I attended the South Alabama Football preseason press luncheon today and left feeling, if not confident, at least hopeful. Head Coach Joey Jones needs more than hope. He needs results. This is the final season on Jones' current contract and although the Jags have made a couple of bowl appearances in the last three seasons, Sun Belt Conference wins haven't come as often as most fans would like to see. A new season always breeds optimism, but in 2017 maybe the Jags and their fans can truly be optimistic.
The defense should be pretty good...maybe very good. The defensive line in stronger and deeper than ever. You can thank recruiting and players returning from injuries for that. This team should be tough to run on. That's a good start for any defense. The secondary has an all conference type star. Jeremy Reeves came fro Pensacola Catholic as a safety, was switched to corner but has been moved back to his original position.
Offensively, returning running back Xavier Johnson ran for over 800 yards from scrimmage and amassed over 1,400 yards in total. Dallas Davis was having a nice 2016 at quarterback until an injury ended his season. He's back, and the good news is his backup, Cole Garvin played pretty well in his absence. It appears either can lead this team.
If the leadership stays on point and they can avoid a rash of injuries, even despite a very challenging schedule, this team can make some noise and allow Joey Jones to return to the table to negotiate and sign his next contract at South Alabama. That would be great for everybody.