Southern shoring up special teams before shifting to opening weekend

Jaguar Nation

BATON ROUGE, La. – Southern entered fall camp with a plethora of returners on both side of the ball, but special teams suffered a significant loss when Cesar Barajas transferred to Louisiana Tech. Barajas finished the 2021 spring season first-team All-SWAC as a punter and kicker. The Jaguars ended camp Saturday, but the search for his replacement continued.

“This week, if we can get it in, we’ll have another situation where we’ll put another kicker in a game time, game-like, situation to see how he handles it, and then, we’ll go from there,” interim head coach Jason Rollins said.

Southern’s kicking game will be in good hands. The Jags signed five-star kicker Luke Jackson, and junior kicker Martell Fontenot returned for the fall. However, the return game could be a different story. Wide receiver Jamar Washington did not play in the spring season.

The senior was the team’s main return man, and the Jags missed Washington most during the 33-30 loss to Arkansas Pine-Bluff 33-30. Field position was a major reason why Southern suffered its lone defeat in the spring, but the team has worked in the off-season to better its return game.

“That’s what we’re trying to work on, trying to find a returner because they (special teams) led the conference, one or two in pretty much every statistical category, outside of punt return,” Rollins added.

Southern was first in the SWAC in every kicking category except for punting. The Jags were second to Texas Southern, but the Tigers only played two games to the Jaguars five.

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