Friday, July 31, 2009

ROSTER UPDATE has an updated 2009-2010 roster on the website. While there may be changes, the following is notable:

Non-Seniors Missing from last year's team:
#6 Jeff Cameron, WR (likely redshirt); #18 Nick Demuro QB (late 08 QB commit- not sure if he ever came to campus); #37 Josh Skelton DB; #49 Ellis Bennett LB; #51 Nolan Grange LB; #52 Jonath Nwilogh (LB); #53 Travis Grandy (LB); #56 Russell Jackson (DL); #59 Cole Bostwick (OL); #76 Mark Bounds (OL); #84 Deonte Carter (TE); #95 Michael Clark (DL); #91 Brett Gloyd (DE) #97 Antron Hart (DL);
Of this group, Carter and Cameron seemed to have the biggest crack at playing a lot. Our understanding is that Cameron is still on the team, but redshirting. It’s disappointing that he will not be playing. He is regarded as a playmaker by teammates. Carter had played a lot at tight end for the Gamecocks, although they are very deep at that position. Also, we thought Duane Tolbert was coming back as a graduate, but he's not listed. If he is gone, that's a big blow to the Defensive Line.

New Positions
#4 James Shaw has moved from DB to WR. Crowe has always spoken about his playmaking ability. As previously reported, Fort Payne native Nick Johnson has moved from linebacker to running back. Finally, Eric Russell has a new number (35) and has switched from tight end to linebacker. Given the attrition at linebacker referenced above, this is probably a good move. Russell is known for his athletic ability and great hands.

#1 Greg Smith, WR (Ga. Tech Transfer); #8 Jamal Young (Juco RB playmaker); #16 Alan Bonner WR (3* recruit); #17 Rayce Whiddon WR (the third Whiddon to play for JSU- high school QB that racked up all purpose yards); #18 Robert Gray, DB (highly recruited athlete from Collinsville); #19 Richard Freelon RB (NE Miss. Offensive Player of the Year); #23 Donald Prince, RB (SEC recruit prior to injury); #25 Tiger Williams, DB (KFC Pigskin Roundup AllStar ); #27 Patrick Tatum, P (Auburn transfer); #32 Jahron Brown, FB (#6 rated FB in the USA); #36 Brent Tolson, RB (late addition, very talented athlete from Anniston. Had interest from SEC schools); #49 Rodney "Big Texas" Garrott (explosive- can play DE or LB); #51 Kevin Dix, LB (Juco all-star and Ga. track record holder); #53 Ben Puckett, LB; #55 Ricky Clemons, OT (3*- maybe what the Gamecocks need at right tackle); #56 JJ Guthrie, LB (rangy 20 year old LB from Cullman); #63 Dewan Troup, DE (Hon. Mention All-State); #73 Colt Kennedy, OL (selected for prestigous North-South Ga. All-Star game); #94 Ladirus Simmons, DL; #95 David Maness, DE (highly regarded prospect); #97 Denzel Cheeks, DL.

Obviously, if you compare this list to the list of signees there are some significant players missing including TJ Hoyt and Josh Lewis, a highly regarded Defensive End. Perhaps some of these players are resolving eligibility issues and will show up later on the roster.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Disruptive Plays- Who Will Be the Next Devin Phillips

There is an interesting new statistic making the rounds on the internet. It’s called Disruptive Plays, or DP. It’s a cumulative total of several key defensive stats that are used; Tackles for Loss, Sacks, Interceptions, Passes Broken Up, Passes Defended, Quarterback Hits, Fumbles Forced, Fumbles Recovered, Blocked Kicks, and Safeties. This doesn’t take into account the amount of yards involved in an interception or fumble return – just the number of instances.

For the DP number, each of these counts one point, and points are added together to get DP’s for a game or season. There could be an argument here that some of these should count more points than others. An interception may be better than a pass defended, or a sack should count more points than a quarterback hit. But sometimes, a quarterback hit leads to an interception, so to keep this simple, each category counts the same. Furthermore, this isn’t an official statistic anyway, so let’s just go with it.

A review of JSU's DP numbers for the last five years shows some interesting trends. Keep in mind, it can work differently for different schemes. For some defenses, the linebackers or defensive ends will be near the top, for others, it could be a safety or cornerback.

Here are the numbers for the past 5 seasons:

Team Total – 249
LaMarcus Rowell – 27.5
Russell Green – 25.5
Dexter Sistrunk – 19
Skylar Mansfield – 18

Team Total – 231
Derrick Sistrunk – 22.5
Devin Phillips – 22
Kenny Brown – 19
Haneef Haqq – 19
Darren Williams – 19

2006 (Numbers were down across the NCAA this year due to changes in rules for the play clock)
Team Total – 209
LeMarcus Rowell – 29
Greg Green – 20
Aaron Jones – 19
George Summers – 16

Team Total – 248
Devin Phillips – 36
Carnell Clark – 21
TJ Heath – 16
John Scott – 14

Team Total – 250
Carnell Clark – 23
AJ Davis – 21
TJ Heath – 21
Alexander Henderson – 17

In looking at this, a few things jump out: 1) Devin Phillips made some plays in 2007. 2) The defense is trending up the last couple years. 3) TJ Heath made the top 4 as a freshman in 2007. But most of all: – the top 4 from last year are all back. In addition, there are several guys that could disrupt a lot of offenses. Brandt Thomas, Jamison Wadley, Morrell Jones, Josh Davis, BigTexas Garrot, just to name a few. Stay tuned- maybe we will track this during the season.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This Week's Links

JSU's Todd Cunningham starts in the Cape Cod League All Star Game - reached base in his first at bat and scored a run.

Who else joins Ryan Perrilloux on the Payton Award Watch List?

The OVC is launching the OVC Football 2009 Magazine.

Nick Johnson was previously reported to have moved from RB to LB. Here is a nice article to go along with that.

I'm going to try to find a random link on a couple of the incoming freshman players in each weeks links. Here are the first three. Alan Bonner, from Newnan, GA, had good company in the Super 11 last year in high school. Robert Gray, from Collinsville, AL, is an all around athlete. Ricky Clemons, from Flint, MI, is described as an 18-wheeler in a uniform.

It's been reported that JSU will have a new assistant basketball coach on the bench this year. After a year as a graduate assistant at Ole Miss in 2007, he was an assistant at William Carey in 2008.

The folks in Tuscaloosa continue to try to get under the scholarship limit. The exodus continues...

4 Gamecocks Make Pre-Season All OVC

Congratulations to Defensive Lineman Brandt Thomas, Linebacker Alex Henderson, Safety Carnell Clark and Center Reggie Wade on their Pre-Season All OVC selections. Hopefully, these seniors will make it a season to remember.

Brandt Thomas is a local player that goes hard on every play. I've had the pleasure of sitting by his parents and Grandmother at games. They have a lot to be proud of in this Defensive Lineman. Brandt actually ran the ball once in the Spring game, but I am pretty sure his focus will be on stopping the run this year.

Alex Henderson is a Mobile native that burst on the scene for the Gamecocks last year. He led the team in tackles even though he did not start every game. Late in the season Henderson had back to back games w/ 20+ tackles.

Many players on the defense will tell you that Clark is not only the fastest player on the team, but also the hardest hitter. If Clark continues his fine play, All American honors are a possibility.

Center, Reggie Wade, is a true team leader for the Gamecocks. The Tuscumbia native is a JUCO transfer that immediately made his mark. If you get a chance go to the archives and read our Q&A with Reggie, he is a class act.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The OVC Disrespects Perrilloux

The OVC named Cade Thompson of UTM pre-season Offensive Player of the Year over JSU's Ryan Perrilloux. While the stats are relatively close, Perrilloux had 244 yards of total offens per game last year compared to Thompson's 214. What the stats don't tell you, however, is that Thompson racked up a bunch of yards and tds against schools called Baker and Concordia. (UTM won those games 56-0 and 87-21 respectively).

If JSU had scheduled those games, Perrilloux would have surely surpassed Thompson in every statistical category. Instead,the Gamecocks played all of their games against teams in the FCS and also Georgia Tech. As Paul Harvey once said, now you know the rest of the story.

Jermaine Preyear

The internet is buzzing with rumors that Jermaine Preyear, a running back from Mobile, may transfer to Jax State from Alabama. Preyear is a Rivals 3 Star Player that rushed for 1026 yards on 128 carries his senior year of high school. He would be eligible immediately and would compete for playing time with Brandon George and speedster, Jamaal Young, in the Gamecocks' backfield.

JSU '80-'84 Reunion

If you haven't heard about the JSU Player Reunion planned for Oct. 2nd and 3rd, we wanted to take a moment and get some information to you. Below is a letter from Fran Blanchard, who is heading up the event. This will be a great opportunity to reconnect with some old friends, attend the football game, and have a great time. Here's the info from Fran:

Dear Gamecocks,
I would like to invite you to attend a reunion for the JSU teams from the early 80’s. A majority of these names came from the Mimosa, years 1981-1985. I want this to be OUR reunion. On this list alone there are: 259 players, 25 coaches, athletic directors, and administrative assistants, 26 managers/trainers, 41cheerleaders and 2 mascots. That is 353 people!!! I would love to find a way to contact each of these people and tell them what we are trying to do. Please feel free to add to the list. Send me email addresses and I will put them in our contact list. I will add people as I come across their name. We need to reach out and get people working for us to complete our mailing list. It doesn’t have to be limited to players, cheerleaders, etc. Band members, fraternity and sorority members, friends,-anybody associated with those years; please, invite them.

Here are my plans:
The Charley Pell Memorial Golf tournament will be held on Friday October 2nd. I have a flyer attached to this email for more information on the event. It will be followed by dinner and an auction held by Coach Jack White and Mark Hampton. Coach White is with the PGA and always brings some great items to auction off.

Saturday, we will have a picnic lunch (site to be determined), where we can meet and mingle before the game. Following the game, we will return to the Victoria for cocktails and festivities. We will probably have something catered in for dinner. We will need a head count as early as possible to determine how many people that we need to accommodate. We plan on showing a few highlight films, having a couple of guest speakers, and then finishing up with some dance music from that era.

I know that this type of an event will take all of us to pull off!!!! WE CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN! Please send me your ideas…

The Victoria Inn, located in Anniston, was recently donated to the University. We can rent the entire venue for Friday and Saturday night. This will be on a first come first serve basis as there are only 65 rooms. Another place to stay is at Jim Coxwells Inn which is located on Ft. McClellan. However, there are many surrounding Hotels. It would behoove you to look into these accommodations because there is limited space in both places. The fun part is being together!! There are going to be many hurdles and excuses of why we cannot do this. There are people that have not been back to Jacksonville since their playing days-this is our fault!! Our stadium is going to be awesome…we are playing the likes of Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Florida State and Florida in the next couple of years. I would have loved the opportunity to have played those teams! Our campus has taken on a whole new look; when was the last time you have walked our beautiful campus? The city as a whole has grown by leaps and bounds. Now it is our turn to show off the “NEW”JSU.

Coach Crowe has been nothing but helpful with this venture. The new stadium, schedule, and marketing plan will bring better players, band members, cheerleaders, and students to Jacksonville. We owe it to the University to help with our money, time, and loyalty to the program. I can’t wait to see everybody this fall… Please feel free to contact me at any time.

Pertinent Information

Deposit- We are asking that everybody send $25.00 as a deposit for the reunion. This will enable us to get a jump on securing items that will be needed for the different events. This is NON refundable, and will not be the only cost associated with the event. We will do our best to keep the cost low, as everybody is watching their money. Please make the check payable to JSU Reunion… Mail to: Howie Johnston- 3735 Keswick Circle- Birmingham, Al. 35242. I will update the RSVP and deposit on our Gmail account as needed. Please send this a sap so that we can begin to get a head count.

We have a spreadsheet that you can access through Google… Go to and that will give you a link to Gmail- the user name is- and the password is gamecocks. Look for the documents tab and click on it. You can update information at that time if you like.

Hotel Information:
The Victoria Inn- 256-236-0503
Coxwell Lodge (Ft. McClellan)-256-820-9494


Sincerely, Fran

Fran E. Blanchard
Director of Real Estate
Triple C Development
501 Chesnut Bypass
Centre, Alabama 35960
P (256) 557-1905
F (256) 927-4801

Friday, July 24, 2009

Summer Football Tidbits

Reports out of Jacksonville State are that team members are working extremely hard in voluntary condtioning. Many of the Gamecocks highly touted recruiting class are already on campus including mammoth linemen Colt Kennedy and Rickey Clemons, wide receivers Rayce Whiddon and Alan Bonner, athlete Robert Gray, defensive end Kevin Dix, fullback Jahron Brown and defensive ends David Maness and Denzell Cheeks.

While it is too early to say who the impact freshmen will be, look out for Bonner a 3 Star wide receiver from Powder Springs, Georgia. He appears to be the real deal. Richard Freelon may be one of the next great Gamecock running backs. He's bigger and faster than originally reported.

Big news- Jahron Brown- the #6 rated fullback recruit in America, appears to be healthy and is a player. He has some stiff competition at fullback, however, with Freeney and Middleton both returning. Greg Smith, the Georgia Tech wide receiver transfer, will make an immediate impact.

Eric Russell, a phenomenal athlete, has moved from TE to linebacker. Kevin Dix is a beast.

Bad news, it appears that recruit, T. J. Hoyt may be headed to junior college. A great player that will hopefully return to JSU.

Lets get fired up. We have 11 opportunities to show the nation what JSU football is all about and finish with the highest ranking in school history. Regardless of what may be put in someone's media guide, the real OVC champ will be decided on the field.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This Week's Links

The first football game this year is at Ga Tech on September 5th. Here is a 2009 preview of Tech. Offensive line is a concern for them. They are strong at running back, and they will try to run all over their opponents.

Next is Florida State on September 12th. Here is their 2009 team preview. They will have a lack of experience in the defensive secondary and a new starter at running back. Apparently, not many in the Seminole Nation are worried about this game, as they see it as a “break”.

After coming off of those two tough games, JSU’s third football game this year will be against Alabama A&M. They are looking to avenge last season’s loss.

This is a couple weeks old, and I can’t confirm that anything has happened yet, but Alabama A&M is also trying to get a D-1 QB to transfer. Coley White, from West Virginia and DeAunte Mason, from Kentucky. Looks like they most likely will transfer, but will it be Alabama A&M?.

Central Arkansas welcomes former JSU coach Dan Augustine. I wish him the best. We also want to warmly welcome new defensive line coach, Davern Williams. We are glad you are here. We have some great guys on the defensive line this year, and are looking forward to seeing you work with them.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Defensive Line Coach

Per the Millsaps College football website at, Davern Williams will be the new defensive line coach at JSU.

JACKSON -- Millsaps College head football coach Mike DuBose announced today the departure of defensive line coach Davern Williams to Jacksonville State University, the fourth assistant coach this offseason to depart ways with the defending SCAC champions after a record-breaking, 11-1 season.

"Davern has done an outstanding job for us both in recruiting and on the field coaching," DuBose said. "We hate to lose him, but at the same time are happy he will have the opportunity to progress in this profession."

Williams spent one season with Millsaps and was able to develop a youthful defensive line that accounted for 13.5 of the team's 22 quarterback sacks, 32 tackles-for-loss and a pair of fumble recoveries. The Majors' defense as a whole ranked 25th in the nation in scoring defense, giving up two touchdowns or less in 9 of 12 games.

To his credit, Williams guided senior lineman Denarold Anderson to First Team All-SCAC and All-South Region honors last season after losing a pair of all-conference performers the previous year.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

JSU - By The Numbers

0- The number of JSU courses taught by Graduate Assistants.
1 - JSU's rank among Alabama regional institutions in accredited academic programs
2- JSU's Business Schools National Ranking in providing Opportunities for Women
3- JSU OVC Conf. or Freshmen of the Year for 2008
6- JSU's NCAA All-Americans (all sports) for 2008
11- Ryan Perrilloux- Payton Award candidate
13- Georgia Tech's Pre-season ranking
15- Florida State's Pre-season ranking
21- JSU's trips to post-season play since joining the OVC
21- JSU's final national ranking in women's softball
22- JSU's National Rank among FCS Schools in 2008 Attendance
26- Carnell Clark- NFL potential
37- JSU's OVC Championships since joining the league (13 more than any other school)
38- The number of accredited programs at Jacksonville State
45- Alexander Henderson, tackling machine
62- JSU All-OVC athletes
101- JSU's place among all schools in the NCAA Directors' Cup
112- JSU Student-athletes earning All-OVC academic honors
126- JSU Student-athletes finishing the year with a GPA of 3.0 or better;
866- Indiana Basketball's Multi-Year APR (no post-season ban)
882- Jacksonville State Football's Multi-Year APR (post season ban)
948- Estimated APR of JSU's current football team.
10,554 - JSU's average attendance in the D2 National Championship year
11,300 - JSU's 2008 average football attendance.
500,000 - The amount of money JSU will earn playing Florida in 2012

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday Links

Payton Award
A total of 20 candidates will be announced in alphabetical order prior to the start of the season, with four candidates being released each week. The watch list will be revised in October and again in November, before the final ballot is announced.
HERE is a link to the most recent 4 additions to the list.

Ticket Sales
You don't have to do things the way they have always been done. Northwestern State shows they can be creative. While we don't know the results yet, THIS ARTICLE shows some creativity. We've got a few ideas that we think would work here, too. Maybe we'll break out our list soon.

All American
In case you missed it, the preseason All America team was announced. Congrats to JSU's Carnell Clark on being named to the team. There are some other OVC players on the list. HERE it is.

Another Top 10 List
The Sporting News released their preseason FCS Top 10. HERE is the link, and below is the list.
1. Richmond
2. Appalachian State
3. Villanova
4. UNI
5. Montana
6. Southern Illinois
7. Weber State
8. New Hampshire
9. Elon
10. James Madison

One more list... lists their top 15 FCS QB's for 2009. It is in THIS blog, but here is their list.
1. Armanti Edwards, Appalachian State
2. Cameron Higgins, Weber State
3. Jeremy Moses, Stephen F. Austin
4. John Skelton, Fordham
5. Ryan Perrilloux, Jacksonville State
6. Dominic Randolph, Holy Cross
7. Bradly George, Texas State
8. Brian Babin, Southeastern La.
9. Greg Denham, UC Davis
10. Matt Nichols, Eastern Washington
11. Eric Ward, Richmond
12. Scott Riddle, Elon
13. R.J. Toman, New Hampshire
14. Derrick Fourroux, McNeese State
15. Curtis Pulley, Florida A&M

Monday, July 13, 2009

JSU Defensive Depth Chart 2009 (Unofficial)

A couple of weeks ago speculated on the offensive depth chart for the 2009 season. The defensive side of the equation presents an even bigger challenge. First, JSU is transitioning to a 4-3 next season. Second, it is unclear exactly what position some of these guys will be playing. In particular, on the defensive line, it is unclear in some instances who will play on the interior and who will play defensive end. Thus, we have simplified where possible. For instance, instead of listing Left Corner or Right Corner, we simply list all the cornerbacks.

There is a great deal of speculation here. We’d love to be corrected on any mistakes. Please COMMENT and let us know.


#20 AJ Davis, Jr. - Davis was injured this spring, but had a great sophomore campaign.
#15 TJ Heath, Jr. - Heath gives JSU two playmakers at the corner spot.
#2 Jawaan Booker, Jr.- Has played significantly and earned the praise of teammates
#37 Josh Skelton
Other to watch: Darren Carter, Bo Bailey.

Overall assessment: This is a strength of the team. JSU should be able to play man coverage with no problem. Davis and Heath, who started every game in 08’ must stay healthy.


#26 Carnell Clark, Sr. All-American
#13 Josh Cain, Sr. Tons of experience. Another playmaker.
#28 Keginald Harris, So. A fast, big hitter that drew significant interest from Ole Miss
#23 Jason Shaw, So. A playmaker, rumored that he may play some WR as well.
#36 Jason Horton, So. A highly recruited player, but has to battle for playing time.
# Michael Owens, Sr. Owen had 11 tackles last yr. and can’t be counted out of the mix.

Overall assessment: Broken record: This is a strength of the team. Given the APR debacle, JSU should consider a red shirt where possible for some of these guys.


92 Brandt Thomas, Sr. This guy is what Gamecock football is about. Started every game last year.
## Torrey Davis A Five Star Florida transfer. If he’s eligible, havoc will be created.
58 Michael Ellis. Could be the best interior lineman in years with experience.
94 Justin Kay, Jr. , Army Transfer suffered a concussion in the Spring, has also played OG
#56 Russell Jackson, Jr. JSU’s website says this Athens product originally signed with Miss. St.

Overall assessment: Hopefully, Davis will be eligible. JSU has some good players here, but not enough of them. We also seemed undersized, particularly compared to Ga. Tech, Alabama A&M and Tenn. State


93 Jamison Wadley, So. The So. Miss transfer entered starting lineup early in 08 and never looked back.
63 Duane Tolbert. Entering what seems like his 7th year for the Gamecocks. A special player whose absence was felt in the Martin game last year
## Texas Garrott, Texas has bounced around a few schools. Unblockable this Spring.
31 Santez Mays., Sr. Mays started several games last yr., but only 17 tackles last year..
## Kevin Dix, Jr. Carrollton football expert (and legendary "Cocky" from '84-'85) Burt Grisham says this juco transfer is a player.
## Josh Lewis, Jr. Team MVP of his juco team.
90 Monte Lewis, R.Fr., played significantly in 08’ - 23 tackles.
91 Brett Gloyd, Jr. Should provide depth.

Others to watch: Demitrio Tyson (all name team), #98 Baylor Bennett , #61 Brandon Rogers

Overall assessment: It looks like JSU will have at least 8 guys battling for time at defensive end. Perhaps a red shirt for some of these guys makes sense. Will Texas stay eligible? Are the JUCO’s as good as advertised?


#34 Andrew Ridgeway, Sr.. Football player. Started almost every game in 08.
#54 Antonio Bonner, Jr., 6'2", 245 lb. got plenty of playing time at the Sam linebacker position in the spring.
#3 Jared Stewart, Jr. FBS recruit. 32 tackles last yr. The converted safety will be a fast linebacker.
#48 Rylee Zalanka, R. Fr.

Others to watch: Travis Grandy, Nolan Grange, Eric Russell- an athletic tight end has moved to linebacker


#45 Alexander Henderson, Sr. NFL potential.
#43 Morrell Jones, Jr. A speedy big hitter that spent a season with FSU. 58 tackles in 08.
#40 Rod Byrd. So. Should provide depth.

Overall assessment: It would be nice to figure a way to get Henderson and Jones on the field at the same time. Depth appears to be an issue. Could Dix fill a hole here if needed?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Upcoming Football Season

One of the top questions I hear about the upcoming football season is about the tailgating area. I’ve got to say that the tailgating has been a lot of fun. It’s like a little village pops up and it’s centered around college football and food (& drink). With the construction ongoing, and taking away the tailgating area from previous seasons, will there be a tailgating section this year? According to the Athletic Department, there are extensive plans to create a new tailgating area similar to the one in the past. It will have almost as many pull through spots as before. They will be paved and amenities will include water, electricity and cable. It is in the corner of the lot off Mountain View. At this time it is scheduled to be usable but not complete for the upcoming season. As construction goes, there is always a possibility that delays will occur. There is a backup plan that will be publicized if that happens.

A few Dates to Remember
July 24th – Gamecock Club Fun and Feast – Cane Creek Golf Course
Aug. 6th – Football practice officially starts
Sept. 5th – First game vs. Ga Tech
Sept. 12th – JSU will try to make it 2-0 all time vs. FSU
Oct. 2nd – Charley Pell Golf Tourney at Anniston Country Club
Oct. 3rd – First home football game
Oct. 24th - Homecoming

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Good news for one of my favorite Gamecocks. Congrats Joe. Here are all four deserving athletes.

Player to watch: Donovan Hand He was also selected to the Southern League All Star Team.

Here is an article on the Florida State season outlook, which has a blurb about Jacksonville State.

Ouch! You probably already know about this.

Good news. JSU tops in OVC for Directors Cup.

This is beginning to be an annual ritual for our friends at Alabama. I would imagine this leaves several student-athletes very disillusioned.