Defense Wins Games

Coach Chris Boone visited the Marshall County Alumni Chapter on Tuesday night, March 8th. JSU’s new Defensive Coordinator spoke to the crowd after dinner about his recent move to JSU. Coach Boone came to JSU after 15 years in coaching, the last 5 coming with OVC-rival UT Martin.

Coach Boone gave us a summary of what he knows about the team and what he is seeing in winter workouts. Boone told us that he knows the JSU team very well, having coached against them 6 times. We’ll have several starters back on defense this year, and should have some great leadership. Jamison Wadley and Monte’ Lewis and Demetrio Tyson will lead the way up front. Incoming freshman Jakari Kinnie from Gadsden can get a shot, but he has to come in this summer in shape. Kinnie was recruited by Kentucky, and actually committed for a short time to Georgia State. JSU got the committment in the end. Kinnie has to be in shape and show that he is ready. Boone also mentioned that he expects Marquis George to make a name for himself this year on the DL.

Boone expects great things from Rodney “BigTexas” Garrott. GamecockIllustrated has been a fan of Garrott since we first saw him 2 springs ago. He’s expected to continue disrupting backfields like he did last year. Boone expects good things from James Powell at linebacker this year. Powell got a lot of playing time last year as a freshman, and should be much improved. Boone commented that Rashad “Spiderman” Smith has an opportunity this year to get a lot of playing time. We believe he has great potential. Brannon Byrd and Brent Tolson are players that got major playing time last year, and Boone is looking forward to seeing them in spring drills. We’re hoping Erik “Rookie” Russell is back on the active roster for the 2011 season, and Coach Boone is too. “Rookie” is a special athlete, according to Boone and other coaches we have spoken with. Chase Williams, the linebacker from Boaz, is working out hard and will get a look. He’s on a program to get a little more bulk, and is giving a great effort.

Coach Boone gives multiple looks on defense, from a 3-4, a 4-3, and some other combinations. But the key could be the defensive backfield. AJ “Awesome Jet” Davis and Jawaan Booker are solid. Davis is probably the fastest on the team, turning in a winter workout 40 time of 4.3. Jason Horton and Keggie Harris at safeties will be learning Boone’s style and some new assignments.

Coach Boone came to JSU to win an OVC championship. Winning in the playoffs is important to him. This season could be special. Our first game is on a Thursday night – against none other than UT Martin. They’ll do some extra preparation to throw who knows what at Coach Boone’s defense. We’ll be ready.

Coach Boone did a great job at the alumni event and enjoyed meeting the group there. He’s moving his wife and children down from TN next month. By the way, he has 2 children now, both girls, and they have twin boys on the way! If you see him around, give him a big Gamecock welcome.

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