BATON ROUGE, La. – “It’s very helpful if you’re trying to get a quick fix, but me personally, I like to develop players,” Southern head coach Eric Dooley commented on the NCAA transfer portal back in December.

The new Jags head coach added he understood college football’s current environment, and his team’s action in the portal showed in the last month. 10 players committed to the Jaguars through the transfer portal in January alone, but Coach Dooley viewed the roster moves as filling needs in the locker room.

“Got some good players out there, and when you assess the team and think of some of the immediate needs, of course you got to get older guys. Very pleased with what the assistant coaches have been able to go out there and get. Now, we just gotta put it all together and get out on the field and start working,” Dooley added.

Most of the Jags’ needs were on defense. Southern finished eighth in scoring defense and total defense, ninth in rushing and sixth in passing.

Seven of the 10 January transfers were on the defensive side, including the NJCAA Defensive Player of the Year Ja’Sion Greathouse, but Coach Dooley is simply guarding against his mantra as an offensive minded head coach.

“I have to make sure I target that because, every time I sign an offensive guy, everybody going say I signed him cause I’m an offensive minded guys, but I do understand you got to have defense as well. We needed more experience with the secondary, so we went out and got some guys with some experience, and I thought the linebacking core. I thought it was depleted as far as what they had coming back so those are some of the main needs that we had to take a look at,” Dooley said.

Southern transfer portal haul includes the following:

  • Mississippi State & EMCC DB Joshua Short
  • Tulane DB Kolby Phillips
  • Marshall DB Keylin Roach
  • Iowa State LB Dae’Shawn Davis
  • Arkansas DB Devin Bush
  • FAU OL Eli Fields
  • LSU & Coahoma CC LB Donte Starks
  • Kilgore College RB Kendric Rhymes
  • Itasca CC DL 2021 NJCAA DPOY Ja’Sion Greathouse
  • Louisiana & Kilgore College WR Cassius Allen

The one position Southern won’t attack in the transfer portal is quarterback. Dooley added the Jags could add a signal caller on February 2nd’s signing day.

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