Saturday, July 31, 2010

Fan Day 8/21

Mark August 21st on your calendars! That should be a busy day at Paul Sn...make that Burgess-Snow Field at JSU Stadium. Early that afternoon, we'll have Fan Day. Meet the players, get autographs, and get to know them.

That will be followed by an "open house" at the stadium. The final touches are scheduled to be added to the stadium right around that time. Due to the construction, I'm not sure how accessible the suites will be. If you haven't picked out your seat yet, this would be a great time to do it. Seats are being assigned now. If you haven't bought yours yet, do so soon in order to choose your seat. If not, pick it our on Fan Day.

Later in the day, there will be a full scrimmage game by the football team. The Southerners will be there, the concession stands will be open, it should be close to a real game atmosphere. This will be the final time to see the team practice before they go to Ole Miss. Come out and support our student-athletes as they prepare for the regular season and a championship.

Tentative Schedule:
2:00 Student Tailgate
4:00 Fan Day - Player autographs, etc.
5:00 Southerners perform
6:00 Football Team Scrimmage begins

Friday, July 30, 2010

Anniston Star - JSU Hoops coach staying busy over summer

Nice article from the Anniston Star on JSU Hoops Coach James Green

Anniston Star - JSU Hoops coach staying busy over summer

Matt Jones Out; Horton to Safety

Starting Guard, Matt Jones, from Hoover, Alabama is out for the season with a knee injury. This is a tough blow to the Gamecocks. We believe he had started every game he had played beginning with the Georgia Tech game as a true freshman. With Jones out, it will be interesting to see who steps up on the offensive line. The only good news is Jones had not redshirted so he has two more seasons for the Gamecocks. With Andrew Ridgeway's departure, JSU has now lost two starters before the season has even started.

In other news, Jason Horton, from Birmingham has moved from outside linebacker to safety. Gamecock corner, T.J. "Mr. All America #15" Heath said that Horton is a hard worker and has handled the move well and that he is "looking forward to him playing behind me. I know that he is not going to let the team down and he is definitely not going to let himself down." The Gamecocks appear to have good depth at Safety with Keggie Harris, Robert Gray, Jason Horton and Brooks Robinson among others.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Anniston Star - Jax State to play at LSU in 2015

Read about it in this link. Congrats to our athletic department. These games raise money, increase recognition, create fan interest and are a great recruiting tool.

Anniston Star - Jax State to play at LSU in 2015

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Breakfast Links

Here are some links related to JSU football, volleyball and upcoming opponents.

*Our conference champion volleyball team has received a national academic award. Click Here

*Good article from AL.Com on Coach Crowe's speaking tour. Click Here

*Here is a preview of one of JSU's biggest rivals in the OVC- Eastern Kentucky.

*Conference foe Austin Peay still looking to get it going.

*A story about Andrew Ridgeway's decision to give up football.

Jacksonville News - JSU football players reach out to community

Here is a link to a good article in the Jacksonville News about the fine works being done in the community by JSU's student-athletes.

Jacksonville News - JSU football players reach out to community

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Anniston Star - Gamecocks Heath back after nearly losing football

Joe Medley weighs in with a nice column on T.J. Heath's scare with a recent car accident.

Anniston Star - Gamecocks Heath back after nearly losing football

Monday, July 26, 2010

6 Gamecocks Flying Under the Radar

Here is a list of 6 Jacksonville State Gamecocks that may be under the radar right now, but could make a big impact for the Gamecocks in 2010. Note- any readers with thoughts on who else should be on this list, please comment.

Robert Gray (2009 Signee). Gray is a Defensive Back from Collinsville, Alabama that was recruited by Georgia Tech and UAB and also had interest from Auburn and Alabama. He is not a huge guy, but still brings a physicality to the game combined with a 4.5 forty. He is a playmaker that coaches and teammates have been buzzing about for months and reminds you of FSU defensive back, Greg Reid. Calvin Middleton described Gray as an "impact player." The talent in the Gamecock Secondary is a little scary right now with TJ "Mr. All American #15" Heath; A.J. "the Jet" Davis; Keggie Harris, Jawaan Booker and Jason Horton. And, don't forget about Brooks Robinson, the former QB has added 20 pounds of muscle to his frame and was looking good in the Spring until he tweaked his leg early in the J-Day game.

Jeff Cameron, Wide Receiver. Cameron is only on this list because some fans have a short memory of 2008 when he had 23 receptions Going in to the 2009 season, TJ Heath told G.I. that Cameron was one of the most talented receiver on the team. However, Cameron decided to sit out 2009 to concentrate on academics. Despite sitting out last year, Cameron continued to impress coaches and teammates with his ability while working on the scout team to help JSU prepare for upcoming opponents. He is back and the Tupelo native is very much looking forward to a return to Mississippi on September 4th. GI's prediction is that Cameron will have at least 5 catches in that game.

Brannon Byrd, Linebacker. You have not heard of Brannon- yet. He is a physical linebacker from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He had over 100 tackles in the final year of his junior college career. specifically mentioned in his preview of Jacksonville State that Byrd should help this year.

Eric Russell, Linebacker. An athletic player that may have started his Gamecock career as a tight end. He began seeing more and more of the field during the 2009 season. Defensive coordinator Greg Stewart describes Russell as a player "with great speed that loves the game." Russell is known for amazingly strong hands - once Russell gets his hands on an opposing runner, the guy is not getting loose.

Rashad "Spiderman" Smith, Linebacker. Originally signed with NC State and has already played a year of post-high school football. He was player of the year in the Florida panhandle. Nicknamed Spiderman because of his exceptionally long arms.

Marquis George, Defensive End. Marquis was a 3 Star Recruit from the same junior college that produced the phenom known as Kevin Dix. He may be the first Jacksonville State player originally from Delaware. The key with George is he came to camp in shape and ready to contribute. He brings yet another speed threat off the edge with Dix and Big Texas Garrott. By the way, you can't call him under the radar, but watch out for Big Texas this year, he has an uncanny ability to get his body at an angle that makes him difficult, if not impossible, for opposing tackles to block. Garrott is poised for a breakout year that should result in post-season awards.

Others to watch: Griffin Thomas, a walk-on kicker that hit a 54 yarder to win the Spring Game.

Jacksonville State Picked as 2010 Ohio Valley Conference Football Favorites -—Official Web Site of the Ohio Valley Conference

Interesting rundown of each OVC team going into the 2010 season.

Jacksonville State Picked as 2010 Ohio Valley Conference Football Favorites -—Official Web Site of the Ohio Valley Conference

Saturday, July 24, 2010 Nutt on Crowe

Interesting blurb from the Gadsden Times. Houston Nutt comments on Coach Crowe and facing Jacksonville State in the opener:

"Nutt on Crowe

Ole Miss will open the season at home against Jacksonville State on Sept. 4.

The game will be a reunion of sorts for the two head coaches. Rebels coach Houston Nutt once worked for Jacksonville State coach Jack Crowe at Arkansas and spoke glowingly of his old boss at media days.

“Jack Crowe, I have a tremendous respect for,” Nutt said. “Actually, gotten very, very close with Jack. We've stayed in touch after our years at Arkansas. Probably two, three years there, we didn't have much of a relationship. But after that, we talked periodically.

“He's done a tremendous job down there. He's really turned that program around. Just a good man and does a good job.”

Nutt also said the Rebels better be ready to play in the season opener.

“You could say, ‘Oh, Jacksonville State.' But Jacksonville State had Florida State beat,” Nutt said. “They have real athletes. (Coach) Crowe does a tremendous job for them.”

The Gamecocks and Rebels will kick off at 2:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on CSS."

Friday, July 23, 2010

Anniston Star Podcast

The Anniston Star has a new podcast out for Jacksonville State. Go to to check it out. Al Muskewitz does a great job of covering Jacksonville State sports. Two notables: Al predicts JSU to make the playoffs and thinks Coty Blanchard is going to stay at JSU. Lets hope he's right on both counts. Also, there is an opportunity to nominate a Gamecock of the Week- Andrew Ridgeway was their selection this week. If you know a Gamecock doing great things whether on the field or off, let them know.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Keginald Harris - Safety First

Gone are former AP All-American Carnell Clark and OVC Scholar Athlete/ESPN Academic All-American Josh Cain as our starting Safeties. The player with the most college-level experience at Safety will be a sophomore this season. Keginald Harris, #28, will line up at Safety this season for the Gamecocks. After a redshirt year in 2008, Keggie saw action last year on special teams and relieving the starters, Clark and Cain, at various times. When Keggie was on the field though, he made things happen. This is evidenced by his 25 tackles, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass break-up, and 2 passes defended. Keggie was kind enough to stop by headquarters for a word with us.

GI: You were a highly decorated student at Hazelwood High School not only on the football field, but off of it. Tell us a little about that.

KH: Yes sir, off the football field, I was class president, student council president, and an honor student. Playing football, I played both ways, quarterback and safety.

GI: Last year was your (redshirt) freshman year, and you were positioned to contribute mostly on special teams. You also saw some action behind Carnell Clark and Josh Cain in all of our games. This year, you’ll be a starter. Has that changed the way you are preparing for this season?

KH: It’s definitely changed how I’m preparing for this season. There are no senior safeties this season. It will be underclassmen that have to provide leadership this year. I’m preparing by watching more film, working harder, and communicating with my position coach, Coach Norwood more. My approach will be way different. This will be my first year as a starter. I want to do my part so that our defense will dominate the OVC. I don’t want to let anyone down - coaches or teammates.

GI: Tell us about playing for Coach Norwood.

KH: Coach Norwood is intense. He can get us fired up and ready for games. On the field, he is strictly business. Playing for Coach Norwood, you need to know your assignment and carry it out. You’ve got to do what you are supposed to do out there. We communicate a lot. Off the field, Coach Norwood is a friend. I can talk with him about just about anything.

GI: What is the toughest thing about playing Safety?

KH: Probably the hardest thing is reading the offense. We have to determine run or pass. You can’t go for the play-action, and you can’t let anything get behind you. If the other gets behind me, it’s trouble.

GI: Let’s talk about some of the other players on the team. Seeing our offense practice gives you a chance to see our talent. Who should we look for to stand out this season on offense?

KH: Calvin Middleton is faster and stronger. Also, “Cam”, Jeffrey Cameron. His skills are unbelievable.

GI: Who would you say are leaders on our defense?

KH: Monte Lewis and TJ Heath. This will be the last year for TJ and he can be very motivational. He wants to go out with a bang. I expect he’ll go on to play at the next level.

GI: Who have you learned from since being at JSU?

KH: I learned a lot from Josh Cain. Off the field, he was a straight-A student. He was an FCA leader. On the field, he was all football. He was a hard worker and did a great job. He kept his notebook with him, watched a lot of film, and took a lot of notes. He won so many awards, and deserved them. There is nothing negative about Josh Cain. I learned a lot from him.

GI: How will the change in quarterbacks affect the team?

KH: Marques Ivory has really stepped up in a big way. He won’t let anything stop him. He has a high level of confidence and can do the job. Last year, he had to start against Ga Tech, and in my opinion, did a great job against the team that won the ACC and went to the Orange Bowl. He can lead this team.

GI: Who is the fastest player on the team?

KH: AJ Davis, #20. He can move.

GI: Tell me about TJ Heath’s game last year against UT Martin.

KH: Coming into the UT Martin game, the 5th game of the season, we didn’t have any interceptions. The year before, UT Martin beat us. Coach Crowe told us the week of the game that it was a new year, a new season, and we needed to raise our level of toughness. We set the tone early, and TJ had 3 interceptions, running 2 of them back for touchdowns.

GI: Do you have team goals this year?

KH: Our goal is to win the OVC Championship and the National Championship. Last year was hard – we didn’t have the chance to make the playoffs because of the APR, but we wanted to play our best. We didn’t want to have a let-down. I’m looking forward to this season. There’s a lot to play for.

We also want to play as a team. To me, team means Together Everyone Accomplishes More. We’re going to play as a team this year. We’re out to prove wrong anyone that says we can’t accomplish our goals.

GI: Did you consider going to schools other than JSU?

KH: UNA and Alabama A&M were some other schools that were looking at me. There were others too. I wanted a new football atmosphere. I wanted to major in Business, and JSU has a great business school. When I visited, I liked the coaches, the facilities and the environment.

GI: What do you do when you’re not on the football field?

KH: I like to play Call of Duty on PS3. I shoot pool in Stephenson Hall. I hang out with friends, and I watch a lot of film.

GI: I met your dad last year when he was here for fan day. He was a college athlete as well. Tell me about him.

KH: My dad is Tony Harris. He’s very supportive of me. Most people that know him know that he played football at Mississippi State. He actually went to Ole Miss his freshman year for football. He transferred to Mississippi State after that year. He and I are both looking forward to the Ole Miss game this season.

GI: You still have 3 years of football eligibility left. Do you have any plans for after college yet?

KH: I am working on a business degree. I want to work hard and have a successful career. I don’t want to be thought of or remembered as someone who went to college just for football. I just want to take advantage of the opportunity I have now.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Calvin Middleton: "He's a Monster."

A running back that will have a huge role for the Gamecocks in 2010 is junior, Calvin Middleton. Middleton, a former Cobb County running back of the year, had a great 2009 season for the Gamecocks rushing for close to 700 yards at over 5 yards per carry despite the fact that Jacksonville State passed the ball frequently. Middleton had over 100 yards against UT- Martin and 98 yards against EKU. Middleton also had success against the big boys as well averaging over five yards per carry against Georgia Tech. The Spring Game showed it was not a fluke- Middleton went for 147 yards on 21 carries.

As we look to the 2010 season, here is what others say about Middleton:

"Calvin is a big back that has little back quickness. He is hard to tackle and runs with his pads forward . . ." - Head Coach, Jack Crowe

"he’s a monster." - former Gamecock linebacker, Andrew Ridgeway.

"I always expect Calvin to just bust open every play. I love watching him play. He is just explosive and I never know what he is going to do." - Gamecock Tackle, Curt Porter.

"Calvin Middleton will be a big factor in the running game. He is working hard this summer." - Gamecock Guard, Tyler Ogletree.

“He has great vision and quickness.” - Running back coach, Jimmy Ogle on Middleton before the 2009 season.

After hearing these great things about what #3 brings to the table, it was great to get a few words with the man himself following a summer workout.

GI: How did you wind up at Jacksonville State- who else was looking at you?

CM: I had a couple of other schools that were looking at me, UAB and Alabama. But, nobody [was looking that hard at me] because my grades were [an issue]. But, Jacksonville State they stuck with me. They stayed with me until the end, so I ended up coming here. Coach [Adam] Ross [recruited me].

GI: Your Senior year you were named Cobb County running back of the year [Cobb County is a huge metro Atlanta county] what did that mean to you?

CM: It felt great. I figured I came along since my junior year since I did not make all county first team. So, it felt great to make that my senior year.

GI: Cobb County is only about 100 miles away from JSU, is it nice to be close where your family and friends can come watch you play?

CM: Yes, I think I am the perfect distance.

GI: We have had a lot of players from Cobb County over the years- what's the attraction?

CM: It’s a good place and a good distance, plus we are a good team so who wouldn't want to come here.

GI: You came in as a fullback, but switched to running back.

CM: I was kind of overweight my freshman year. They put me at fullback just to see what I could do. But [Coach Crowe] told me that if I ever lose the weight he would put me at running back. Obviously, I lost the weight.

GI: What is your ideal playing weight at running back?

CM: Right now, I'm 220, but for the season I'd like to be between 215 and 220.

GI: Do you think the fact that you have played fullback, helps you at running back?

CM: It helps a lot because I really know what the person in front of me is doing.
GI: You have a really talented fullback in front of you in Alphonso Freeney?

CM: He is a great dude. I love playing with him. He is a great blocker. He is one of the underrated fullbacks in this conference.

GI: What are some of your best memories so far of your career at Jacksonville State?

CM: My top memory would be against Tennessee State my freshman year. I scored the game winning touchdown. Also, last year beating EKU.

GI: How about going for over 100 yards against Martin last year for the first time in your career?

CM: That game was a good game. I didn't even know I had over 100 yards until after the game. It didn't feel like it, but they told me after the game. It felt good, I was proud of that.

GI: Against EKU, you only missed 100 years by two yards. Did you tell Coach Letson you needed one more carry?

CM: I was asking for one more, but it was [real near] the end of the game!

GI: What was it like playing with such a high profile player, like Ryan Perrilloux.

CM: Ryan was good. He was the type of player that made everybody better, that is why we came together and gelled so well last year.

GI: Do you think there will be a transition this year moving from Ryan to Ivory?

CM: It will be a different look for teams, but I would not say we were losing much because Quez is just as good as a quarterback.

GI: You averaged about 12 carries a game last year. Would you like to get some more carries this year?

CM: I'm hoping to see the ball a lot more this year now that I have my weight right. Depending on the type of offense we run I would say 18-20 carries a game.

GI: Do you consider yourself more of an inside or outside runner?

CM: As long as we get the job done it really doesn't matter.

GI: You had quite a bit of success against Georgia Tech last year. What was the key?

CM: The offensive line. They were just creating holes. That was a good Georgia Tech defense.

GI: What stands out about the FSU game?

CM: People look at the score, 19-9 at the end. But, the game was much closer than the score. [JSU led with 53 seconds left]. I can't even describe Florida State. It was a great game, great atmosphere. We played hard out there.

GI: What did the FSU players say to you after the game?

CM: They said it was a great game, "yall scared us." They said: "I hate it for whoever else yall play."

GI: What did it mean to you last year, to win the OVC on the field championship?

CM: It was a great feeling, because once we found out we couldn't make [the playoffs] it was a lesson for us. We were out there to make sure that everyone remembered that Jacksonville State football team. We wanted to make sure everyone remembered that season. We did a good job of showing that.

GI: Does missing the playoffs last year, motivate you for this year?

CM: Most definitely, 100%.

GI: What are you working on to get better personally?

CM: My size, my speed. There is always room for improvement. I am watching more film now.

GI: You only had 6 catches last year- would you like to catch more balls this year?

CM: I would like to catch more passes next year. I'm working on that too, coming out of the backfield.

GI: Do you have good hands?

CM: Yes, I have great hands.

GI: What are the team goals for 2010?

CM: We don't expect anything less than a national championship. We have our eyes on the prize. We are [setting our priority] on the conference first.

GI: You had a huge Spring game 21 carries for 147 yards. Any comment on that.

CM: It’s a preview of things to come. We as a team went out there to prove a message also.

GI: What is it like playing for JSU's running back coach, Jimmy Ogle?

CM: Coach Ogle is a great person. He tries to help you to the best of his ability. He stays on you because he expects a lot out of you. He will stay on you to get good results. He is a good coach. I love playing for him. [Coach Ogle actually] played with my high school coach, Tee Martin.

GI: Tell me a little bit about [fellow running back] Jamal Young?

CM: He is like a highlight tape. They give him the ball and I'm just waiting to see what he is going to do next. He's a perfect compliment to me with my size. With me, Jamal, Alphonso and a couple of other folks, our backfield should be pretty solid.

GI: Jamal is a tough player even though he is only 170 pounds?

CM: Yes. He brings it to everybody no matter the size.

GI: How is Richard Freelon coming along?

CM: Richard is developing well. He is going to be one of the best running backs to ever come here. I can't wait to see what he is going to do because he is going to be a good running back. Also, we have Andrecus Lindley coming back. He [had to miss time] because he broke his hand last year. I can't wait to get him back. He is a senior too. Drec was the #1 running back [last year] during two a days before he got hurt. He is the type of guy that is always on the sideline getting everyone fired up before the game and during the game. He is one of the leaders on this team.

GI: You go up against our defense every day, what's that like?

CM: Our defense is tough. You know we lost Zander [Henderson] and Carnell [Clark] and a couple of other big time seniors, but I don't see our defense having a problem with intensity this year.

GI: Who are some of the big time hitters on defense?

CM: I would have to say Monte Lewis, Morrell Jones and Kevin Dix as well.

GI: Monte Lewis really seems to have the respect of the players and coaches.

CM: He does. He is a giant, a freak [laughing]. He is a hard worker and a good teammate as well. So he has it all, the whole thing.

GI: Who would you say is the fastest player on the team?

CM: It’s a close one between A.J. Davis and Jamal Young.

GI: Are there any guys on the team that may not have received much publicity yet, but are ready to break out?

CM: Allen Bonner, he was pre-season All American at punt returner, but he is a great receiver as well. You will see a lot of him next year. We have a lot of DB's that could step up this year in the rotation.

GI: I have heard a lot of people mention safety Robert Gray as a young guy with a lot of talent?

CM: I can't wait to see what he does. He is going to be an impact player out there.

GI: How excited is the team about opening with Ole Miss?

CM: We can't wait. Florida State and Georgia Tech, if you look on paper we lost. But, we know in our minds that we can play with these teams. We don't see a problem competing.

GI: What does it mean to you being the team to debut the newly renovated stadium?

CM: It means a lot. It is a big move in our career. We [recognize] a lot of players did not [get the opportunity we have]. Then again, it puts a big target on our back. We have to give people what they want when they come, so we have to win this year.

GI: Then you go [to your home] and play against Georgia State- what's that like for an Atlanta guy?

CM: It means a lot. It is just going to feel like another game at home. My family is going to be there.

GI: What are you looking forward to in the OVC?

CM: We look forward to all of them, but one game on our mind is the EIU game. Not only did they beat us, but they took the series lead over us. We would like to get them back for last year. And, pretty much everybody else.

GI: The EKU coach said something to the effect of JSU didn't deserve to go to the playoffs last year, will that motivate you going into the 2010 game?

CM: That is all of the motivation that we need.

GI: What is your major?

CM: Criminal justice.

GI: Are you on track to graduate?

CM: Yes sir.

GI: Any last message you want to deliver to the Gamecock fans?

CM: Don't expect anything less than a championship.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Andrew Ridgeway – A Change of Plans

Andrew Ridgeway addressed his teammates on Tuesday morning, about 6:30 AM after their morning workout. He will not be playing football with them this fall. He’s been offered a career opportunity that will take him away from his last college football season. He stood before his teammates explaining what had transpired, that he will not suit up on Saturday’s this fall, but he will be supporting them. The response from the team…congratulations, well-wishes, hugs, and telling Ridgeway that he will be missed.

Andrew is a sociology major at JSU from Fort Payne, AL. He’s played in all of our football games since 2007 after a redshirt year, mostly as a starter for the past two seasons. He was 4th on the team in tackles last year. He’s worn #34 for the past 3 seasons, and if you watch the JSU Gameday commercial that has been on TV recently, you will see him in it.

I got the chance to speak with Andrew on the phone this afternoon, and wanted to tell our readers the story. Here’s our conversation:

GI: Andrew, tell us about the opportunity you now have.

AR: The opportunity is a position with the US Department of Agriculture. It is an internship for 4 months, after which, if I do a good job, will lead to a full-time position. The internship covers 640 hours of interning with special agents for the Dept of Agriculture. I will officially work for the Inspector General’s office. The internship and training leads to a position as a full time criminal investigator.

GI: What types of things would you investigate?

AR: Making sure farmers crops are indeed damaged when they report that it is, investigating reported losses, and things like cock-fighting, ironically, being a Gamecock.

GI: Let’s talk about your football career here. When did you arrive at JSU and what memories will you take with you?

AR: I arrived in June 2006. That was my first semester. My memories will be of the bond I have with other players. I’ve been here a long time and have seen many come and go. If you can last at JSU, you have to have character and integrity. We have players with those characteristics now. The coaches helped me along the way, and I consider them friends.

GI: When we talk with other players about leadership, your name comes up often. Who else provides leadership for this team?

AR: I define a leader as someone who is accountable, someone that knows the structure and routine of the program. A leader doesn’t miss practice or other team functions. If we have a workout scheduled for the Friday before spring break, a leader makes sure he is there. When I think of a leader, I would say Curt Porter fits that description. He has the team’s respect.

GI: With you leaving, who will pick up the team in your spot?

AR: I’m not the most gifted athlete. I think I played tough, and I tried to minimize mistakes. Some of the guys that you will see step up are Antonio Bonner, Rodney Garrott, and Monte Lewis. They are all very capable.

GI: Tell me about the team this year. We lost some starters; some talented players. What will this year look like?

AR: This year, the team should be closer, more together. It’s not built around one guy on either side of the ball. The team knows that, and we will see more people stepping up and making plays. The team this year will be focused.

GI: Who do you see that we should be watching for?

AR: Marquez Ivory can make plays, and the team knows that. They believe in him. He is smart and he provides leadership. On top of that, he has the talent. Cam (Jeffery Cameron) is back after a redshirt year. He is a playmaker at WR. Alphonso Freeney is an excellent fullback. Calvin Middleton…he’s a monster. He’s lost a little weight, he’s faster, and he’s more durable. We have more experience on defense. We have corners that can play with anybody. TJ (Heath) is a preseason All-American. AJ Davis hasn't gotten the recognition yet, but he is another corner that is a special player.

GI: I understand your decision to take the job offer. Can you elaborate on your decision process a little?

AR: It was not an irrational decision. I’m sure it’s the best decision for me. I’ve really enjoyed playing here, but I realize I will not play at the next level. I’m looking at the next step in my life, and have an opportunity for a great career. I’m engaged and need to look to the future. If this works out like I expect it will, I will be financially comfortable, and would be able to retire when I am 48.

GI: You can’t argue with that. Are you on track to graduate?

AR: I need 4 hours and I will get that this fall. I could have graduated in the spring, but that could hurt the team. Let me explain. In the past, we’ve had guys that graduated early and had eligibility left. They took courses toward a graduate degree while they play their final year of eligibility. After that final year, they leave without completed their graduate degree. That counts against JSU on the APR. I didn’t want to do that to the team, so I saved one class for this fall. I’ll take it and graduate.

GI: I heard that you got help on this opportunity from a JSU graduate. How did that happen?

AR: Jim Epik was here last spring and spoke to a couple of us on the football team. Mr. Epik told us what we needed to do to get an internship like this, certain things they look for in an application. He was very helpful, insightful, and humble. I wouldn’t have this opportunity had it not been for his guidance. I give all the credit to JSU and to Mr. Epik. (Jim Epik is a 1983 graduate of JSU in Criminal Justice. He recently retired from his career in Washington, DC, and serves on the College of Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors.)

GI: Any words you want to say to the Gamecock Nation in wrapping up our conversation?

AR: I’m thankful for the opportunity that I received at JSU. I think I’ve taken advantage of the athletic and academic opportunities I’ve had here. With the help of many people here, I am in a position to achieve my goals. I’m very appreciative. I won’t forget that either. I want to give back. I’ll be looking for opportunities to help others.

Thanks once again to for the use of the picture of Andrew.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 on Jax State's Todd Cunningham

Interesting writeup from on Todd Cunnigham

Atlanta Braves - Todd Cunningham, 3B, Jacksonville State
by Andy Seiler on Jul 13, 2010 9:07 PM EDT 0 comments

The Braves spent the 53rd pick on Todd Cunningham of Jacksonville State.

Follow the jump for his pre-draft report.

Todd Cunningham Position: OF School: Jacksonville State State: AL Year: Jr. Height: 6’1’’ Weight: 205

Bats: B Throws: R Birth Date: 3/20/89 Seiler Rating: 1C3 Last Drafted: Never

Todd Cunningham is a solid all-around outfielder from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. He originally attended Jacksonville High School in the same town, and he came to Jacksonville State as an unheralded recruit. He started immediately once he hit campus, and has undergone a transformation from being a high on-base hitter with little power to a strong hitter with power, average, and speed. His big breakout came last summer on the Cape, when he showed excellent tools en route to winning the league’s batting title, a big accomplishment for a relatively unknown small-school player. He has received more attention as a result this spring, and while the results aren’t exactly up to the level most expected, he’s done well enough to not drop too much draft stock. At the plate, he flashes solid hitting tools, especially his hit tool itself. It flashes above-average to plus, and when he’s not depended upon to provide big power in the lineup, he fits well as a gap-to-gap hitter capable of hitting .300 with 30 doubles. His power is rather fringe-average to average, and that shouldn’t be his game, but he’s shown that he can hit for power when it’s necessary. He’s an above-average to plus runner, and he’s turned that into game speed this spring, making him a solid overall offensive threat. Defensively, he’s still a left fielder at JSU, but profiles better for center, where his fringe-average arm and above-average range can take hold. He might need an adjustment period, but he’ll do fine there. Overall, he looks like a solid starting center field prospect, and he should go in the supplemental first round or second round.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


In recruiting, you don’t get do overs, but you can guarantee that Vanderbilt would like one in the case of JSU offensive tackle Curt Porter. Porter, from Fayette, Alabama almost went to Vandy, but it did not happen. Vandy’s loss was JSU’s gain. Curt has started 22 straight games for the Gamecocks. Porter earned all OVC honors as a Junior and has attracted the attention of NFL Scouts, some of whom believe he could go as high as the third round. As you will see from the interview below, Porter has been working hard to make sure his success carries over to his all important senior season.

Q: Who recruited you besides Jacksonville State?

A: [My senior year] I was being looked at by Vanderbilt. I really liked it there. The offensive line coach, Ronnie Caldwell, talked to me a lot. When Vanderbilt decided [to take another player}, Coach Caldwell recommended me to Coach Crowe [they are good friends]. I took a visit to JSU and I really liked it. Everybody is really friendly and it was not too big of a town for me, because I am from a small town [Fayette, Alabama]. I liked the campus, I had some other visits to other schools but I liked [Jacksonville State] the best.

Q: What games stand out about your JSU career so far?

A: Two years ago, our last game was versus Tennessee State. We had a last minute big drive that put us ahead in the game. Andrew Ridgeway blocked a field goal in the game and ran it back. We got the ball back later and had that game winning drive. That was probably my favorite moment.

Q: How did you feel about being named post-season All-OVC last year?

A: It mean a lot. You can’t put too much into awards, but any time you are recognized like that it makes you feel good, whether you want to show it or not. I was very appreciative and [it made me feel good] that the hard work was paying off and getting recognized.

Q: What are the team goals for the season?

A: Winning a championship.

Q: OVC or national?

A: The big picture is national. But, you have to take the first step first. The main goal is winning the OVC. Once we get there we can put our focus to bigger things, but right now we need to focus on the OVC and then work to bigger things.

Q: How hungry is this team after missing the playoffs last year because of the APR?

A: Big time. When I was recruited here, that was the big thing - the ring, because I did not get one in high school. It’s a big deal to everybody that plays football, putting that ring on your finger. Last year, we won the OVC technically but couldn’t put a ring on our finger. It made everybody sick and out to prove a point [this year].

Q: Was it hard to stay focused last year with that hanging over your head?

A: Sometimes, but in the end you have a scholarship to play football and you have to take care of business no matter what [the distractions] are. A lot of times you can get selfish and think about me, but you have to look at what’s better for the team. Even though it was people before us [that caused the problem], we have to pay for it and move on. We can’t do anything about it now.

Q: Have you noticed a difference in the emphasis in academics?

A: You wouldn’t believe it. We always focused on academics, but it is a top priority now, not just something you have to do. Tutoring sessions, checking on your classes - it’s a constant thing and there is no getting around it.

Q: Have you enjoyed working with Jamie Strange and his player development program?

A: Yes, I really have. I think he has brought a different aspect to the team. He came in around the time I came in. I can tell a big difference in the team, in the way we carry ourselves, the way we focus on character and try to be more minded toward leadership. Once a week we have character education. You can’t really teach character, but it puts it in our mindset that you have to be aware of what you are doing off the field as well as what you do on the field. It is a really good thing. It has helped our team get closer and be more mindful of what we are doing when we are off the field.

Q: How is it being a senior and the leadership responsibilities that come with that?

A: Yes sir. I’m probably not as vocal as some of the guys . . ., but I believe in doing everything the way that it is supposed to be done. When I see it not being done [correctly], I’m going to stand in and say something. I believe in leading by example. Doing everything right, doing it the way it is supposed to be done and letting everything else take care of itself.

Q: Who are some of the other leaders on this team?

A: Andrew Ridgeway definitely is. Another guy on the offensive line that does not get the credit [he deserves] , but a lot of people look up to him is Tyler Ogletree. He has really come around this off-season. He has been working his butt off and he has taken a big role in leadership.

Q: How do you see the offense transitioning this year- post Perrilloux?

A: It will be a little bit different. You are not going to have some of the flash, but overall I think the offense is going to be more solid. I don’t think [the offense] will have as many ups and downs. It is going to be pretty consistent with what we are trying to do.

Q: It seems to me that the team is absolutely behind quarterback Marquez Ivory?

A: Yes, we really are. He’s a hard worker, he is really smart and it shows on the field. He has become a leader on the field and everybody really looks up to him. I think that really helps.

Q: Who are some other guys that will be playmakers for the Gamecocks this year?

A: Jamal [Young] . . . especially on special teams. I could see that little guy going for a ways. On defense, Monte Lewis, a defensive end. He works hard. I know sometime he’s going to just open up and let it fly. [Another running back] Calvin [Middleton]. I always expect Calvin to just bust open every play. I love watching him play. He is just explosive and I never know what he is going to do. Those are just some of the guys.

Q: Talking about the running backs, what about red shirt freshman Richard Freelon?

A: He is something to watch in practice. A lot of people may not know him [yet], but he is pretty impressive out there. Of course, you also have [fullback] Alphonso Freeney. He gets the job done. He leads those backs and they look up to him. He came in with me and I think a lot of him.

Q: There are a lot of players that have shown some potential - James Shaw, La Ray Williams?

A: La Ray just came to mind when you said that. La Ray is an amazing player. He will step up this year.

Q: Do you prefer run blocking or pass blocking?

A: Probably run blocking. You would think because I’m so long armed I would like pass blocking, but I would rather take the lick to them . . .

Q: Coach Smouse is your position coach. What is he like to play for?

A: He’s brought something to the table that we needed and that is an overall view of the offense. A lot of times on the offensive line you just want to sit there and get in your blocks and just think about the O-line, but he tries to help us [understand] what the play is, what the goal is of the play and what we are trying to accomplish. I think we really need that, to get out of our box and really understand what is going on and he has done a good job of doing that.

Q: Lets talk about some of your other offensive linemen. Tylor Chambers from up near Chattanooga?

A: He is a real physical player. I like watching Tylor. I’m excited to see him play center. I think if he can get at one position and able to keep him there, he is going to show big things because he is such a physical player and is so strong.

Q: Tyler Ogletree, the Senior Guard from Griffin, Georgia, you mentioned earlier, but what do you expect from him?

A: He has really stepped up the past couple of years as a leader. I expect big things from him this year too. He has cut down some weight and he is really moving well right now.

Q: What about Justin Kay from Vestavia [ed note: named Kay 2nd team preseason all OVC]?

A: Well he’s finally gotten settled in on the O-Line. He has been doing really well. He is stepping up for his senior year . . . He has been working hard this summer. I hope he steps in and makes a big difference for us because [we need it].

Q: What about some of the younger guys- any of them standing out?

A: Taylor Johnstone is a big old dude. He can move pretty well. I’m excited to see him in the next few years. [Editor's note- Johnstone is from Douglasville, Georgia and transferred to Jax State from Georgia Southern.]

Q: Lets talk about the other side of the ball. Who are some of the guys you dread going up against in practice?

A: Monte Lewis and Jameson Wadley. Those two are about the worse I have to go against right now. Jameson is physical. He is going to pound you, you are going to go thru something every time you go against him.

Q: Is it fair to say Monte is one of the hardest working players out there?

A: He is. He has come a long, long way since he arrived at JSU. He has bulked up tremendously since he came to JSU. He is so fast. He is so shifty at defensive end that it is hard to get your hands on him sometimes.

Q: What about a couple of our sack specialist, Kevin Dix and Big Texas Garrott?

A: You have to get back there with them. They are in that sprinter’s stance and they are coming off that edge screaming. If you aren’t careful, they will get by you in a heartbeat.

Q: Who is the toughest opposing team defensive line you have had to face so far in your career?

A: That’s pretty easy. Derrick Morgan from Georgia Tech. I have never had to go against anything like that. He was something else, he was special.

Q: The Tech game was interesting, after they jumped out we hung with them and then they scored a touchdown set up by a phantom whistle.

A: That was crazy. Then they just acted like nothing happened. There was no doubt that there was a whistle blown. When we were on the field we just stopped. I still don’t know what happened.

Q: Speaking of FBS opponents, are you excited about the challenge waiting in the first game Ole Miss?

A: I am. I always love playing the bigger schools. . . . When everybody is getting recruited you want to [go FBS], but it is good for reassurance for yourself when you can hang with them and even stick it to them sometime. I think we can hang with them if we play our game.

Q: Back to the OVC. Are you looking forward to the rematch with Eastern Illinois (the only FCS team to defeat JSU last year)?

A: Yes sir. That is always one of our big games. It is always a slugfest.

Q: We have to go to Eastern Kentucky- is that a tough place to play?

A: Yes. They have a lot of history at the school and its always been a good program. Its always tough to go there to play.

Q: How do you feel being the first team to play a game in the new stadium?

A: It means a lot to me. There has been a lot of people before me that have worked their butt off so that we can have something that nice. It means a lot to me to be able to go out like that my senior year.

Q: Who are some NFL guys you really like to watch?

A: Alex Faneca that used to play for the Steelers. He was a beast. I also liked big Walter Jones that played for Seattle.

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of football?

A: Fishing and hunting.

Q: You have been spotted at some JSU softball games- is there a connection to that team?

A: My girlfriend, Kayce Crowe, is the catcher.

Q: What is your major?

A: Criminal justice.

Q: Are you on track to graduate?

A: Yes, I just have one class left.

Q: If the NFL does not work out, what would you like to do for your career.

A: Game warden.

Special thanks to for use of the photo of Curt.

Things Are Hot At Jacksonville State

Things are hot at Jacksonville State and it has nothing to do with the weather. Here are the headnotes:

1) The field has been renamed Burgess-Snow field. A great honor for a great Coach. It will be great to see the players that played for Coach Burgess in Jacksonville for the dedication.

2) The September 11th game against UTC has the potential to be one of the biggest events in the history of JSU sports. The Southerners have an unbelievable show planned, Randy Owen will sing, fireworks- the list goes on and on. Get your tickets early.

3) 2016- Jacksonville State will be playing West Virginia in football.

4) Coming tomorrow, release time is at 10 Eastern on A blockbuster interview with All-OVC tackle Curt Porter. You don't want to miss it.

5) Coming soon, interviews with running back Calvin Middleton and pre-season all OVC cornerback A.J "the Jet" Davis.

JSU's Cunningham Rated #26 Prospect in Braves Organization

This is from the website

It's time for Talking Chop to present the mid-season top-30 prospects for the Braves organization. This list was compiled by taking the three lists of gondeee, yondaime4, and cbwilk and averaging them together. There was a lot of disagreement about the bottom two thirds of the list, but there was also a lot of consensus as to who the top-10 prospects should be. This shows the current state of the Braves system -- 10 or so top-flight talents, and then a bunch of other guys who people have different opinions on.

We'll present the top-30 in groups of 10 each today, tomorrow, and Wednesday. On Wednesday we'll ask all the Talking Chop readers to submit their own list of the Braves top-30 prospects. While a top-30 is daunting, you've got fair warning and three days to do some research. We'll then take all of the lists and average them out to arrive at our Talking Chop mid-season community top-30 Braves prospects.

Here is the bottom third. Note that stats for hitters include batting average / on-base percentage / slugging percentage, while stats for pitchers include ERA / WHIP / innings pitched.

21 Cory Harrilchak, OF :: .286/.359/.371 between Rome and Myrtle Beach
Gregor Blanco, Melky Cabrera and Josh Anderson all come to mind when I think about Harrilchak. He has a very similar skillset to these guys though with a bit less power and a bit more on-base skills. Cory has always been able to hit for average and I don't doubt that he will continue to hit above .300 as he moves up the ladder. He can also take a walk and has some speed to burn (though he has had some issues harnessing it properly this season). Defensively his speed helps him get to balls others can't and his strong arm is an asset at any of the outfield spots. Long term, if he can continue to get on base at a high clip and learn the nuances of professional base stealing there is no reason Harrilchak can't be a valuable Major Leaguer.

22 Caleb Brewer, RHP :: 3.86/1.56/32.2 at Rome
A big right-hander who can pump his fastball into the high 90s, Brewer missed the second part of 2007 and all of 2008 after succumbing to Tommy John surgery. He didn't join Rome until May after being beaten out for a spot on the roster to start the year by other pitchers, but he has been effective there. He hasn't dominated in the same way he did last season, but he has a big arm and big league potential and seems, at worst, destined to be a back of the bullpen type pitcher.

23 Cody Johnson, OF :: .210/.282/.385 at Mississippi
Johnson's critics have argued that his boom or bust approach won't allow him to succeed at the higher levels, but those same critics wouldn't have believed that he could have had successful years at the lower levels the last few years. His approach needs a lot of work, he strikes out as much as any player in the Minor Leagues, but he also has as much power as any player in the Minors, and that kind of tool can't be overlooked. Still, the clock is running on Johnson, and he needs to learn plate discipline now, or he will never make it out of double-A.

24 Brett DeVall, LHP :: 4.02/1.49/71.2 at Rome
After being the Braves top pick in the 2008 draft, DeVall was having a successful pro debut between the Gulf Coast League and Rome when he reported arm discomfort and was shut down after just 64 innings of work. Brett has a great pitcher's frame but just average stuff, which has him relying on his baseball IQ and location to get the job done. Since returning to action this season DeVall has been solid but unspectacular in most of his starts. It may take the whole season for him to get back to form, but when he is healthy he has the frame to be an innings eating starter. Though the top of the rotation projection one would expect from such a high draft pick (40th overall) may not be there.

25 Paul Clemens, RHP :: 3.44/1.49/49.2 between Rome and Myrtle Beach
A lean and lanky right-hander, Clemens can get his fastball into the high 90s, which he pairs with excellent break on his curve. The Braves shifted him into relief last season and he's had much more success out of the pen, especially since the team also allowed him to go back to his original delivery, a lower 3/4 arm slot, and reincorporate his long leg kick into his windup. He still has the ability to succeed as a starter and an arm like his can shoot through the system at any time.

26 Todd Cunningham, OF :: .286/.370/.381 at Rome
The Braves spent their second overall pick in this year's draft on the Jacksonville State third baseman, but their plan for him seem to be to use him as an outfielder. He won the Cape Cod League batting title last summer posting a .387 average with a wooden bat, proving that his switch hitting ability can make the transition from the metal bats of college to the wood bats of the professional ranks. He isn't going to hit for much power, but he can control the strike zone and hit for a high average while stealing a few bases. The keys to Cunningham's future will be how his defense plays in center field, and whether or not he can develop more home run power.

Monday, July 12, 2010

10 Gamecocks Make Steele's Pre-Season All OVC Team has published a pre-season all OVC team. Of the 26 spots, Gamecocks occupy 10. Phil did a great job recognizing some talented Gamecocks who have not received the recognition they deserve - yet: in particular, Andrew Ridgeway, A.J. Davis, Justin Kay and Monte Lewis. He did get Tylor Chambers position wrong- I think Tylor is probably going to play guard or center. Notable omissions: Calvin Middleton, running back, Jameson Wadley DL, Morrell "Bonecrusher" Jones, LB.

1st TEAM 2nd TEAM
QB TJ Pryor, Eastern Kentucky Marques Ivory, Jacksonville St
RB Mon Williams, Eastern Illinois Terrence Holt, Austin Peay
RB Ryan White, Austin Peay Kenny Jones, UT Martin
WR Tim Benford, Tennessee Tech Lorence Ricks, Eastern Illinois
WR Marcus Harris, Murray State Joseph Hills, Tennessee St
TE Cory Freeman, Jacksonville State Jeremy Buchanan, UT Martin
C Willie Henderson, Eastern Illinois Josh Miller, Eastern Kentucky
OT Tylor Chambers, Jacksonville State Malcolm Jones, Tennessee Tech
OT Curt Porter, Jacksonville State Rodney Irvin, UT Martin
OG Slade Adams, Tennessee Tech Justin Kay, Jacksonville State
OG Chris Krack, Eastern Kentucky Eric Zink, Eastern Illinois
1st TEAM 2nd TEAM
DL Andrew Soucy, Eastern Kentucky Spyros Bazigos, Eastern Illinois
DL Perry Burge, Eastern Illinois Monte Lewis, Jacksonville St
DL Jamal Crook, Murray State Travis Adkins, Tennessee Tech
DL JJ Sanchez, SE Missouri State Lamar Theus, Murray St
LB Josh Bey, UT Martin Kevin Dix, Jacksonville St
LB Jordan Dalrymple, Eastern Kentucky Rico Council, Tennessee St
LB Nick Nasti, Eastern Illinois Sidney Tarver, Tennessee St
LB Justin Woodlief, SE Missouri State Andrew Ridgeway, Jacksonville State
DB Eugene Clifford, Tennessee State Rashad Haynes, Eastern Illinois
DB TJ Heath, Jacksonville State Caleb Mitchell, Tennessee Tech
DB Jeremy Caldwell, Eastern Kentucky AJ Davis, Jacksonville St
DB CJ James, Eastern Illinois Amius Smith, Austin Peay
1st TEAM 2nd TEAM
K Kienan Cullen, Murray St Stephen Stansell, Austin Peay
P Kienan Cullen, Murray St Kevin Cook, Eastern Illinois
RS Terrence Holt, Austin Peay Alan Bonner, Jacksonville St

Friday, July 9, 2010

Tyler Ogletree- Looking for a Championship Ring

Going in to the 2010 season, Jacksonville State will be counting on a major contribution from Senior Center- Guard, Tyler Ogletree. Ogletree is determined not to disappoint the Gamecock nation and has shown an increased commitment in pre-season workouts that has drawn the attention of players and coaches. Since arriving at Jacksonville State from Griffin, Georgia, Ogletree has battled some injuries but has always stepped up to contribute when necessary including replacing Reggie Wade at Center at the end of the 2008 season. Ogletree is working hard in the classroom as well and is on track to graduate with a degree in criminal justice this Spring.

Ogletree was kind enough to talk with after a 5:00 a.m summer workout. Here is what he had to say about his career at JSU, the 2010 season and his quest for a championship ring.

Q: How did you wind up at Jacksonville State from Griffin, Georgia?

A: A former player, Antonio Andrews and I came over for a Homecoming Game. After I visited the school, Coach [Kirt] Botkin [now at Arkansas] called me up every week, stayed in touch with me and told me I had a home at JSU. I felt good about it so I signed my letter of intent to go to JSU.

Q: Tell us about playing in the North - South All star game as a high school senior?

A: I played with Marcus Ball, Jermaine Cunningham . . . [a lot of great players]. I bonded with a lot of the guys. It was a good experience to get to play in thaT all star game.

Q: What are some of your personal hilights of your time here at JSU?

A: One hilight was playing as a redshirt freshman after recovering from my knee injury. The first game I played was at Memphis which was a big game for us. I was nervous and had butterflies in the game, but after that I really came along. Another very memorable game for me was against Florida State last year.

Q: What position do you see yourself playing this year- guard or center?

A: I will probably play both. I don’t have a preference - wherever they need me the most, I’m down for it. If it helps the team win games, I’m for it.

Q: As a team, what are your goals for the season?

A: We are going to prove that last year was not a lucky year. We are going to try and make it to the playoffs again and hopefully take it to the national championship. We are very hungry. There was a bunch of us here in May working out on our own, when we did not have to be. It was good. We are focused on football this year.

Q: I know you have been hitting the weight room, who are some of the top lifters on the team?

A: Curt [Porter] is one of the strongest ones. Monte Lewis and myself are also some of the top lifters. We have a lot of offensive lineman that are coming along in the weight room getting really strong.

Q: What are your individual goals this season?

A: Just to be remembered as a good player and a good leader. I am anxious to get a [championship] ring, that’s what I want. I want a ring before I leave Jacksonville State. I really don’t care about individual awards, I just want our team to be good and to have a great season.

Q: Do you prefer run blocking or pass blocking?

A: Run blocking. I like a lot of contact. I’ve been doing it since high school, because we did not pass the ball that much. I like getting after it in run blocking.

Q: Do you think we will be a more run oriented team in 2010?

A: We will still be balanced. We have good receivers and good running backs. We will still be able to throw it around.

Q: Who do you see stepping up for the Gamecocks in the running game?

A: Calvin Middleton will be a big factor in the running game. He is working hard this summer. Also, Richard Freelon, is a hard runner, very fast. I see him stepping up as well.

Q: What’s it like blocking for two guys with different styles like Calvin Middleton, a big brusing runner, and Jamal Young, who is really elusive?

A: Its different, because you realize who you have in the backfield with you, but there is not a certain way you have to block for each one. I block hard for either one of them because if you give them just a little crease they are going to make a play.

Q: Tell us about playing for Coach Smouse, your offensive line coach?

A: He expects greatness in practice, in a game, outside of football, in the classroom- it doesn’t matter where you are. He is very demanding. He is a demanding coach, but I like playing for him.

Q: Lets talk about your teammates. Tell me about Offensive Tackle, Curt Porter?

A: Curt is a good guy and a leader on this football team. We have been together since day one. Curt is my main man, I love playing next to him on the offensive line.

Q: What about Justin Kay?

A: Another good guy. Justin has never let me down.

Q: Tylor Chambers?

A: Tylor works hard. He is still young and learning, but he plays hard. He does his best whenever he is out on the field.

Q: Who are some young guys you expect to step up this year on the offensive line?

A: I would have to say Tori Mobley, Taylor Johnstone. We have some freshman that are coming in this year that are going to have to step up. Everybody has to play a part this year. The more offensive linemen we have, the better we can be. We will really miss Reggie Wade. He was a very good leader of this team.

Q: Who are some of the defensive lineman that are really tough to go up against in practice?

A: Monte Lewis, Jameson Wadley, Demetrio Tyson.

Q: What makes Monte Lewis such an outstanding player?

A: He is strong and quick and he plays very smart. He keeps you guessing about what he is going to do.

Q: How about Wadley, why is he such a tough defensive lineman?

A: He goes full speed every time. He keeps you guessing as well, you never know where he is going to be.

Q: Who are some young guys on the team you think might make some noise in 2010?

A: A.J. Davis [cornerback], Jason Horton [defensive back], Justin Howard [tight end]. I’m also looking forward to seeing Tori Mobley back on the field this year.

Q: Are you excited about the challenge of going up against Ole Miss’ highly touted defensive line?

A: Oh yes. it’s a challenge to play against good defensive linemen. Its an opportunity to show how good you are.

Q: Do you think that the showing you made against FSU and Georgia Tech last year will help you mentally against Ole Miss?

A: Those two games gave us confidence that we can play with anybody. We can step up to whatever is put in front of us.

Q: Who are personally your biggest rivals in the OVC?

A: Eastern Kentucky. [I’m also looking forward to Eastern Illinois] they always play us tough every year.

Q:: What are you going to do once your career ends?

A: After I graduate I may pursue my masters. If not, I would like to get in to the security area or maybe try to work for the Secret Service. I look forward to getting into the workforce.

Q: Before we sign off, do you have any message to the Gamecock fans out there?

A: Yes, they need to come support us. This is going to be an exciting season with the new stadium. We are going to try and put on a great show and win a lot of games this year.

Donovan Hand promoted to AAA


HUNTSVILLE – Former Jacksonville State standout pitcher Donovan Hand has been promoted to the Nashville Sounds in the AAA organization of the Milwaukee Brewers, the team announced today.

Jax State v. Ole Miss - statistical comparison has a head to head statistical matchup in all categories for JSU's game against Ole Miss.

Sporting News Preseason Yearbook Tabs JSU's T.J. Heath Preseason All-American; Predicts OVC Race and Top Players -—Official Web Site of the Ohio Valley Conference

Here's a link to an article referencing that TJ Heath has been named the OVC's top defensive player.

Sporting News Preseason Yearbook Tabs JSU's T.J. Heath Preseason All-American; Predicts OVC Race and Top Players -—Official Web Site of the Ohio Valley Conference

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Anniston Star - Blanchards set late July deadline for two sport star to sign with baseball

The Blanchard wait continues.'s unbiased opinion is that Coty needs to come to JSU, be a 2 sport star, throw touchdowns to Gabe Chambers, rewrite the record books and then sign a first round baseball deal.

Anniston Star - Blanchards set late July deadline for two sport star to sign with baseball