BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Anyone that's lived in a dorm, or any close quarters living situation for that matter, knows what move in day is like. It's an all-day affair not just unloading belongings into a room, but then unpacking and organizing those things. For Southern football players moving into Gradison Hall Friday, it's commonplace to see TVs, cases of water, mattresses, and stereos as players prepare their things for living on campus for the next two weeks.
The Jaguars begin fall practice Saturday afternoon in preparation for the 2017 season, with a very specific theme and metaphor in mind. Chop Wood, Carry Water is a self-improvement book written by Joshua Medcalf, and head coach Dawson Odums asked all of his players and coaching staff to read it this off season. The book's title is a metaphor for teamwork and individuals coming together in order to achieve a common goal.
"It's about falling in love with the process," senior quarterback Austin Howard said. "Nothing is going to come easy to you."
For senior defensive tackle Aaron Tiller, the book connected him to his own story and mission for the upcoming season. "The mission is I'm going to get it no matter what," he said. "No matter what you say, no matter what you think, no matter how you're talking, I'm going to reach my mission no matter what. That stuck out to me because I've been on a mission since I was a kid."
The Jaguars went 9-3 last season, finishing their year with a loss in the Bayou Classic.
"We're going to go through every chapter in this camp," Odums said. "This book allows you to fall in love with the process in order to become great."
Time will tell exactly how much wood and water the Jags will carry this season. They'll take their first swing and bail their first bucket September 3 at AW Mumford Stadium against South Carolina State.