BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Southern football season will kick off five weeks from Friday, Jan. 22, and head coach Dawson Odums met with sports journalists via Zoom to talk about his Jaguars.
In 2019, Southern’s defense was among the best in the SWAC. The Jags finished third in scoring and allowed a conference-best 128 rushing yards per game. Up front, the Jags lost three starters but return veterans like Jalen Ivy and pash rushing specialist Jordan Lewis. The defensive end has been named Preseason All-SWAC second team. Odums said this is a unit that they will hang their hat on, largely due to depth.
“Guys that got to step up are the interior guys,” said Odums. “When you start talking about tackles, you start talking about Colyn Givens. You start talking about Trey Square. Those guys are going to have to raise their game and step up because it is time for those guys to play. So, I think they are ready to play, they are eager to play, and once we get some more practices under our belt, I think we will be able to see some other talent at that position.”
Even though senior Jakoby Pappillion is back to take up one of the safety spots, Odums said the group is still a work in progress. And while linebacker Calvin Lunkins is gone, Scotlandville’s Caleb Carter should fill that void with no problem, coming off a breakout season where he totaled 81 tackles. The Baton Rouge native has also been named to the Preseason All-SWAC second team.
“He is the leader of the linebacker room. I was just mentioning those guys that have to step up and give some help but he is one of those guys that we know we can count on. He plays the game the way it is supposed to be played, full speed all the time and he is a good one. I am glad he plays for the Jags,” Odums added.
Southern will start its season on the road in Montgomery, Ala. against Alabama State on Friday, Feb. 26.
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