Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Martez is in the House

The Gamecocks picked up a late addition to their 2011 signing class in Martez House, a defensive lineman from Crestview High School. We understand House originally committed to FIU. By all accounts, House is an outstanding young man who will be an asset to Jacksonville State on and off the field. Here are his youtube hilights.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Spring Game

According to unnamed sources, the Spring Game will be April 15th at 6:00 p.m.

Jacksonville State University - Jax State Baseball Set to Open 2011 Season at Auburn on Tuesday

Jacksonville State University - Jax State Baseball Set to Open 2011 Season at Auburn on Tuesday

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thursday Night Lights

The 2011 schedule is posted. The Gamecocks will open at home on a Thursday night against old Gulf South rival UT-Martin. Thursday night has always been a great night in Jacksonville. Plus, the Gamecocks will get a couple of extra days to rest before heading to UTC. Is it September yet?

Ants' Russell has label: D-League All-Star guard | The Journal Gazette | Fort Wayne, IN

Ants' Russell has label: D-League All-Star guard | The Journal Gazette | Fort Wayne, IN

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Please, Please Don't Go.

The SID has just announced that Oval Jaynes is retiring as Athletics Director at Jacksonville State. Mr. Jaynes has been a tremendous leader for JSU and has helped the athletic program in countless ways. His leadership will be missed.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Baseball/Softball First Pitch Luncheon

The Softball/Baseball First Pitch Luncheon was today in the Stadium Club Level. Our Spring Sports Division was there to get comments as the coaches addressed the crowd gathered.


Coach McGinnis started off talking about the All-Alabama Softball Classic in Birmingham beginning Friday. All D-I softball programs in the state are participating. This should be a fun event. Here are some additional comments from Coach McGinnis:

We are picked to finish first in the conference. We don’t talk about that. That is simply reaping the benefits from last year. We’re not the same team. Even if we had all 18 players back, we’re still not the same team.

We have 3 seniors this year. We have 4 freshmen, and we will need them to be impact players if we are going to be successful.

I’m most proud of the way they (the players) carry themselves as people and as student-athletes. We were the #1 team at JSU in terms of GPA. We had 7 players with a 4.0, and overall, the team had a 3.48 GPA.

Our #1 goal is to win the OVC and move on to the national tournament. We have a tough preseason schedule planned. In addition to playing UAB, Alabama, and Auburn, we’ll play Penn State, Ga Tech, and UConn. We designed this tough schedule to prepare us to win the OVC.


Coach Case, celebrating 10 years at JSU, gave us an update on the baseball team. Here are comments from his report:

We had 5 guys from last year’s team sign professional contracts. In the last 2 years, the first player drafted in the MLB draft from a university in Alabama has been from JSU.

When I came here, I asked my coaches what would we want our program to stand for over time. We came up with 5 principles.

1. Make good grades and go to class. This is working…our team had a 3.26 GPA in the Fall semester.

2. Practice hard, play hard. This is not a difficult thing to do with our team. Our players don’t mind giving full effort.

3. Be first class in everything we do.

4. Strive for excellence in everything we do.

5. Treat other people like we want to be treated.

If we do these things, we will experience success. I think this is one of the reasons our program remains steady.

This year, we have a young team – only 4 seniors. How do you replace the guys we lost from last season? At one time, the guys we lost from last season were freshmen, and we were asking how we would replace the guys that we lost the prior year. That’s the nature of college sports – always replacing pieces. We’ll do that again this year. We have more good freshmen coming in. Other players will step up.

Auburn is coming to JSU this season to play baseball for the first time since 1985. We’re excited to get the opportunity to play them here. It should be an exciting season.

We’re quick – we can run. We might be a little lighter in power, but we’ll have some power. We have some guys that may be able to dominate on the mound.


This should be another good year for JSU on the diamond. Both teams are picked to win the conference. This will be a fun year. Both teams are talented. We’re looking forward to getting to know the players better as the season gets underway.

Buffs counting on home court advantage - Boulder Daily Camera

Here is an interesting article about two former Jacksonville State Basketball coaches squaring off against each other.

Buffs counting on home court advantage - Boulder Daily Camera

Saturday, February 5, 2011

JSU videos

Here are a couple of funny videos from the Office of Distance Education. Funny, and definitely worth the minute it takes to watch them.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Coach Annette Watts - Women's Basketball Coach

Excitement has been building for our women’s basketball team throughout the year. More and more people are talking about this team because when watching them play, it’s easy to see that we are getting better and better. Earlier this week, Gamecockillustated had the chance to talk with women’s head basketball coach, Annette Watts about her team.

Q: Coach Watts, what improvement do you see since the beginning of the season?

A: The biggest improvement I see is the entire mindset has changed. Our players come to practice every day and give everything they’ve got. The see the direction we are headed in. It’s exciting to see that process taking place.

Q: Who are the key players?

A: Brittany Wiley is a force to be reckoned with. Danielle Vaughn is right there with her. Danielle Beneby and Brittany Manning are doing great. When my Danielle’s and my Brittany’s are on, we’re really good. Destiny Lane, Zenobia Pitts, and Candice Carmine support the team very well. I can count on their support and contributions every day. Those 7 players are producing for us.
One of our freshmen, Lakeria Crowder, has an injured ACL. She’ll be able to come back from that next year. JaDechia Hill is another freshman that is getting a little playing time. Amanda McCarthy gets a little playing time. Amanda is focused and dedicated. She was voted a team captain. That speaks a lot for what she brings to the team.

Q: What are the toughest things for a freshman as they transition from high school to college?

A: It can be tough. The demands of the game are much greater. The speed of the game is increased, you have classes to attend, and you are away from home. It can be tough.

Q: Tell us about playing in the OVC.

A: The OVC is a tough, competitive conference. Right now, (this was on Tuesday) we’re 6th in the league, but we are sitting 1 game out of 4th. We’re shooting to move up in the standings. We’re getting into the second round of OVC games now. We’ve played everyone once. I’m trying to keep things fresh for our players. We’re adding new drills, shortening practice when I can…just trying to keep the players mentally prepared. We’re called the Road Warriors. I attribute that to our focus. When you’re on the road, it may be easier to focus on the task at hand. You don’t have the every-day distractions.

Q: What are the duties of your assistant coaches?

A: My assistant coaches are invaluable to our program. Dee Bell is our recruiting coordinator. He also works with our post players. Dee is a great recruiter. He came to us from Tenn. Tech. They are in first place right now with players he recruited there.

Matt Couvillion is our guard coach. He also does all of our travel. He’s doing a great job – we’ve had no travel glitches. He takes care of buses, meals, hotel, all of that, and we haven’t had any problems.

Shaneka Bates works with our post players along with Dee. In addition, Shaneka is in charge of film exchange and scouting.

Q: What do you expect to improve on the team?

A: Team chemistry is not where I want it to be, but it’s come a long, long way this season. Great teams have great chemistry. We are getting there.

I’m not sure the team sees that they are better than they were. From the beginning, I’ve told them you have to be able to go hard for 2 hours. When we started, they couldn’t do it. We’re getting there. Part of it is mental. Some of our players just need a little more confidence. Brittany Manning is good on the court. She just needs the confidence and she should have it. She’s good enough. We’re going to get there.

Q: How is recruiting going?

A: Right now, we’ve got 5 freshmen coming in next season. We also have offers out for a couple of junior college players.

Q: Any last today for the JSU fans?

A: My husband, Mike, and I appreciate the open arms that have welcomed us here. Thank you all for your patience and belief. I love being here and coaching these girls.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Star Analysis of Signing Class

Its well documented that the Rivals and Scout Stars don't mean everything. For instance, not sure how many stars Curt Porter had coming out of high school and he dismantled the Ole Miss Defensive Line which had a couple of 5 Star guys. By the same token, Perrilloux was a 5 Star player and was every bit as good as advertised.

With that in mind, using the Rivals/Scout stars as a barometer, this was easily JSU's most decorated class. Here is a summary:

3 Stars:

DaMarcus James, RB, Demopolis
Thomas Williams, OG, Vigor (Williams had offers from Clemson, FSU, So. Miss, South Florida). One JSU coach described him as "a difference maker."
Taylor Warner, Jacksonville
Markis Merrill, WR, St. Augustine (apparently had offers from Ark, Fla., FIU, Troy and Marshall)

2 Stars:
Blake Burks, OL, Hoover (also played in Ala/MS. all star game)
Rashod Byers, RB, Jacksonville, FL
Jamaal Johnson, Ath, Piedmont (Note: Johnson was MVP of the county basketball tournament- he could help us in basketball)
Jakari Kinnie, DL, Gadsden City (rated #128 DT in the nation)

Anniston Star - Slota big find in JSU’s ‘bowl subdivision’ class

Anniston Star - Slota big find in JSU’s ‘bowl subdivision’ class

Bynum Chooses Jacksonville State Because They Play "Big Time Football"

A great article from the Daily Sentinel on Signee Denzell Bynum. He runs a 4.32 forty. Basically, he ran forty yards in the time it took you to read this sentence. JSU beat out USA and UAB for Bynum.


Gamecocks Add "SEC Type Receiver"

Justin Barney of the St. Augustine Record reports that the Gamecocks have added a wide receiver to the signing class. The link is: Here is an excerpt from the article:

"It took very little convincing for St. Augustine High School receiver Markis Merrill to decide where he wanted to spend the next four years of his life.

The opportunity to play college football, and to possibly step in and contribute immediately, is why he signed with Jacksonville State on Wednesday's national signing day. The 6-foot, 190-pound athlete said that the school was a fit from the moment that he stepped on campus.

"I liked it a lot," Merrill said. "It felt like home so I committed. They told me I could come in right in and start. That kind of got me, too."

Merrill said that Arkansas and Central Florida had expressed interest during his senior season. The two-time All-County player finished with 1,109 yards receiving and nine touchdowns. He also took a kickoff back for a touchdown and was one of the most unstoppable players in the county with the ball in his hands. He had three touchdowns in a quarter during a 27-10 win over Bartram Trail in Week 2.

St. Augustine coach Joey Wiles, who has called Merrill one of the best receivers that he's ever coached, said that Merrill could be a dynamic player for the Gamecocks.

"They're getting an SEC-type receiver in that league," Wiles said of Merrill. "He's going to do great there.""

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Signing Day Tidbits

We have some earlier posts with video clips of many of the signees. We will try to post some of the guys that we did not previouly know about.

Here are some tidbits from a very successful signing day:

*JSU signed 3 offensive linemen and 3 defensive linemen. All six may make an impact in 2011.

*Rashod Byers- a running back from Jacksonville, Florida. Bigger and faster than Jamal Young, lets hope he can deliver like Young did.

*Brandon Bender- CB from McAdory High School. A phenomenal athlete that took an official visit to Pitt recently.

*Blake Burks, OL from Hoover, Alabama. JSU already has a great offensive lineman from Hoover in Matt Jones. Guys from Hoover come ready to play.

*Denzel Bynum, CB from Bridgeport, Alabama. Bynum may have been the fastest player in the State of Alabama last season.

*Jordan Jackson, TE from Tallahassee, Florida. The Gamecocks beat out Georgia Southern and Iowa State for this versatile player. Listed as a tight end, but his high school clips look like he could play defensive end or linebacker as well.

*DeMarcus James, RB from McAdory High School. Going from memory, but we believe he is 5A offensive player of the year. He joins Mr. Alabama football and Mr. Mississippi football player on the Jacksonville State roster. Possibly the best high school running back JSU has ever signed.

*Dustin Gayton, LB from Cumming, Georgia. Middle Tennessee tried to steal Gayton late, but he really hit it off with his future teammates at JSU and stuck with the Gamecocks. Gayton is an All-State player from Georgia.

*Jamaal Johnson, CB from Piedmont, Alabama. One of the best athletes to ever sign with JSU. Johnson had offers from a host of BCS schools.

*Jakari Kinnie, DL from Gadsden, Alabama. The AJC had him as a Georgia State commitment yesterday. That was yesterday. This was the best surprise of signing day. Kinnie had interest from tons of big schools.

*Caleb Lawrence, DL from Opelika, Alabama. A prolific high school wrestler that could contribute right away.

*Andreas Lewis, LB from Thomasville,Alabama. Lewis may not have quite as much hype as some of the other recruits, but the JSU coaches loved what they saw of him on film.

*Jerry Slota, QB,TE,LB,WR,DB . . . Slota is a big, tough kid from Colorado that likes contact. As Coach Gene Stallings said about David Palmer, "You don't know where that rascal is going to line up."

*Thomas Williams, OL from Vigor High School. He is 6-5 and over 300 pounds and can do a standing backflip.

*Brayden Walker, LB from Cleburne County High School in Heflin. Walker has the potential to bulk up to 240. JSU coaches were on Walker after he ran a 4.5 forty at camp.

*Taylor Warner, OL from Jacksonville. Coaches are very excited about this high profile recruit from the Gamecocks' backyard.

*Adam Wright, DL from Clay-Chalkville. A big athlete. We understand Wright went 42-0as a high school wrestler.

Please note- these are quick notes. If we have something wrong, just email us and we will correct it. There is more detailed information about these guys in previous posts.

Damarcus James to JSU Via Demopolis

Here is part of a story from on Damarcus James coming to JSU:

"A two-time all-state player, the 2009 Class 5A Back of the Year, 2009 Mr. Football runner-up and 2009 Super Six Class 5A MVP, James rushed for 6,946 yards in his high school career. After flirtations from a number of schools, James is expected to sign with Jacksonville State University.

“It’s a nice community. It ain’t too big, it ain’t too small,” James said of Jacksonville. “Everybody seemed really excited about me coming up there.”

“It’s a place that he’s going to be well taken care of,” Causey said. “He’s going to have a chance to play for a conference championship. If he wins that, he’ll have a chance to play for a national championship.”

At Jacksonville State, James joins a roster that includes 2009 Mr. Football Coty Blanchard.

“Two of the top players in the state last year in on the same team, something good has got to come out of that,” James said.

“I think it’s huge for Jax State to have Coty Blanchard in there and have DaMarcus James coming in,” Causey said of the Gamecock coup.

During his time at Jacksonville State, James would annually encounter some of the stiffest competition in the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision as well as facing a top-tier BCS team each year."

Curt Porter Takes Names ( reports that Curt Porter is showing out in practice for a national all star game:

"A small-school offensive lineman intriguing scouts Tuesday was versatile guard/tackle prospect Curt Porter from Jacksonville State. The 6-7, 308-pounder played a strong role in JSU's 49-48, double-overtime upset of Ole Miss early this fall, stoning Powe multiple times in that matchup. Though a bit off-balance at first, he played with strength at both right guard and tackle, anchoring against Levingston and Ajiboye.

Porter also refused to bow to SEC talent, like Taylor, when having a personal battle with Levingston. The LSU tackle jumped offsides on one play, knocking the unexpecting Porter to his backside. A couple of plays later, Porter pushed Levingston before the snap to show he was ready to go. Their battles when both players waited for the snap weren't malicious, but intense"