2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 98 South Alabama Jaguars
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the South Alabama Jaguars
No. 98: South Alabama Jaguars
South Alabama Jaguars Prespring Status
Can the South Alabama that rose up to shock Mississippi State and San Diego State return and rock throughout an entire season? Consistency was the biggest problem, but with a more experienced team returning, that should change – at least that’s the hope.
When the defense was on, it was something amazing in some of the team’s biggest games. But why couldn’t it stop Nicholls State or ULM? Joey Jones has a team returning that should be just good enough to be in the hunt for the Sun Belt title, but again, the emphasis this spring has to be on trying to bring the same production week in and week out.
South Alabama Jaguars Biggest Issue
The receiving corps gets gutted. Star tight end Gerald Everett is gone, along with top receiver Josh Magee and the top four targets for QB Dallas Davis. The passing attack might not have been all that efficient, but when it was on, it put up yards in chunks. Defensively, just enough top tacklers are gone to hurt. LB Darrell Songy might be back along with safety Jeremy Reaves, but three of the top five defenders are gone including Roman Buchanan from the linebacking corps and Randy Allen – and his 12.5 sacks – up front.
South Alabama Jaguars Biggest Positive
The offensive backfield should be terrific. Leading rusher Xavier Johnson returns after averaging 5.5 yards per carry with ten scores, but he’s going to need some help with the top backups gone. The receivers might not be in place, but the quarterback situation is solid with Dallas Davis returning. He needs to cut down on the interceptions – he threw 12 last year with 11 scoring passes – but he came up with his share of big plays and he ran well. Now he knows what he’s doing.
Really, Why Are The South Alabama Jaguars Ranked Here?
Which team is going to show up? The defense should be solid again despite the loss of DE Randy Allen, LB Roman Buchanan and CB Quinton Dent, but losing solid P Brandon McKee could be the biggest problem for field position. The offense gets four starters back up front to pave the way for the potentially dangerous ground game, but will that be enough to overcome the lack of receivers? Will there be enough firepower? This could be the Sun Belt’s X factor depending on how quickly the Jaguars can find explosive new playmakers.