Shawn Quinn Mail Bag March 28: Your Access To Savannah State Football
Welcome to the Coach Shawn Quinn Mail Bag! Your direct line to Savannah State football! Each week we’ll ask Coach Quinn your submitted questions!
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WB – Will switching to a Georgia Southern style offense hurt recruiting?
CSQ – It’s actually been a huge benefit to us because it opened a lot more opportunities. There were a lot more players we could be in on because we could recruit a larger base of players. We don’t have to be so stuck on size. We were able to put a premium on athleticism, so it was a huge advantage for us. One of the things from being in the option before is: you trade a little bit of size for athleticism, and you end up with a much faster, more athletic football team. There’s just more of those guys available. Your offensive lineman don’t have to be 6’5, the biggest thing is a premium on foot speed and athleticism. In the area that we’re at, Florida, Georgia, and lower South Carolina, there’s a plethora of those guys that fit in our system. And there a ton of schools in the area that run our system, which is a huge advantage for us.
WB – Also will the Defense suffer practicing against a Ga Southern style offense when most teams run a spread offense?
CSQ – Here’s my experience with it: Playing against it, it’s a physical brand of football. The one area I felt we were deficient in last year was defending the run, especially in the first half of the season. I think seeing a consistent run game everyday at practice, you learn how to do a great job of playing blacks and tackling, and that’s the basics, the most important things. In the “Xs and Os” world of being gurus, you forget it still comes down to blocking and tackling. Win with the basic fundamentals. Seeing that everyday, we’ll be very basic on defense, learn to be really good at fitting the run. What it does prepare you for is being dominant playing the run because you see it everyday at practice. If we can take the run game away from folks, it allows us to lineup and tee off on folks and play the pass game. You’d rather make teams one dimensional, and one of the things, when you’re really good, if you can defend the run you can make teams play “left handed” the entire time.
Roy Jackson – Have you started hiring out your coaching staff?
CSQ – We’re in the process of doing that right now. We’ve had a ton of candidates for the jobs, which has been exciting. We’re hiring the coaches here in waves, and you’ll be seeing that in the coming weeks. Obviously, there’s a ton of interest. The guys who are on the docket, we’re in the process of getting them in right now.
W Moore – You have made a commitment to recruiting local talent from the coastal empire and low country which is good. However, one thing the program has been lacking in recent years is having former players serve as assistant coaches on the staff. Are you committed to bringing back former players to be assistants to the staff?
CSQ – I would love to have as many Tigers on our staff as we can. That’s part of uniting our fanbase and tying us in to the community. Part of tying us into the campus is finding former Tigers that want to come back here and be apart of what we’re doing. That’s part of the plan moving forward. I can’t exactly say how many, but I’d love to have as many as we can hire. We have a ton of guys who have expressed some interest, and that’s definitely something that’s important to me, that we get our former players involved in a lot of different roles. Not just coaching, but supporting the program as well. We’ve had a number of former players come back and speak to the team. We’re just the caretakers of this thing, we want to get the former players and alumni back involved.
Stacy – How will the team decide the captains?
SQ – We’ll vote on them. Part of that is the spring, going through the summer working together. We put this thing in 5 phases, and we just finished phase 1. We have a leadership council right now, which is a group of ten guys that have been at the forefront. Our team will elect some captains in training camp, and that will come from the guys that have shown that they’re leaders, not only through the way they work, but on and off the field. And then we’ll select a group of guys after training camp that will be our captains for the season. I had an opportunity to be a captain, and that was pretty awesome. Anytime you can do that, it’s a great honor to lead your team on the field. That’s a responsibility these guys take very seriously. It’s one of the best honors you can have as a player.
Larry – Will y’all be hosting any camps for high schoolers?
CSQ – Yes, we have two huge camps coming up in June and July. We had a great turnout this past year. We’re going to double the number of days, instead of two, we’re going to do four days. Two in June, two in July. Those dates are tentatively set, we’ll be rolling those out soon. We offered and signed a couple of guys out of those camps the past couple of years. We’re going to try and sign as many of those guys, that we think can play, out of those camps as possible. That’s a great way for us to get exposed to guys that we may not otherwise know about.