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South Alabama Relying on Its Returning Starters

By Matt Osborne
SouthernPigskin.com
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South Alabama’s overall dearth of returning starting experience means that it will be even more important for the small group of returning starters to elevate their respective games in providing both leadership and production for the Jaguars in 2015.

After undergoing an incredibly rapid ascension through many different levels of college football in order to finally land as a member of the Sun Belt Conference in the FBS, the South Alabama Jaguars made history in 2014 by making a bowl game for the first time in program history. Considering it was only the program’s third season as an FBS member, the Jaguars’ appearance against Bowling Green in the Camellia Bowl was a tremendous accomplishment for the school.

There is no denying the fact that head coach Joey Jones has done an outstanding job of elevating the status of the program in very short order despite the numerous obstacles which the team has had to overcome.

There is also no denying, however, that building upon that success will prove to be very difficult in 2015, as the Jaguars are set to return just five starters from last year’s team. That total ties South Alabama with Texas-San Antonio in terms of having the fewest returning starters for the 2015 campaign.

Naturally, South Alabama’s overall dearth of returning starting experience means that it will be even more important for the small group of returning starters to elevate their respective games in providing both leadership and production for the Jaguars in 2015.

Here is a look at the five returning starters upon which the Jaguars will be relying this fall.

S Roman Buchanan

Buchanan started all 13 games at strong safety for the Jaguars as a sophomore, finishing the year third on the team with 74 total tackles. He has good size at 6-2, 210 pounds, and also has very good genetics, as his cousin, Deshea Townsend, played 13 seasons in the National Football League. Buchanan will almost assuredly be one of the Jaguars top tacklers in 2015, and he will also look to continue to make more of an impact in the passing game.

CB Antonio Carter

Carter has started 19 games for South Alabama over the past two seasons, but still has yet to register his first interceptions. Considering that the Jaguars managed to record just six interceptions as a team in 2014, the team will undoubtedly be looking to Carter to produce some big plays defending against the pass. He is a bit undersized at 5-8, but he has the quickness and athleticism to stick closely on receivers down the field.

OL Chris May

The 2015 season will be May’s fourth season as a starting offensive lineman for the South Alabama program. To this point, he has been named to a postseason All-Sun Belt team in each of his first three seasons, including earning first-team honors in 2013. His best performance of his junior season came in the bowl game against Bowling Green, where he graded out at 85 percent. His talent and experience will provide a huge benefit up front for the Jaguars.

OL Joseph Scelfo

Scelfo was one of just two offensive linemen to start every game for South Alabama in 2014. He also was one of the most productive players along the offensive front, as he graded out at 80 percent or better in six different contests and also earned the highest blocking grade on the squad on five separate occasions. Though Scelfo is slightly shorter than the average offensive lineman, he uses his leverage to generate a ton of force, especially in the ground game.

WR Danny Woodson II

Woodson finished second on the team in receiving yardage last season, but he will have an opportunity to have a true breakout year for the Jaguars in his final collegiate season. A former four-star prospect who transferred to South Alabama after two seasons at the University of Alabama, Woodson has all of the physical tools to become a star in the Sun Belt. He ended the season on a very high note, catching 11 passes for 171 yards and a touchdown in the final two contests of the year, but needs to show better consistency moving forward.

Matt Osborne - Matt Osborne currently serves as the director of recruiting and lead editor for Southern Pigskin. His work has been published in a number of national publications, including USA Today. Although he loves all levels of football, Matt's number one joy in his life is his relationship with Jesus Christ. Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattOsborne200. For media requests, please email Matt at matt@southernpigskin.com.