BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Whenever the Southern Jaguars finally get to start practicing in the new Jaguar Park, it will mark a major hurdle cleared for Dawson Odums' football program.
However, at least one of the hardest-working stars on his team said he will miss the daily bus rides to Louisiana Leadership's temporary home for the Jags.
"It takes you back to those high school days, you know?"
That's the sentiment of former McKinley Panther Lenard Tillery, Southern's thousand-yard junior running back.
"It's just the smell that a bus has, you know? And a lot of guys on it are just talking and fooling around," said Tillery, suggesting the four-mile ride that takes about eight minutes with a police escort builds team chemistry.
Tillery did admit there might be at least a couple of Jaguar fans who might be bothered seeing their team work out at Doug Williams stadium. The Leadership field is named for the Super Bowl 22 MVP, who played for arch-rival Grambling in college.
"They can be a little salty about it," said Tillery. "It's a love hate relationship between us and Grambling. Most of the year we're in love, but once that Saturday (of the Bayou Classic) comes, houses divide, people can't talk to each other."