Thursday, June 30, 2011

North/East Athlete of the Year coming to JSU

See the linked article here on Adam Wright. A great story that has us at pulling for him.

Coach Case Is A Class Act

One of Jacksonville State's Baseball assistants, Travis Jannsen, was just hired to be the head coach at Northeastern State. Here is what he had to say about Coach Case:

" I have had the privilege of being around so many quality coaches along the way," said Janssen. "Though there are too many to name individually, I would like to mention Jim Case, head coach of Jacksonville State. Along with being a very good coach, he understands priorities. He has helped teach me what it means to be a quality husband, father, along with being a coach. What is special about him is that he always puts others ahead of himself. I was lucky to spend six years with Coach Case along with assistants Steve Gillispie and Shayne Kelley."

Congrats to Coach Janssen and thanks to Coach Case for the way he represents Jacksonville State. Full article linked below:

Northeastern State Hires Baseball Coach - - Tulsa, Oklahoma - Coverage You Can Count On

Monday, June 27, 2011

Top 10 Jacksonville State Gamecocks You Have Not Heard of - Yet

The Gamecocks are certainly a team with its fair share of stars. On the offensive side of the ball, there's Marques Ivory, Coty Blanchard, Calvin Middleton, Alan Bonner and Washaun Ealey. On the defensive side, you have Keginald Harris,Jameson Wadley and Monte Lewis.

The following is a list of guys that we believe are waiting in the wings to make waves for the Gamecocks that have either not played or have not played much yet.

1. Coot James, RB. A free lifetime subscription to if someone can tell us why he's named Coot. In any event, it is absolutely amazing that the Gamecocks were able to land this big, tough runner from Demopolis who appeared FBS bound. He is also fast and a good receiver. A redshirt once seemed likely given the Gamecocks' depth at running back, but he is simply too talented to keep off of the field.

2. Trey Smith, WR. Smith, a three star high school prospect from Perry, Georgia via transfer from Central Michigan. At 6-4, 220 pounds he gives the Gamecocks one of their biggest receiving targets ever. His coming out party was the Spring Game where he gained over 100 yards receiving going against the first team defense.

3. Jeremy Nicholson, WR. Another wide receiver, Nicholson was a heralded recruit from the 2010 class garnering a 3 Star status from Rivals and choosing JSU over Southern Miss and Troy. Nicholson is fast (but not Bynum fast) with a 4.45 forty and a state championship in the hurdles. He is another player that showed his wares in the Spring game catching several balls. Best of all, his high school coach said that Nicholson was "the hardest worker we've ever had."

4. Gabriel "Country a/k/a Touchdown" Chambers, WR. Chambers is so good he's got two nicknames. He signed with the Gamecocks in 2010, but had to sit out last season. During his downtime, he frequently worked out with his cousin, Gamecock great Maurice Dupree. In high school, Chambers was part of an elite 7 on 7 team representing Alabama. One observer commented that Chambers matched up favorably against elite prospects that went on to big time SEC schools. Chambers' motto says it all: "Stop hating and get on my level, ya dig."

5. Denzell Cheeks, TE. Cheeks is the first guy on our list that actually played last year. Cheeks, a tight end, came out of nowhere to snag two touchdowns last year in limited playing time. In one press conference, Crowe commented that Cheeks might have the potential to play at the next level. The reason is his size, at 6-7 he's a prototypical NFL end. Not saying it will happen, but if Ivory gets a case of the "high throws" as he did on rare occassions last year, put Cheeks and Trey Smith in and we should be ok.

5. Jamaal Johnson, S. Johnson is a big hitting safety from Piedmont, Alabama, thus we know he was coached well in high school. He led Piedmont to the semifinals in football and into the playoffs in basketball. One insider commented that Johnson could break JSU's record for career interceptions before he is done.

6. Denzell Bynum, CB. Another 2011 signee. Probably one of the fastest football players in Alabama with a 4.32 forty. The speedster from North Jackson can flat run people down. He may need to bulk up some, but his speed is electrifying.

7. Brandon Bender, CB. Bender chose the Gamecocks over USA and UAB and had a late official visit to Pitt. He is a lockdown corner. One insider said that he could challenge for a starting position at corner this fall.

8. Tristan Hardin, OL. A mammoth offensive lineman from Erwin High School that drew serious interest from the Auburn Tigers. Hardin was rated as a 3 Star prospect out of high school and he redshirted last year. Hardin is relentless and has all of the tools to succeed.

9. Barry "the Butcher" Stafford, DL. Stafford, from Chamblee, Georgia did not show up on any of the Gamecocks signing list, but has nevertheless made an early impact. We call him the "Butcher" because he worked as a meat cutter back home before joining the fighting Gamecocks. After garnering some playing time as a true freshman, he will be ready to make a more serious contribution this year. Stafford has impressed teammates and coaches with outstanding agility for a big man.

10. Chase Williams, LB. Williams, part of the Gamecocks outstanding 2010 recruiting class redshirted last year. While he still needs to add some bulk, his movement, particularly lateral movement, is very impressive.

11. Ty Martin. Ty is an undersized wide receiver from Oxford, Alabama. Frankly, we had not heard of him, but have been told that he is really showing out in drills.

12. Rayce Whiddon, RB. As Gene Stallings once famously said about David Palmer, "You don't know where that little rascal is going to line up." Since arriving at JSU, Whiddon, a high school quarterback, has played a number of positions. Lets hope he settles in as a change of pace running back for the Gamecocks. Our sources tell us he can really turn the corner.

Honorable Mention:

Rashod Byers, RB A speedy running back from Florida that is also a receiving threat.

Bryant Hawkins, DL. The best athlete out of Guntersville since Ryan Boggus. Much like the Butcher, we had not heard of Hawkins until he showed up. He is obviously a good player earning significant playing time as a true freshman.

Pierre Warren, WR. A current player actually told us to watch out for this phenomenal athlete from Marbury High School. In addition to gaining 242 yards in one high school game, Warren is a phenomenal dunker in basketball:

Finally, he couldn't make this list because he played a bunch last season, but a player that could be All OVC before its over is noseguard, Dimetrio Tyson.

Jacksonville State University - Four Gamecocks Named to College Football Performance Awards Watch List

We mentioned Big Texas getting named to the preseason watch list, but now Ivory, Keginald Harris and Washaun Ealey are also on the list for their respective positions.

Jacksonville State University - Four Gamecocks Named to College Football Performance Awards Watch List

Friday, June 24, 2011

Put me in Coach - Anywhere

Here's a link to an older article on JSU newcomer Jerry Slota. An interesting topic could be what position he will play. He's played QB, fullback, H-Back, tightend, wide receiver, safety...

What do Brandon Bender and Rocky Balboa Have In Common?

Here is an excerpt from Jeff Sentell's March 9, 2009 article( about now Jacksonville State Player Brandon Bender:

Brandon Bender is very good at making tacklers miss. How did the McAdory junior quarterback get so good? Have you ever seen the tale of boxer Rocky Balboa on the silver screen?

Balboa and Bender have something in common. Both chased chicken to speed up their feet. When Bender was between the ages of 6 and 8 years, he chased chicken on his grandfather Jessie's farm.

That farm had about 30 or so chickens. Bender tried to catch them just about every day. That's what allowed him to make a few Pleasant Grove tacklers look silly Friday night along with McAdory's devastation of a good Pleasant Grove football team by a 42-14 count.

Brandon Bender's quick escapes helped McAdory roll past Pleasant Grove. (The Birmingham News / Mark Almond)"It used to be crazy," Bender said. "Because those chickens were quick. I never caught one. I almost caught one. I used to dive and come into the house and be dirty. I didn't mind, though. It was fine. It made me better by making my feet quicker and my cuts sharper."

Those chickens must still be running around. That's because Bender is one of the area's most elusive players in the open field. Woodlawn's Chris Davis might dodge more defenders. Hoover's Josh Magee might be in that class, too. But that's about it.

"I'm not just saying this, but he's done stuff like that all year in those situations," McAdory coach David Powell said. "Somehow he comes out of the pile like that and finds somebody open. He's just unbelievable.""

For the rest of the article, use the link above.

Monday, June 20, 2011

25 Ways To Improve the Gameday Experience at Jacksonville State

The folks on the Gamecock message board had a good thread the other day of ways to improve the Jacksonville State football game day experience. We thought it was a good idea so we decided to consolidate them and add a few of our own. Please feel free to comment to add other ideas. Hopefully, someone is listening.

1. Player Promo Spots on the Scoreboard. Thanks to Jim Coxwell, the Gamecocks have a great video board. Unfortunately, last year, it didn't seem to be used for much other than a pre-game clip, Dr. Meehan's message and a promo supporting soccer. These are all good, but how about some clips of the players exhorting the crowd to get loud. Or better yet, how about some JSU related celebrities (Rick & Bubba, Coach Burgess, Coach Case, Coach Watts, Todd Jones, Randy Owen, Dr. Meehan) providing a clip saying get loud Gamecocks!

2. Player introductions. One of the biggest problems at the FCS level is that the fans don't know who the players are because there is not the TV saturation there is at the SEC-FbS level. How about introducing either the starting offense of defense each game and have the players run out on the field the way we have all seen in countless NFL games? JSU is loaded with local players. I would think the folks from Piedmont would get excited hearing the name of a Piedmont player called.

3. Play "The Surfin Bird (aka "Everybody's Heard About the Bird)" and Have The Players run between the band to come on to the field. This would be in the alternative to number 2. It doesn't matter what decade you are from- The Surfin Bird by the Trashman (as memorialized on Family Guy) is a great song.

Wouldn't it be neat for that song to play as the players are gathering outside of the locker room and then have the Southerners form two lines, play a great JSU tune, and have the players run out between them on to the field?

3. Put the Cheerleaders where they can be seen and heard. JSU has great cheerleaders. Unfortunately, they are frequently relegated to places where they can't be seen by the vast majority of the crowd. Move them into the stands if you have to, but for goodness sakes get them somewhere where they can be seen or heard. Also, give one of them a microphone to lead cheers at the right time.

4. A promotion for every game. Whether its frisbee catching dogs or little leaguers playing before the game, EVERY SINGLE GAME should have a big time promotion associated with it. We already have the greatest co-product there can be with the Southerners- add some good old fashion minor league baseball type promotions and you will really have a great game day experience.

5. Great food for the general admission folks. The food in the club level is superb. However, we've never heard anyone brag about the general concessions. As suggested over at gojaxstate, how about providing a place where great local establishments like Cooter Browns, the Rocket, Jeffersons, etc., could have a place to set up and sell food in a food court like fashion? Or, how about setting up a gigantic grill somewhere and let fans be able to get a fresh grilled burger or hot dog? One other rule, if you are selling concessions at JSU, you need to wear a JSU shirt.

6. Enthusiastic PA announcing. Every time Ole Miss got a first down last year, their PA announcer boomed: "First Down Ole Miss." Lets do the same (except don't say Ole Miss).

7. Pre-game Kids Area. Inflatable bouncies, face painters, snow cone machines, etc. are cheap. A few years back, I saw a bunch of kids having an absolute blast prior to the UTC game in Chattanooga because someone had taken the time to provide a bunch of things for them to do. What a great way to get future students loving JSU!

8. Synchronize the Southerners with the game action. The Southerners are the best marching band in the United States. As one commenter on gojaxstate pointed out, if we could get some of their in game numbers synchronized with what is going on in the field, that would be awesome. As one Ole Miss fan commented in their survey (referenced below): "The Band playing the right things during the right times has the MOST impact on stadium atmosphere."

9. Andy Griffin training for the yellow shirts. The Gamecocks have a level of yellow shirted security staffing that would seem to match what you might need for an English soccer game. No overall criticism here- most of the guys do their jobs well, but there has been enough anecdotal comments to make me think that a few of these guys could use to apply a little more Andy and a little less Barney for how they approach gameday situations. A secret shopper would be neat to make sure they are doing their job in a way that gets the job done, but never leaves a good fan with a bad taste in their mouth.

10. Huge Banners commemorating Gamecock greats. Plenty of room around the stadium to hang a banner to commemorate a great Gamecock. We could even unveil a banner or two at every game.

11. Online depth chart. A great game day experience starts before the game by having the ability to learn about JSU's great players. There is no 2011 roster up on JSU's website, nor is their an online depth chart. Peer schools (Murray and UTC for example) are light years ahead of us in this area.

12. A Gamecock Walk. Granted, this has been copied time and time again, but how about have the players enter the stadium in an organized fashion at a designated time. Kids love it and its a great way for fans, the players families and friends to see the team before the game.

13. Unified Colors. You can only lead a horse to water, but JSU should have an organized effort to get all of their fans to wear the same colors to the game.

14. Do something with the old press box. As the commenters on gojaxstate explained, the old pressbox is the one eyesore to what is probably the best stadium in FCS. Tear it down and you would have a nice view of the campus.

15. Pregame highlights of previous week's game. The more our fans know our players the better it will be. How about have Mike "the Voice" Parris narrate highlights of the previous week's game and point out the outstanding players? Maybe even an interview or two with a key player?

16. Sell beer? This has been much debated, but perhaps having a section where fans that wanted to enjoy a beer could have one is worth considering. If its done, it needs to be done in the right way and families should have the opportunities to sit in alcohol free sections.

17. Real Tickets. JSU needs to get into the year 2011 with the appearance of the tickets. There is no reason that our tickets can't take on the look of what one sees at an SEC or NFL game.

18. Tailgating, tailgating, tailgating. Tailgating and college football go together like peanut butter and jelly. Dr. Meehan should appoint a tailgating czar to make sure JSU is doing everything possible to provide a comfortable, safe environment to tailgate.

19. Fan survey. Every fan should be given a link where they can offer suggestions and provide comments about their game day experience. JSU should follow the lead of Ole Miss - they conducted a survey of all of their fans about how to improve the game day experience. The result was a 100 point improvement plan implemented over the next 100 days.

20. Thundersticks and pompoms. These should be passed out every game. Thundersticks in the student section would be a huge hit.

21. Autographs. Youngsters love autographs. How about at every game during half time or following the game, there could be a few Gamecock players available for autographs and pictures. You could even include players from other teams.

22. Souvenir Cups. JSU should have a great looking souvenir cup available at concession stands.

23. A free gameday guide. Every fan should be given a one page guide to the game with a roster, etc. and critical information- where concessions are located, etc. This would not take the place of a program, but would go along way to educating the fans.

24. Organized cheers. I've heard different ones over the years (Big C, J for Jacksonville, etc.) but JSU lacks a consensus number one cheer. If there was one or two organized cheers we could get the fans doing, it would improve atmosphere.

25. Jersey Day. The Gamecocks have great looking uniforms. It would take a major corporate sponsor, but how about a jersey giveaway or at least some sort of sponsorship that would allow fans to buy a game type jersey at a reasonable price. How many #11s do you think they would sell!?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Taking the right path

A great article from the Star on JSU's legendary former basketball coach, Bill Jones.

Taking the right path: "Some of the best decisions in your life don’t always start with the smartest ones.
Just ask Bill Jones."

Friday, June 17, 2011

Week 3 Preview - Georgia State v. Jacksonville State

Week three of the Gamecocks' 2011 campaign will bring the Georgia State Panthers to Alabama for their first ever visit to JSU. In 2010, the Gamecocks defeated the Panthers 31-24 in the Panthers inaugural season of football. Ben Moore of was kind enough to answer some questions about the Panthers and what we should expect from the upcoming matchup.

Q: What do you think was the general reaction of the Georgia State fanbase to last year's game?

Moore: Last year's game our fans came in with next to zero expectations because as high as we were for the program's first ever game, we were that low the following week after a devastating loss to NAIA Lambuth. A big credit to Coach Curry for having the team focused and the team played a Top 10 FCS program to OT. If not for a dropped pass by Strong Safety Brandon Jones, the Panthers even had a chance to pick off Marques Ivory and take the pass to the end zone. It was a great game and was a huge building block as the team went on a 4 game win streak against FCS opponents after the JSU game.

Q: Give us a quick summary of last year's team?

Moore: After the JSU game, the Panthers survived a road scare at Campbell, rolled inferior competition in Morehead State and Savannah State and then gutted out a win vs. NC Central in OT. The last 4 games of the season took a huge toll (partly because we had played 10 straight weeks with no BYE) and the team gutted out a win at home vs. Lamar. Playing at Alabama was exactly what we expected but we did compete. It was invaluable to come away from that game allowing us to measure our strengths and weaknesses to a Top 10 FBS program and defending BCS Title holder.

Q: How many starters did Georgia State lose on offense/defense?


Offense - 1*
Defense - 2*
Special Teams - 1

We expected to lose only our 3rd Team All American Kicker Iain Vance to exhausted eligibility but due to disciplinary issues, Coach Curry has dismissed starting ILB Olufemi Opanubi and starting FS Fred Barnes. On offense, 2010 starter Drew Little will miss the JSU games as he serves a 4 game suspension.

Q: Who are the star returning players for Georgia State?

Moore: I'll give you an offense, defense and special teams player. On offense, it will begin and end with dual threat QB Kelton Hill. He was our leading rusher in 2010 in the WildCat package but has really put in good work this offseason improving his accuracy and arm strength. He will also benefit from the promotion of former Georgia Tech All American QB Joe Hamilton who will assist in his development.

On defense, DE Christo Bilukidi is emerging as a dominant force. Christo put up 26 tackles, 7 tackles for loss and 5 sacks in 2010. He made the switch from Weakside DE to Strongside DE this Spring and added quickness and strength. I have high expectations for him and believe that he could be a double digit sack man.

On special teams, it starts with Albert Wilson. For those that watched the Alabama game, he scored the lone touchdown on an 97 yard touchdown return. He has elite speed and also contributes as a slot WR.

Also, not because you asked, but we have added former Under Armour All American and UGA signee LB Dexter Moody, [and JUCO transfers] CB D'Mario Gunn, ILB Qwontez Mallory and Free Safety Demazio Skelton to the projected starting lineup. I expect all four newcomers to contribute imediately on the defensive side of the ball and drop 2010 starters to the level of quality depth. I'm a huge proponent of front 7 size and we increased our front 7 combined weight to 1771 lbs (an [average]increase of 38 total lbs).

Q: We heard you had some suspensions, will any key players be missing for the Jacksonville State game?

Moore: Yes. As of now, we will be without starting QB Drew Little for the JSU game. The others, listed above, are no longer with the program.

Q: How many fans do you anticipate will make the trip over for the game?

Moore: I expect to have a pretty good crowd. We had in the neighborhood of 5000 for the Alabama and I could easily see 2500+ making the trip West on I-20. We are looking forward to a great trip and having lived in Anniston for several years in the 90s, I'm looking forward to seeing the stadium expansion and different look of campus since we've been back.

Q: What is your prediction on the score?

Moore: Tough question for me personally but I believe we will not catch the Gamecocks napping as we did at home in Week 3. We have significantly upgraded the defensive side of the ball in the linebacker and secondary. I stil have questions about out offenses ability to sustain drives. I believe JSU is likely 10-14 points better than we are right now and look at a score in the neighborhood of 24-10.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Big Texas on Preseason Watch List

The College Football Performance awards website has placed Jacksonville State's Rodney "Big Texas" Garrott on its preseason watch list for the most outstanding FCS linebacker award. Not sure if Big Texas will be lining up more as a traditional linebacker or defensive end this year, but its great to see a great player getting much deserved recognition.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Will Jacksonville State's Offense Be Unstoppable In 2011?

With the addition of Washaun Ealey, one wonders if the Gamecocks' offense will be unstoppable in 2011. To put it in context, understand what Ealey brings to the table. He was Georgia's best running back over the last two seasons averaging almost 5 and 1/2 yards per carry in two seasons of heavy work. If Ealey averaged 5.4 yards per carry in the toughest defensive conference in the nation, isn't it reasonable to assume he could average over six in the OVC?

Of course, Ealey can't do it alone, but he won't have to. Even before Ealey arrived, the Gamecocks were loaded at running back starting with former Mr. Mississippi football Darius "Tig" Barksdale. Barksdale is listed as a sophmore on the depth chart, but is twenty one years old and physically ready to play. Barksdale only averaged four yards per carry last year but he should dramatically improve this year for at least four reasons: 1) he was slowed all season by nagging injuries; 2) prior to leaving Ole Miss he was playing safety and had to get reacclimated to the running back spot; 3) Barksdale did not join JSU until a few weeks before the season, limiting what he could do; and 4) his yards per carry may have been limited as he was frequently used in short yardage situations.

Its not just speculation that Barksdale could dramatically improve. Early in the playoff loss last year Wofford could not stop him, unfortunately a stomach bug did. After gashing the Terriers for several big gains, Barksdale didn't return for almost two quarters.

But, there is more. The Gamecocks are so loaded at running back that they have moved one of the best running backs in the OVC, Calvin Middleton, to fullback. Middleton, a senior, knows the playbook inside and out and had the potential to go for 1,000 yards last year until being slowed by a turf toe like injury in the middle of the season. Finally, while it sounds like hyperbole, Middleton himself and one other Gamecock insider have told us that Richard Freelon could be one of the best running backs to ever play for the Gamecocks and the signing of incoming freshman Coot James may have been the coup of an already great signing class.

Of course, defenses can always load the box to stop the run. This is where the Gamecocks' experience in the passing game should pay dividends. Marques Ivory is a senior quarterback that rarely makes mistakes, with an explosive backup in Coty Blanchard. If opposing defenses move their safeties up to stop the run, it seem like the Gamecocks have several targets that can stretch the field, including veterans James Shaw and Alan Bonner, plus newcomers Country Chambers and Trey Smith. Country, Coty Blanchard's high school teammate and Marcus Dupree's cousin, brings a big time speed element to the Gamecock receiving corps. In contrast, Smith, who had over 100 yards receiving in the Spring game, gives Ivory a huge target at six feet five inches tall.

Need some rain on the parade? JSU's offense might only be as good as the offensive line and they lost three valuable players in Curt Porter, Justin Kay and Tyler Ogletree. The return of Matt Jones will help (to go along with returning starters Odie Rush and Tori Mobley), but the Gamecocks must find a couple of more linemen. There are a bevy of candidates, but the time is now for one of those untested newcomers to step up.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Week 2 Opponent - UTC

The second week of the season takes the Gamecock to Chattanooga to face UTC. Unfortunately, this will be the last game w/ UTC as, like most of our regional FCS rivals, they won't play us anymore. The link below gives you a ton of information on the Mocs, but here are a few noteworthy items:

1- UTC is going to be tough. They return 10 starters on defense and 6 on offense. Their offensive losses are mainly on the offensive line, but they will be partially offset by a transfer from UT, Kevin Revis, that strongly considered the Gamecocks and a tight end transfer from Kentucky.

2- UTC returns their starting quarterback, BJ Coleman. Other than maybe Masoli, I don't remember the Gamecocks facing another quarterback that talented.

3- On defense, the Mocs did lose Buster Skrine. He ended up being a 5th round NFL draft pick.

4- last year's game was an amazing game. The Gamecocks turned it over about a million times in the first half, but won the game at the end on a long touchdown pass from Ivory to James Shaw.

5- One nice thing about the schedule, UTC will be coming off an opener at Nebraska whereas the Gamecocks will have two extra days rest after opening with UT Martin.

Here's a look at UTC's prospectus for the upcoming season.

From the inside out: Coaches, players take major facility renovations into own hands - Murray Ledger & Times: Murray State

This is an interesting article about one of our competitors taking it upon themselves to upgrade their facilities.

From the inside out: Coaches, players take major facility renovations into own hands - Murray Ledger & Times: Murray State: "Two miniature jockey statues and a blue-and-gold checkerboard
ceiling now greet visitors to the Murray State football offices
beneath Roy Stew…"

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Despite new roster, Gamecocks finish season strong

Despite new roster, Gamecocks finish season strong: "JACKSONVILLE — One thing was certain about the Jacksonville State baseball team that was picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference in 2011: With so many new players in the program, there was going t..."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

More from Warren Koegel's Reception

Just a few random notes from the reception last night (paraphrased)

- Mr. Koegel introduced his wife, Elaine, and noted that she is the reason he is able to do what he does. In meeting Elaine, you will find that she is very nice, understanding, and supportive of her husband. It was great to meet her and she will be very supportive of the Gamecocks.

- Mr. Koegel noted that JSU is a special place, where we can do special things. We know nothing extraordinary will happen without hard work, and Mr. Koegel is excited to get to work.

- Mr. Koegel said he knows that we are here because of our students. They are what keeps us here, and they will be part of his decision process. When making decisions, one question he will ask is "Will this enhance the experience for our students? Is this something that would benefit them? Is this something that they want?" If the answer is no, we would re-evaluate.

- Mr. Koegel impressed us last night and we feel his hiring is a step in the right direction.

Welcome to JSU, Warren and Elaine Koegel!

Jacksonville State Earns OVC Team Sportsmanship Award for Softball -—Official Web Site of the Ohio Valley Conference

Jacksonville State Earns OVC Team Sportsmanship Award for Softball -—Official Web Site of the Ohio Valley Conference

NFL Hall of Famer Starr to speak at JSU - Colleges

NFL Hall of Famer Starr to speak at JSU - Colleges: "On Aug. 19, the board of visitors for the Jacksonville State
University College of Commerce and Business Administration will
host a dinner and…"

Koegel wants on right side of JSU miracle

A great article from the Star on Moose Koegel.

Koegel wants on right side of JSU miracle: "JACKSONVILLE — Ask Warren Koegel about his NFL career, and he’ll stop you."

New Basketball Lockerroom

Courtesy of Coach Bell on twitter check out the new Basketball lockerroom. Great job getting it done.

yfrog Photo : Shared by deebell33

Monday, June 6, 2011

Previewing UT Martin

The Gamecocks will face a stout opponent in their first game in conference foe UT Martin.

Last Year

Martin went 6-5 last year, but won 4 of their last 5 games and captured the coveted Sgt. York trophy.

The Gamecocks defeated Martin 30-20 in 2010. The Gamecocks led the game 30-6 with only 11:41 remaining in the 3rd, but had to hang on for a narrow 30-20 victory. The problem of losing big leads haunted the Gamecocks in several games last year, including Georgia State, Eastern Illinois and finally the disaster in Cookeville.

Also notable from the 2010 contest-- JSU was actually outgained by Martin by almost 200 yards. The Gamecocks' offensive woes may have been caused by injuries to leading rusher Calvin Middleton, starting quarterback Ivory and the fact that tight end Cory Freeman was forced to start at guard.

Returning Starters/Playmakers for Martin

UTM returns nine starters on offense including their top 2 rushers (J. McNair -598 yards) and Tevi Barksdale (493 yards), their two leading receivers and starting quarterback, Derrick Carr (2543 yards passing). The only starters lost are on the offensive line, but Martin Coach Jason Simpson says: "Top to bottom this is the the best offensive line we have had." This should make for a great challenge against the Gamecocks' heralded 2011 defensive line.

The Skyhawks losses on defense were more significant where they lose four starters, including five of their six leading tacklers. The most notable loss is Josh Bey who had 91 tackles last season. Hopefully, this should bode well for what is supposed to be a potent Gamecock rushing attach.

Newcomers for Martin

Martin is excited about corner T.J. Drakeford a transfer from Marshall and Quentin Sims, a transfer from Georgia Tech. Sims actually carried the ball twice against the Gamecocks in the 2009 matchup.


Martin's AD doesn't like JSU, perhaps dating back to the whuppings JSU used to administer in the old GSC days. He got really mad when the JSU tennis team won the conference at Martin this year and also allegedly yelled at Coach Crowe after the 2009 game because he thought JSU scored too many points.

Another intriguing aspect of this matchup is that Gamecocks' defensive coordinator Chris Boone coached at Martin for several years. Boone will have a keen understanding of Martin's personnel, but Coach Simpson is very familiar with Coach Boone's scheme.

Is Eric Russell Gone?

Buried in an article that I read at Jacks' restaurant about projected Ole Miss starter Jack Jackson transferring to Jacksonville State to play for Jack Crowe (new record for most "Jacks" in on sentence), was a reference that Jackson will fill holes left by Kevin Dix and Eric Russell. We knew Dix was out of eligibility, but had anticipated Russell returning this year. He is a phenomenal player known to disrupt the offense in practice. If anyone knows the answer, let us know.

"Darius Blanchard" is a Good Player

The link below is to a nice article about Ealey transferring to Jacksonville State and contains a mini-preview of the Jacksonville State season. The writer makes the good point that Ealey may feast on the OVC which only had one team last year ranked in the tip 50 against the run. We will take any publicity we can get, but it was kind of interesting to see the writer combine Darius Barksdale and Coty Blanchard into Darius Blanchard.

Click Here for the article.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gamecocks have grown in stance of taking FBS transfers

Gamecocks have grown in stance of taking FBS transfers: "If high school prospects are the lifeblood of a college football program and junior college players are the bridge for gaps, then Division I transfers are the edge among teams in the Football Champ..."

Friday, June 3, 2011

Meet Moose

Per Kaci Ogle, here is everyone's chance to meet JSU's new athletic director, Moose Koegel:

JSU will host an Athletics Director Reception on Monday, June 6th, to introduce Mr. Warren “Moose” Koegel as the new Gamecock Athletics Director.
The reception will be from 5:00pm- 6:30pm on the 5th floor of the Stadium Tower. The event is free and open to all faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the University

Jax State Softball Signee Named JUCO All American

Coach McGinnis keeps loading up.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Clarence Jackson - Detailed Profile

Here is a detailed profile on new Gamecock linebacker, Clarence "Jack" Jackson from the Ole Miss website:

2010: Played in four games ... Posted two solo tackles ... vs. Jacksonville State (9/4): Saw first career action ... at Tulane (9/11): Credited with a solo tackle ... vs. Fresno State (9/25): Posted a solo stop ... HIGH SCHOOL: A SuperPrep All-Region pick and rated the No. 66 player in Georgia ... Named to the PrepStar and SuperPrep preseason All-Region teams ... Listed as the No. 16 athlete in the country by ... Earned first team All-Region 4-4A and Player of the Year honors from the league's coaches as a junior and senior ... Named first team Class 4A All-State by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a senior and listed as the No. 50 player in Georgia by the paper ... Rated the No. 73 player in Georgia and the No. 74 LB in the nation by ... Ranked the No. 56 player in Georgia and the No. 85 LB in the country by ... Rushed for 1,954 yards and 31 TD's as a senior ... Ran for 1,800 yards and 32 TD's as a junior ... Posted 58 tackles and 15 QB sacks on defense during junior season ... Also played basketball in high school ... Coached in high school by Rodney Hackeney ... PERSONAL: Majoring in Exercise Science.

Washaun Ealey - Detailed Profile

Here is a detailed profile on the newest Gamecock, Washaun Ealey from the UGA athletic site:

Career Highs: 28 carries at Kentucky in 2010
*183 rushing yards at No. 7 Ga. Tech in 2009
*Long rush of 58 yards vs. Vanderbilt in 2010
*5 rushing TDs at Kentucky in 2010
*Long TD rush of 44 yards vs. Tenn. Tech in 2009
*2 receptions (2x), last vs. Tenn. in 2010
*31 receiving yards at Miss. St. in 2010
*Long reception of 20 yards (2x), last at Miss. St. in 2010

2010: Appeared in 12 games making seven starts carrying 157 times for 811 yards and 11 TDs and catching eight passes for 85 yards.
*Ranked 10th in the SEC in rushing yards per game at 67.6.
*Gained 118 yards and scored two TDs on 13 carries vs. Ga. Tech.
*Named CFPA National RB of the Week after game at Kentucky where he carried a career-high 28 times for 157 yards and a school-record five rushing TDs, which ties Robert Edwards for the school-record for the most TDs scored in a game (4 rushing, 1 receiving vs. S. Carolina, `95).
*Led team with 17 carries for 123 rushing yards including a career-best run of 58-yards to go along with a TD vs. Vanderbilt.
*Also scored a single rushing TD in games at No. 2 Auburn, vs. Florid and vs. No. 12 Arkansas.
*Named to watch list for the Maxwell Award.
*Named preseason All-SEC first team by Athlon Sports and second team by Lindy's and Phil Steele.
*Recipient of the James W. and Elizabeth Plant Football Scholarship.
*Earned Coffee County Hustle Award for offense following spring drills.
*Carried seven times for 22 yards and caught three passes for 26 yards in spring G-Day game.

2009: Named All-SEC Fourth Team by Phil Steele
*Earned one of team's Newcomer of the Year awards for offense.
*Appeared in nine games with two starts making 125 carries for a team leading 717 yards and three touchdowns.
*Named SEC Freshman of the Week after games vs. No. 25 Auburn (18 carries, 98 yards, TD) and at No. 7 Ga. Tech (20 carries, 183 yards)
*Had a team-best 89 yards and two TDs on seven carries vs. Tenn. Tech.
*Against No. 1 Florida, carried 17 times for 70 yards and made first-career reception, a 20-yard catch
*First-career start came at Vanderbilt and led team in rushing with 71 yards on 13 carries
*Made Bulldog debut vs. No. 4 LSU carrying eight times for 33 yards

High School: Emanuel County Institute, coached by Milan Turner.... Parade Magazine All-America....SuperPrep All-America and All-Dixie teams... PrepStar All-America Team....2008 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super 11, All-Class Player of the Year, Georgia 150, Super Southern 100, Class A Offensive Player of the Year, Class A All-State First Team...2008 Georgia High School All-Star Game participant...2007 Atlanta Journal-Constitution All-Class Player of the Year...2008 Georgia Sports Writers Association Class A Offensive Player of the Year...2008 Georgia Sports Writers Association All-State First Team...2007 Georgia Sports Writers Association Class A All-State First Team... No. 78 on Athlon Consensus 100...2008 WTOC (Savannah, Ga.) Offensive Player of the Year...Under Armour All-American... No. 35 on ESPN 150...Ranked as fourth best tailback in the country by #11 RB in the country, #7 prospect in four star prospect ranked #37 in the South, #10 in Georgia, and #15 RB in the country....set Georgia high school single season record with 58 touchdowns in 2007...finished career with 8,108 rushing yards and a state record 133 touchdowns, 22 more than the previous record...rushed for 2,285 yards and 41 touchdowns on 305 carries and caught 13 passes for 166 yards and five touchdowns in 2008 while leading the Bulldogs in scoring with 290 points...helped guide Emanuel County to a 14-1 record and an appearance in the 2008 class A state finals...helped lead the Bulldogs to their first state title in 2007...rushed for 2,982 yards on 272 carries in 2007 with 58 touchdowns, breaking the state record previously held by Darius Walker...

Personal...Born: June 1, 1989; Major: Arts & Sciences.


A Great New Blog

Coach Watts has started a great new blog about JSU womens' basketball. Check it out at Coach Watts has brought in an incredibly talented group of newcomers. Our prediction is that they will be competing for an OVC Title immediately.

Early polls mixed on Gamecocks’ projection

Early polls mixed on Gamecocks’ projection: "The preseason football magazines are starting to hit the newsstands and so far the news is mixed in terms of Jacksonville State’s standing in the 2011 Ohio Valley Conference race."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mr. All American - Monte Lewis

Congratulations to Abbeville, Alabama product, Monte Lewis, on being named first team All-American by Lindy's. Lewis, a Defensive End, will be a key cog in what could be a dominant defensive line for the Gamecocks. Lewis is joined on the defensive line by likely starters, Dimetrio Tyson, Jameson Wadley and Big Texas Garrott. All three of these players have the ability to earn post-season accolades.

The Future Is Bright For JSU Baseball

Gamecock fans have grown accustomed to winning the OVC. This year, a very young Gamecock squad advanced to the title game but could not quite pull it off losing twice to top seeded Austin Peay. Nevertheless, it was a very good season for Jacksonville State which finished the regular season third in the OVC with a 36-23 record. The Gamecocks also posted impressive wins over Auburn, UAB, Northwestern, MTSU, Troy, Samford and Harvard. (Side note- I don't think these guys would have any problem competing for a title in the Sun Belt).

With this season behind us, there is every reason to be optimistic about next year. Assuming no one goes pro, the Gamecocks only lose four seniors off of this year's roster-- Blake Seguin, Jake Sharrock, Matt Mclaughlin and Jordan Beistline. All of these guys were big time contributors to the program. Seguin and Sharrock both hit above .300 and McLauglhlin was not far behind at .292. Beistline was a beast on the mound with a 3.48 ERA and 6-1 record.

These losses aside, it is really exciting to see what will come back next year. The Gamecocks return nine offensive players that started at least 25 games last year. This list includes their top five hitters: Sam Eberle (.356), Erik Underwood (354), Kyle Bluestein (.346), Ben Waldrip (.344) and Coty Blanchard (.335).

Amazingly, Beistline is the only pitcher the Gamecocks lose. The Gamecocks will also return five pitchers who posted sub 4.00 eras with significant innings pitched: Todd Hornsby, Tanner Freshour, Casey Antley, Aaron Elias and Ben Haynes. Hornsby was a great closer in 2011 finishing with 15 saves on the year.

In sum, this year was good, next year could be great. Can't wait.