Saturday, July 16, 2016

Southern confident in the face of adversity, lowered expectations

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Lenard Tillery, Southern’s standout senior running back, scoffed when he caught his first glimpse of the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s predicted order of finish early at Friday’s media day.

“Third?” Tillery said to teammate Aaron Tiller.

Then he remembered: “Last time we won the SWAC we were picked third.”

Added Tiller, “We like being in positions like this.”

Southern’s expectations for itself have not diminished even after a disappointing 6-5 season last year and academic-related NCAA sanctions that have resulted in a postseason ban and eliminated spring practice for each of the past two seasons.

The Jags enter the 2016 season with a wealth of returning talent, much of which was there to experience back-to-back appearances in the SWAC title game, and they’re not ready to let preseason predictions or adversity brought on by the sanctions dictate how they feel about the upcoming season.


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