When the Jaguars began fall camp a little more than two weeks ago, head coach Dawson Odums said their primary goal was to keep things simple and move at a quick tempo. It’s that simple, and that’s because of the wealth of talent on the offensive side of the ball. Just getting the ball to its target is all Southern needs to give defenses fits this year.
"They’re going to make explosive plays," said Odums. "You’re not going to be able to stop everybody. Mike Jones can stretch the field vertically. Justin Morgan, Willie Quinn, Randall Menard, Montrell Jones, Dillon Beard. Then you’ve got Crockett and Tillery. That’s a lot of weapons. You’ve got to pick your poison."
Plenty of those are familiar names starting with Willie Quinn. He’s scored in just about every way possible from returned kickoffs and punts to short routes he breaks to go the distance, reverses in the backfield, and of course, getting behind the defense on the occasional deep ball.
"We’ve got a lot to show," said Quinn. "It’s four receivers healthy this year, and it’s going to be hard to stop us."
The big-framed Randall Menard is one people may remember from 2013. He broke onto the scene with a blocked punt returned for a touchdown and two touchdown receptions against Alcorn State. Following a toe injury that held him out of the entire 2014 season, he’s poised to have a breakout year.
Meanwhile, senior Mike Jones appears to have picked up where he left off to end last season. He’s been the go-to deep threat from quarterback Austin Howard throughout camp.
Then there’s Justin Morgan, who’s becoming even more of a hybrid option. We’ve seen him execute fake punts, take the ball in the "wildcat" formation and make big plays in the passing game. Now he’s joined proven running backs like Lenard Tillery and Malcolm Crockett in the backfield as well, all in an effort to get him involved in the offense as much as possible.
"Anybody that’s a playmaker loves to get the ball, but it’s all a team group," said Morgan. "I’m really just trying to get myself back into shape and get my footwork right so I can showcase my talents this year."
"I think the more times he touches it, the more explosive plays he has a chance to make," said Odums. "But you can say the same thing about some other guys. You’ve only got one football."
Having too many options is a problem most offensive coordinators welcome, and one football is all they need if the Jaguars cash in on all of their potential this season.
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