Southern inks mostly transfer players on signing day | Southern

Southern coach Eric Dooley likes to get high school players on signing day, but the reality is the transfer portal offers immediate help.

The Jaguars on Wednesday announced the signing of two high school players — both quarterbacks — and 17 transfers, with more likely to follow before the start of the 2023 season.

“I love getting these guys and developing them from the ground up, but we still have to build depth so we have to look at transfers,” Dooley said at Southern’s recruiting ceremony on Wednesday. “Once we build the depth, we’re going to start attracting more high school players.”

The biggest uproar may have come from the high school ranks. The Jaguars landed Scotlandville quarterback C’Zavian Teasett, a left-handed quarterback who rushed for 1,955 yards and 16 touchdowns and six interceptions while leading the Hornets to the state playoffs. He also rushed for 285 yards.

“In all my years I’ve never signed a left-handed quarterback,” Dooley said. “We are very happy about it. If you sit down and talk to him, he’s very mature. When I look at quarterbacks, you have to be mature and you have to be able to handle it. He will bring more fans to Mumford Stadium.”

Also in the quarterback room is Jalen Woods, a 6-foot-3, 200-pounder from Woodward Academy in Marietta, Georgia. He was a three-star recruit who also had offers from Toledo and Miami (Ohio).

Dooley brought in a third quarterback and another Baton Rouge native from the transfer portal. Dylan Mehrotra, who played for Episcopal, moved to Alabama-Birmingham after two seasons. Dooley recruited him at Prairie View.

The best news for Dooley was that he scored some centre-backs on offense and defense who can jump in and help right away. Southern lost four starting offensive linemen and her three best defensive tackles.

“We have some pieces of the puzzle,” he said. “We’re trying to go inside out and put a lot of people on offense and defense. Even if you don’t lose these guys, you have to build your program that way. We’ve done that, but are still looking for another one or two. We have some guys of greatness that we think can come from football.

Dooley has inked four offensive line transfers, led by McNeese State’s Cameron Foster, who has some experience coming on. He played five games from two starts and allowed a sack in 206 snaps.

The Jaguars also got the versatile Black Hills State College Matthew Carty, a lineman who can play all three positions but is destined for the rim.

The defensive line is bolstered with the addition of run-stop tackles Deris Jackson, a transfer from Arkansas State, and Jalani Davis of Dodge City Community College. Davis had 14 tackles in six games, including four for the loss.

Dooley also got some pass-rush help with Southeastern Louisiana transfer end Darius Harry. He had a notable season for the Lions with 30 tackles, 4½ tackles for loss, two sacks, six quarterback rushes, a forced fumble and a pass break.

Southern has good depth at running back and wide receiver, but brought in grambling transfer Corey Russell into the backfield and George Qualls and Jailon Howard into receivers.

Russell rushed with grambling for 55 yards and a touchdown last season. Qualls brings good size (6-3, 190) from Tennessee-Martin, where he caught nine passes for 86 yards and a TD. He also played at Akron and had 22 catches for 331 yards and one point.

Howard played for Dooley in Prairie View. Last year he caught 16 passes for 336 yards and three TDs.

Dooley also welcomed the addition of another tight end, Harold Rhodes, a 6-5, 275-pounder from Copiah-Lincoln who he thinks could play on offense but has strong reception skills. He caught five passes for 83 yards and two TDs.

Former Southern signee Joshua Tate will help strengthen the linebacker corps along with Willie Matthews and Mike Jones. Tate had 27 tackles at Iowa Central Community College, losing three of them. Mathews had 37 tackles, eight for losses and three sacks at Lackawanna College.

Cincinnati transfer Leroy Bowers and Coahoma Community College’s Josh Alexander, a pair of 6-2, 200-pounders, were brought in to solidify the safety position that loses All-SWAC Corione Harris.

Southern University football signers

QB C’Zavian Teasett6-3, 205 Scotlandville HS/Baton Rouge

QB Jalen Woods6-3, 200, Woodward Academy/Marietta, Ga.

QB Dylan Mehrotra, 6-3, 195, So. UAB/Episcopal BR

RB Corey Russell6-0, 200, Jr., Grambling/Arcadia, La.

WR George Qualls6-3 190, Sr., UT-Martin/Caruthersville, MO.

WR Prison Howard5-8, 170, Sr. Prairie View/Missouri City, Texas

TE Harold Rhodes6-5, 275, Fr., Copiah-Lincoln CC/Silver Creek, Miss.

OL Cameron Foster6-3, 305, McNeese/Shreveport State, La.

OL John Mitchell6-5, 276, Jackson/Lexington State, Miss.

OL Josh TraskNatchez, 6-4, 325, Sun., Copiah-Lincoln CC/Natchez, Miss.

OL Matthew Carty6-4, 285, Fr., Black Hills State/Palmdale, California.

EN Darius Harry6-2, 245, Jr., SLU/East Jefferson HS, Metairie, La.

DT Deris Jackson6-4, 320, Arkansas St./Memphis, Tennessee.

DT Jalani Davis, 6-1, 295, Jr., Dodge City CC/St. Ludwig, Mo.

LB Josh Tate6-1, 195, Sun., Iowa Central CC/Decatur

LB Willie Matthews6-0, 215, Lackawanna College/Montclair, NJ

LB Mike Jones6-2, 230, Kilgore CC/Houston, Texas

DB Leroy Bowers6-2, 200, Sun., U. Cincinnati/Cincinnati, Ohio

DB Joshua Alexander6-2 200, Jr., Coahoma CC/Leiland, Miss.

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