Wednesday, August 31, 2011

FCS Blogger talks about Ealey, UTC and others writer Matt Elder discusses who to watch in FCS football this year. Click here for the link. JSU RB Washaun Ealey, UTC QB BJ Coleman and others are mentioned.

We agree that Ealey should put up big numbers. However, the biggest challenge for Ealey may come from within the team with Coot James and Rashod Byers. These two talented backs will get carries. How many may depend on who has the hot hand.

Caleb Lawrence Did Not Get the Memo

One of the least heralded members of the Gamecocks' 2011 recruiting class was defensive lineman, Caleb Lawrence, from Opelika, Alabama. Conventional wisdom was that he would redshirt. Apparently, Lawrence decided to let his play do the talking and earned a spot on the UTM depth chart as the #3 noseguard, behind Dimetrio Tyson and Barry "the Butcher" Stafford. JSU doesn't list three players at many spots so Lawrence's inclusion is conspicuous.

On a related note, look for a big game out of Tyson. He has promised to go "ham" after finding some old school Lil' John to listen to before the game.

Shake Up At Safety

JSU released its depth chart for the UTM game earlier this week. There were not a ton of surprises except for the safety position. It appears that Robert Gray and Brooks Robinson have supplanted Keginald Harris and Jason Horton as the starting safetys. Indeed, Pierre Warren, a sensational freshman from Marbury, Alabama is listed as the #2 safety at one spot.

We don't know whether this was a by-product of camp injuries or whether Gray/Robinson just beat the other guys out. We knew Gray and Robinson were good, if they are good enough to flat beat out the talented Harris and Horton, JSU's defense might be scary this year.

Crowe crowing about this year’s Gamecocks

Crowe crowing about this year’s Gamecocks: JACKSONVILLE — Jack Crowe is an old coach, but he doesn’t play from the old coach’s press-conference playbook.

First-time Gamecock starters have same high expectations as veterans

First-time Gamecock starters have same high expectations as veterans: JACKSONVILLE — Max Holcombe is a little nervous about making his first college start Thursday night but otherwise confident in his ability to take care of his business on the Jacksonville State off...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wadley a family, football man

Wadley a family, football man: JACKSONVILLE — You say there’s just not enough hours in the day to manage all that’s on your plate? Consider all the balls Jamison Wadley has to keep in the air.

JSU quarterback wants Gamecocks’ offense to step it up

JSU quarterback wants Gamecocks’ offense to step it up: JACKSONVILLE — Marques Ivory says he won’t mind digging deep into his pockets for his teammates this season if it means the Jacksonville State offense getting back to the dominating style upon whic...

Monday, August 29, 2011


As summer camp has evolved, two names have been consistently mentioned as newcomers to watch: running back, Coot James, and wide receiver, Gabriel "Country" Chambers. Chambers is no stranger to playing championship football, having won a title his senior year of high school at Cherokee County along with fellow Gamecock Coty Blanchard.

Blanchard followed his high school glory with an amazing performance in his first college game, helping to lead JSU to an improbable upset over Ole Miss. Chambers, however, has had to be a little more patient in getting his opportunity to shine after sitting out his first year to concentrate on admission issues. Indeed, Chambers was not even allowed to practice with the team. Undeterred, he kept working on his skills and appears to be ready to contribute to the Gamecocks this season. Chambers is the consummate Gamecock, confident in his own ability, but quick to praise teammates. While Chambers has great physical ability, his strongest attribute may be a sheer love for the game of football.

On the eve of the 2011 season, we sat down with Chambers to get his thoughts on being back on the field, his fellow wide receivers and some other new Gamecocks that are turning heads.

On Returning to Football After Sitting Out For the Year

Q: How excited are you to be out on the field again after sitting out for a year?
A: I'm very excited. When you sit out, you have to have the confidence to get yourself back into the pads.

Q: Was it strange getting into the live contact after sitting out?
A: The first day we started out it felt kind of weird because I had not been hit for a while, but I'm getting used to it.

Q: Who laid that first hit on you?
A: Robert Gray [a safety from Collinsville] probably laid the first big lick on me. It was like a hit I got in the state championship game.

Q: Speaking of the state championship, JSU has a big contingent of fans from Cherokee county. When you go out on the field on September 1 do you feel like you will be representing Cherokee County?
A: Yes, sir. I am representing Centre, but I am also out there doing whatever I can to help my team win. The coaches say you have to get out of high school mode, so I am definitely not forgetting where I came from, but I'm also looking towards my future at JSU.

Q: Have you and your former high school teammate Coty Blanchard hooked up much in preseason workouts?
A: Yes, sir. When we had the week off to go back home, me, Coty and DJ Fife [former Cherokee County running back] all met up and we threw back at the high school. . . . Me and Coty have been throwing and connecting here lately.

Q: Coach Crowe has sung your praises here in the pre-season, how does that make you feel?
A: I don't take that for granted. It means a lot for the head coach to say something about me. He knows that I won't let him down. I've got to go out there and I've got to do my job. I have a great group or receivers that are helping me. Right now, I am still in a learning experience but once I get used to the learning curve I will be ready to rock and roll.

Q: Who are some of the receiving corps veterans that have taken you under their wing?
A: I have a great group of guys to help me. I have Alan Bonner, James Shaw and we have a new transfer, Trey Smith, he has helped me out a lot. We are like a family out there. We help each other out and look out for each other. A lot of the guys help make sure we are in the right spot at the right time.

Q: Has it been difficult adjusting to the speed of the college game versus high school?
A: Not really, the main thing I have to get used to is not making that many cuts, but just turn it up and get north and south because the big guys might be coming! Every time I get the ball, I'll run for my life . . . because there are bigger guys out there and they are way faster than they were in high school.

Q: You try to stay away from Monte Lewis in practice?
A: Yes, sir. I try to stay away from him and Big Texas [JSU Defensive End Rodney Garrott].

Q: You look like you have bulked up some since arriving at JSU?
A: Yes, sir. I have gained some weight. Coach Austin [JSU's strength coach] does a good job [with us] in the weight room. When I first started [this year] I wasn't in top shape because I had to take the year off . . . but Coach Austin has gone a great job getting me back in shape. We are in the best shape that we have ever been. We are going to be pretty good. I hate it for teams that are going to have to go against us.

Q: Are you ready for 2 a days to be done?
A: We are ready, but then if you love the game . . you still want football to be always there.


Q: Trey Smith, the wide receiver transfer from Western Michigan, had a big Spring Game. Has he carried that over to summer practice?
A: Yes, sir. He is one of those guys you can throw to [when you need a first down]. He is a tall, physical person. He says he is going to open it up one day; I'm just waiting to see him open it up.

Q: What is your first impression of Georgia transfer, running back Washaun Ealey?
A: Ealey is a great back. I've never seen someone that is that big, but can run like that. [Editor's note: Chambers was quick to mention that he views Calvin Middleton as a great running back as well].

Q: How about Jack Jackson, the linebacker transfer from Ole Miss?
A: Jack is a headhunter. He is an athletic player. . . . He is one of those players that likes to get around the ball.


Q: I keep hearing JSU might be going more to the running game. Are the receivers taking it as a challenge to play so well that Coach Letson [JSU's offensive coordinator] doesn't have any choice but to throw it to you?
A: We are just going to have to do what receivers do. If they want to go to the running game, we are going to have to block for them. As long as we are winning, we aren't going to complain. We are going to try and get the running game back, anybody can stop the pass, but its hard to stop the run. That's the main thing for defenses, stop the run. The passing game is going to be there.

Q: How is QB Marques Ivory playing after losing so much weight?
A: Ques' and I talked the other night. He is one of those guys on the team that gives me leadership. He was determined to lose weight. He felt like in the games we lost last year, he could have made more plays. This year we will see more of Ques' like he was in high school, more like a running quarterback. He can throw and run. It is exciting what he can bring to the table this year, so I am ready to see it.


Q: How tough is it in practice going up against our veteran corners, AJ Davis and Jawaan Booker?
A: They are tough. Book and I worked out in the summer. He is a smart player. He really stays on me about my release.
AJ is a speed and lockdown corner, Book is the same way. I'm glad that I have people like that to compete with every day to make me better. [Both of these guys] show me leadership and tell me about stuff they learned when they were freshmen. It is helping me out so that I can learn more and more about the game so I can be ready before UT Martin.

Q: I also hear some good things about our freshman corners, Denzell Bynum and Brandon Bender?
A: Denzell is one of those quick guys. I played against Denzell in high school. He is a great defensive player and from what I see in camp he should be able to get playing time. But, we have so many great corners its just going to be a competitive group this year.
Brandon Bender is athletic. He can play any spot [in the backfield], he can play corner, he can play safety. We have a lot of athletic people that just love the game.

Q: A long time ago, you told us to watch out for safety Pierre Warren from Marbury, Alabama. Is he still a player to watch?
A: Pierre is a ball hawk. Every time he goes up he tries to take it away from us, so I call him a ball hawk. He makes plays on defense. He is going to be a great safety for us.


Q: We heard Kicker, Griffin Thomas, tackled you on a break away return. Is that true?
A: I was tired! It was one of those things where I was trying to make a cut back field. Griffin was there. I thought that he was going to try to tackle me up high but he tackled me down low. But, Griffin is a great, athletic guy so I am not going to take anything away from him. But, it’s not going to happen again during the season.

Q: Are you ready for UTM, they are a good team?
A: Coach Crowe says there are some things we have to do, but we are physically and mentally ready.

Q: Any more thoughts about the season?
A: We plan on taking it to the next level and it starts with UT Martin. There is going to be some bumpy roads, but we are going to try and finish it. . . . Its going to be a great, exciting season for everybody and I hope everyone can come out and watch us and give us fan support. I promise you that we are not going to let you down. . . . We have great backs, we have great players. We can go deep in the playoffs. We are planning on winning the OVC and we are planning on going deep in the playoffs this year.

*******The above picture is from James takes great pictures at all JSU athletic events. Please see his pictures at his website.************


Giants QB grateful for this chance

Bham News on Ivory; Huntsville Times on the Gamecocks

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Breaking down Eastern's enemies - Sports

A preview article from one of the EIU papers.

Breaking down Eastern's enemies - Sports

Porter, Perrilloux and Heath Still In the League

Checked out the official rosters for the Broncos, Giants and Jaguars and Curt Porter, Ryan Perrilloux and TJ Heath are still with their respective teams. If anyone has details on how these 3 great Gamecocks are doing, please let us know.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gamecock Edge Doing Well in Pro Baseball

Four-run eighth powers Raptors to win - Standard-Examiner

EKU Suffers Some Key Injuries

The Eastern Kentucky game is always one of the toughest on JSU's schedule. It appears they have lost their talented quarterback, TJ Pryor, for part of the season. Also, EKU has lost wide receiver, Orlandus Harris, for the season. Harris torched the Gamecock secondary last year.

FOOTBALL: Injury could keep EKU's Pryor out for opener

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Man Called Coot

Fan Day Scrimmage

Some random observations on the Fan Day scrimmage:

Ivory - Looks to be ready for his best season. Great news for Gamecock fans.

Ealey - Hard runner. Tough to bring down. He will wear down a defense.

Coot James - Had an amazing run. He has not played in an official game yet, but has a lot of people talking already.

Country Chambers - Has an extra gear. He is fast!

Alan Bonner - poised for an All-OVC year.

The Beast - Slota at fullback made some good blocks and should get plenty of playing time this season.

Texas Garrott - maybe a little slimmer than last season, maybe a little faster than last season.

Wadley - shed blockers all night to be in on tackles

Jack Jackson - newcomer from Ole Miss all over the field on D. Were there 3 of him?

Some things can be hard to evaluate without watching film. The D got great pressure at times on the QB. Does that mean the D is just that good, or is it that the O-line missed some assignments? There were a few freshmen on the field and we're looking forward to seeing if they are just getting a look, or will contribute in the season.

Overall, it looks like several players looked good in the scrimmage. The team is ready to hit players on another team. In 11 days, they'll get that chance.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ann Poe: ‘The Academic Cheerleader’

Ann Poe: ‘The Academic Cheerleader’: "“I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone with a bigger heart than Ann Poe,” attested Tutoring Services administrative assistant Carrie Drake. “She’s done so much that I can’t pinpoint just one awesome ..."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Is Ben Endress the Next Alexander Henderson?

One of's all-time favorite players was Alexander Henderson, the tackling machine, from the Mobile area. Henderson had no offers from Division 1 schools and walked on with the Gamecocks. A few years later, he graduated as one of the best linebackers in the history of the program.

It is way too early to tell, but, a similar story may be developing. Yesterday, Coach Crowe announced that Ben Endress had moved to #1 on the depth chart at Sam Linebacker. We don't think he was even listed on the depth chart going into camp, nor was he included in the roster on the Gamecocks' media guide.

Endress emergence is an amazing development as the Gamecocks are stacked with quality depth at linebacker. So, who is Ben Endress? Here is what we know. He played at Clay County high school, the same high school that produced starting guard, Michael "Spanky" Ellis. At Clay County, he was named first team all state and participated in the North-South all-star game. He is a bit undersized at 200 pounds, but may have bulked up under Coach Austin.

Can Endress hang on to the starting spot for the rest of camp? Who knows, but it sounds like the Gamecocks have found yet another player on defense.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Jacksonville State Head Coach Jack Crowe - 2011 OVC Football Media Day

Jacksonville State QB Marques Ivory - 2011 OVC Football Media Day

Marques Ivory OVC Media Day Interview

Jacksonville State DL Jamison Wadley - 2011 OVC Football Media Day

OVC Media Day Interview w/ Jamison Wadley.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Random Observations

The Gamecocks rightfully keep a pretty tight lid on news out of summer camp, but here are a few non-confidential nuggets we have picked up here and there:

*We have speculated a lot about who will replace Porter, Ogletree and Kay on the offensive line. Matt Jones return from injury at one spot. It looks like converted defensive lineman, Michael Ellis, Max Holcombe and Preston Hatcher may be in the lead at filling the remaining spots. Another guy who appears to be making a strong case for playing time is Tree Johnstone.

*There may have been no bigger mystery heading into camp than juco transfer, Jerry Slota. It appears the Gamecocks have found one tough son of a gun that can help at fullback and tight end.

*Another new face that is making his presence felt is Jordan Jackson, a tight end from Florida. Much like a man attempting to make an NFL roster, Jackson is showing effort on special teams that will make it hard to keep him off of the travel squad.

*Jack Jackson, the transfer from Ole Miss, is good, really good. Spiderman Smith isn't that far behind him.

*The only person that can stop Washaun Ealey is Washaun Ealey. If he dedicates himself to being the best he can be, the sky is the limit. But, the "if" in that sentence is a big "if."

*There is a lot of buzz going around about Demopolis running back, Coot James. Its deserved. But, true freshman Rashod Byers is better than anticipated --and it was anticipated that he was going to be pretty good.

*Sean Watson, a guy that JSU desperately wanted out of high school, transferred in from Baylor and is making his presence felt on the defensive line.

*Earlier this year, an insider told us Ty Martin, a local product at wide receiver, could flat out play. As Coach Crowe might say- his potential to tranfer opportunity into consistency and vision has been validated. JSU has a deep and talented group of receivers.

*On that note, not many practices go by that Country Chambers play at wide receiver isn't mentioned. There is a rumor that our man got tackled by a kicker, but that can't be true. Another guy that never gets mentioned, but is a dang good player is tight end Denzell Cheeks. We predict Cheeks will have at least 5 TDs this year.

*Good news/bad news? The true freshmen cornerbacks, Denzell Bynum and Brandon Bender, are apparently working their way into prominent positions on the depth chart. Its good they're good, but it might be scary having guys that young playing such a prominent role early in the season.

*The Star reports Odie Rush turned an ankle last night. Last year JSU lost Matt Jones and T. Chambers to injury before the season started. Lets hope that we can stay healthy on the offensive line. Its the biggest question mark on this football team.

*What's the biggest key for the Gamecocks this season? We think its the play of Marques Ivory. Ivory, who will be more of a running threat this year after losing 30pounds, can be really good as he showed against Ole Miss (2nd half), Peay, EKU, SEMO and others. But, Ivory had other games where it just wasn't clicking. (UTC, Tn. Tech and Wofford). Ivory must play with consistency and assert himself as the leader of the offense no matter what the situation.

*Lets play final Jeopardy. The answer is: one defensive style JSU will not play this year. The question is: What is bend but don't break.

*A final note - hype is hype and hype is for the fans. We are big fans so we give some hype to our players. The bottom line is that results are earned by dedication and hard work. Lets hope the Gamecocks realize hype doesn't mean anything. In the long run, you've got to earn it on the field.

Crowe praises Gamecocks’ running game in scrimmage

Crowe praises Gamecocks’ running game in scrimmage: "JACKSONVILLE — As far as first scrimmages go, this one was crisper and cleaner than most, but at first blush there were enough miscues to let Jacksonville State coach Jack Crowe know there’s more w..."

Friday, August 12, 2011

Soccer Off To A Good Start

The Gamecocks' Soccer Team tied Kennesaw State 1-1 in a hard fought game on the Kennesaw campus. It looks like this year's Gamecock's team is on a mission. One neat thing about the game is that it appeared that Gamecock fans outnumbered KSU fans. Way to go Gamecocks. Family.

FCS Season Preview for the OVC

Who's picked to win the conference? Who fell asleep on a couch before practice? What teams have the preseason offensive and defensive players of the year? Click here to find out.

Local products shine as JSU prepares for scrimmage

Local products shine as JSU prepares for scrimmage: "Jacksonville State took its first step toward defining a roster that will be working toward opening day Thursday and several players with local ties grabbed a lot of the attention."

Great Basketball Hire

Jacksonville State University - ASCC Head Coach Hicks Hired to Round Out JSU Basketball Staff

Gamecock On A Mission

Gamecock hoopsters travel abroad to play: "Frankie Bougher always thought basketball could take him places." | 08/11/2011 | Ealey bolsters Jacksonville State backfield | 08/11/2011 | Ealey bolsters Jacksonville State backfield

DeKalb alums expected to make heavy contributions for JSU - Sports

DeKalb alums expected to make heavy contributions for JSU - Sports: "The 2010 season was a memorable one for the Jacksonville State
football team."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

They're Not Booing, They Are Saying Coot.

In the words of Grady on Sanford and Son, "Good Googly Moo Fred." Coach Crowe gives a little wrap up after practice. After every single one, he has sung the praises of true freshman, Coot James. Most recently, he called James the fastest back JSU has had since he's been here. If you aren't getting excited about this team, you need to check your pulse.

"I Want To Slobber Knock Some Guys."

A great article from the Star about the Gamecocks' first practice in pads. My favorite quote:

Jerry Slota, QB/TE/FB: Definitely I want to slobber-knock some guys, get around and make some hits. It’s coming. I can’t tell you when. I’ve got to keep that under wraps. It’ll be there.”

Read more: Anniston Star - Gamecocks hold 1st practice in full pads

Gamecocks hold 1st practice in full pads: "Of all the things Jacksonville State football coach Jack Crowe wanted to see during his team’s first practice in full pads Wednesday, the most important was whether his offense remembered what it w..."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Where Have You Gone Richard Freelon?

The new roster was just released and one notable name not on the list was running back, Richard Freelon. Freelon was a Mississippi product that had great potential. Apparently, he has left the team. Best of luck to Richard no matter where he winds up playing. While you hate to lose a player of Freelon's quality, Coach Crowe has repeatedly sung the praises of true freshmen running backs Coot James and Rashod Byers. Looks at Rivalries got a chance to contribute to the FCS Roundtable discussion on rivalries. Here is the article.

Gamecocks looking at contact level in full pads

Gamecocks looking at contact level in full pads: "JACKSONVILLE — The Jacksonville State football team will go in full pads for the first time this camp today looking for two things — response to contact and the reaction of the newcomers."

Monday, August 8, 2011

Electronic Media Guide is Available

The media guide is available at Tons of information about the Gamecocks.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Coach Jimmy Ogle

Happy Birthday to Coach Jimmy Ogle, a great assistant for the Gamecocks and considered by many to be one of the top recruiters in the nation. Other than graduating from Tennessee, Coach Ogle is a good one.

Its Hard To Tell Them Apart

Great quote from Ivory about sharing time with Coty Blanchard in the Here is the link:

"Hopefully we'll be more similar now. I've lost all this weight, hopefully I can run a little better,” Ivory said with a smile. “Hopefully there won't be too much of a change in what's going on. We're both talented quarterbacks, and we'll both be on the field.”

Here's a great quote from Coty on Ivory:

"Ques has been here a lot longer. He knows the offense inside and out. I'm more on the athletic side of things. I can kind of come in and run the ball, maybe a play-action deep ball, but Ques is just going to pick you apart. He can throw the football. He's the real deal.”

Thanks to the Gadsden Times for their increased coverage of the Gamecocks!

Let Your Haters Be Your Motivators

When JSU took Ryan Perrilloux, many in the national media used the thug label. Apparently their computers were broken when Perrilloux came back to school this summer, took classes and got his degree. By the way, one of our all time favorite Gamecocks, Brandt Thomas, also graduated and is now coaching at the high school level.

Be The Best You Can Be

Quote of the Day courtesy of Washaun Ealey:

"I think this offense can expose my talent," Ealey said. When asked if he thought he would be the best back in the Division I-AA OVC, the 5-foot-11, 215-pound junior demurred, saying only, "If I put the work in, I think I can."

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Country Comes to Town

Coach Crowe on freshman phenom, Gabriel "Country" Chambers: "He doesn't look like he has any problems getting used to the speed of the game."

He Could Go All The Way!

Ivory and James Shaw hook up for a long one against the Mighty Mocs.

Jack Jackson's In the House

A great quote from yesterday's practice about Ole Miss transfer, Jack Jackson:

“A player that I’m glad that I see who has enormous potential is Clarence Jackson,” Crowe said. “He is a big, fast football player and is very athletic. We are very fortunate to have him. He plays inside (linebacker) but could play both (inside and outside) of them. He seems to be energized by practice, and that’s always a good sign of a really good player.”

Gamecocks start season with throttle at full speed

Gamecocks start season with throttle at full speed: "JACKSONVILLE — Under early-morning skies and comfortable temperatures, the Jacksonville State football team began a journey Friday it hopes lasts well into December as it opened camp for the 12th t..."

Friday, August 5, 2011

Jacksonville State University - Jack Crowe Pleased with Gamecocks First Practice

This will get you fired up.

Jacksonville State University - Jack Crowe Pleased with Gamecocks First Practice

Jacksonville State University - Jacksonville State Football Media Day Complete Coverage

Jacksonville State University - Jacksonville State Football Media Day Complete Coverage

Ealey’s expectations as high as Gamecocks’

Ealey’s expectations as high as Gamecocks’: "Washaun Ealey doesn’t know about being the new face of the Jacksonville State football program Gamecocks head coach Jack Crowe says he can be, but the running back his coach says “is the kind we ne..."

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Five Big Upsets For SEC Football 2011

SDS Predicts Jacksonville State to Beat Kentucky

Five Big Upsets For SEC Football 2011

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

GamecockIllustrated on does an FCS segment each week called the "FCS Roundtable". They have questions each week and ask for contributions from different areas of the country for answers to the questions. was fortunate to be invited to participate by giving them our views. They will have different questions each week. We welcome this coverage of FCS football.
You can see the article by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

College Football Zealots Q&A with Gamecock Illustrated recently hosted a Q&A with on the upcoming season for the Gamecocks. They were kind enough to share it with their readers. You can link to the article here. Please take a minute, read, and comment if you can.