Best South Alabama Offensive Player
WR Jamarius Way, Sr.
Tackle Noah Fisher might be the team’s best player, but Way should be the star if and when the quarterback play is stronger. The former JUCO transfer stepped right into the No. 1 receiver role right away, leading the team with 47 catches for 762 yards and three scores, averaging over 16 yards per catch. The 6-4, 215-pounder is a matchup problem with the speed to go along with the size – expect him to take over games from time to time.
2. OT Noah Fisher, Sr.
3. QB Cephus Johnson, RFr.
4. WR Sam Harris, Sr.
5. PK Gavin Patterson, Sr.
Best South Alabama Defensive Player
S Nigel Lawrence, Sr.
With Jeremy Reaves done, now it’s up to Lawrence to be the new star. The 5-11, 190-pound versatile defensive back can work at corner or safety, but he found a niche last year as a Rover, but he can move wherever he’s needed – like at the Boundary spot. Really quick and really strong around the ball, he was second on the team with 83 tackles as a steady playmaker. Now he might have to be more spectacular.
2. LB Bull Barge, Sr.
3. LB Riley Cole, Soph.
4. P Corliss Waitman, Sr.
5. LB Roy Yancey, Soph.
Key Player To A Successful Season
QB Cephus Johnson, RFr.
Is he ready to take over the job and do more with the offense? Dallas Davis was the veteran who seemed like the easy choice to be the transition to the new coaching staff, and then he transferred out. He would’ve been in a battle, though, with Johnson had he stuck around.
The Jaguars had a painfully inefficient passing game last year, but it came up with 237 yards per game. Now it’s up to the 6-5, 210-pound Johnson to use his accuracy and skills to jumpstart the attack.
Key Game To The South Alabama Season
at Appalachian State, Sept. 29
It’s an interdivisional game, and there’s the Texas State home game to start out the Sun Belt season, but if you want to be the man, you have to beat the man.
The Jaguars haven’t played Appalachian State since 2015 – losing to miss out on bowl eligibility a year after beating the Mountaineers – but this time around, it’s a chance to establish themselves as a true player in the Sun Belt race.
2017 South Alabama Fun Stats
– Fumbles: Opponents 20 (lost 12) – South Alabama 14 (lost 4)
– Total Offense: Opponents 5,013 yards – South Alabama 4,012
– Interception Return Yards: Opponents 14 for 206 yards – South Alabama 8 for 7 yards