene in the latter part of the season for the Jaguars and led the team to the SWAC Championship. He didn’t do that well Saturday. He had two interceptions and ironically, it was John Lampley (No. 11) who was showing out in the spring game.
“I can’t do it without my o-line,” said Lampley. “Our coaches go through our reads and whatever’s open, that’s what we’re hitting. So, today was a good day around everywhere.”
“He [Skelton] sets up his passing game with his running game and we weren’t able to get that running game going today because of how we were doing the scrimmage. But he’s had a terrific spring and I’m telling you, as he go, we go and I’m excited with the progress he’s made and I’m excited about what coach has done with that quarterback room,”
Another name to watch as the Jags finish spring practice and head into fall camp would be Craig Nelson (No. 21). The 205-pound running back is a transfer from Indiana. Berry said he’s an every-down back, he’s a slasher, he can run it, can also catch it out of the backfield. It was something Berry was very excited about. He keeps saying that God shined a light on this program by sending Nelson.