by Lee Brecheen
|Lee Brecheen with Southern University Head Coach Stump Mitchell|
March 19, 2012 – This past Thursday on March 15th, I was able to visit with Head Coach Stump Mitchell of the Southern University Jaguars and take in practice for over two hours.
When I left the Southern University practice and thought about my one hour conversation with Stump, I was so impressed at how this Football program looks. They are in much in better shape than the public opinion, if you read the newspapers or anything media wise and follow recruiting. All you read about is the loss of scholarships which has affected the number of players brought in for 2012 and the total number for the team. What I saw Thursday though is a team ready to go to battle for their coach and lay it all on the line to win. I think Stump can turn this around because the proof is in the pudding when you see it for your own eyes watching the players hustle play to play and the high effort I see from these kids in practice. What I love is that in the past players would walk in practice or be slow to get back to the huddle. Now you see players that get what Stump has preached, so they hustle every play and in between plays or they will feel his wrath and voice.
I left seeing a Head Coach upbeat and positive about the talent he has and the commitment that the players and coaches are showing in spring. I’ve been to practice a lot over the years at Southern, and I can read the body language of the players and coaches. This is the most energy I’ve seen out of a Southern team in a few years when it comes to commitment to the game, and that’s what I feel Stump has gotten across in practice year around – from going to class and giving it your all in practice every day. After two years it looks like it’s starting to work with everyone around Coach Mitchell.
I see this rubbing off on his players, and that’s great news. I also saw some talent in practice that surprised me on the offensive of side of the ball starting with the much improved QB Dray Joseph (6-1, 215) with a rocket arm, and now I see a confident QB ready to lead this team. I saw a lot of Future NFL players at WR, starting with Mike Berry (6-2, 215), Lee Doss (6-0, 180), TE Rashann Allen (6-5, 250), and stud raw big guy Bradley Coleman (6-5, 220).
I like this team and their chances of having a winning season in 2012 and for many years to come. They’ll be even better when Coach Mitchell can get the depth back up after this year.
Southern University Notes
While talking to Head Coach Stump Mitchell he was so excited about his new Strength and Conditioning Coach, Corliss Fingers, who might be the only head Female Strength and conditioning coach in IAA or DI football. Coach Mitchell said, “Former Head Football coach of Maryland, Ralph Friegen, told me that Coach Corliss was one of the best young minds as a Strength Coach in the United States, and she was his Assistant Strength Coach at the University of Maryland while Friegen was there as the head coach. My team will be the strongest it’s been in three years, and I credit Coach Corliss for all that, and by fall they’ll be even stronger.”
Stump Mitchell already has one NFL player in the league that he coached. DT Jordan Miller, who played for Stump at Southern is now with the Chicago Bears. Jordan weighs 290 at 6-2, and can bench press 225 pounds over 35 times. Jordan currently has been timed in the 4.8 range in the forty yard dash.
Coach Mitchell still holds NFL records
Stump Mitchell was the starting Running Back for the then St. Louis Cardinals (Now the St. Louis Rams) from 1981 to 1989, and he still holds the team records for All Purpose Yards with over 10,000 yards in his career.
Thomas Jackson Sighting
Thomas Jackson (6-3, 210) transferred from Northwestern State University as a wide receiver. He looked very good in practice. Jackson played high school football at Dutchtown High School, and attended Hargrave Prep School after Dutchtown.
You can read more about Southern University all the Colleges and High Schools in the state by pre-ordering the 2012 Louisiana Football Magazine Preview at www.lafootballmagazine.com/store. It comes out this August.