|Pressure? Golden Bulls football feel the urgency to win immediately|
|More maturity, depth in Kermit Blount's 4th season|
|Published Thursday, July 19, 2018 1:08 pm|
|PHOTO | CURTIS WILSON|
|Johnson C. Smith football coach is encouraged a more mature core and better depth will result in more wins in 2018.|
There’s no pressure for Johnson C. Smith football to win.
Urgency? That’s another matter.
Coach Kermit Blount feels the Golden Bulls are ready to reap rewards three years into his rebuilding program and become a contender in the CIAA South. It would be good timing – JCSU is 9-21 under Blount, including 2-8 last year.
“It’s urgency among coaches,” he said. “We know, we think, we feel, where we should be. There’s no pressure. We feel urgency for our own personal gain. When you’re in this business, you compete to win, you don’t compete to finish third or fourth. Every time out, you want to compete to win – that’s just the makeup of your staff and the guys that surround you. We put more pressure on ourselves than anybody else can put on us.”
Blount is banking on a maturing core to leverage their leadership and experience with younger players. The bottom line is he expects everyone to deliver better results.
“A lot of what’s been here has been here for three years now,” he said. “We’ve had some turnover within the three years, but the heart of the football team is now becoming juniors and seniors, so we should be in position that we can establish what we want to establish offensively and defensively and start to have success. This is one of those years where we think we can have success and we feel real good about what we have and what we’ve done.”
JCSU’s recruiting class reflects Blount’s emphasis of mining the Charlotte area for talent, adding players like West Charlotte High guard Javon Hines and North Mecklenburg teammates Emanuel Wilson, a running back, and defensive lineman Jamonte Gray.
“We’re projecting most of those kids to help us now, but then again, you never know until you get to camp,” Blount said. “You might have one or two you thought were ready to help you but don’t help you but then a couple you don’t project might step up to help. You just never know, but we’re projecting those kids to help us.”
Line depth, long an issue at JCSU, is better going into fall drills. The Golden Bulls have a better mix of numbers and experience, Blount said, a necessity for a program that struggled to keep pace in the trenches.
“We needed bigs on both sides of the ball,” Blount said, “and we’re starting now to really feel that we’re starting to put those kids in place to help solidify the depth that we were missing up front on both sides.”
The most competitive position may be quarterback, where Blount indicated there’s no clear-cut favorite. The incumbent is senior Terrance Ervin, but fellow senior Harold Herbin, sophomore Antonio Wallace (South Mecklenburg) and freshman Tyshun Surratt, a two-star recruit from Gaffney, South Carolina, are in the mix.
“That’s going to be a camp decision,” Blount said. “One thing about that position is you always want to create competition and with five or six guys on the roster at that position …the guy who prevails coming out of camp is going to be that guy. We really don’t care if it’s a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior. We want the best competitor on the field and the one who connects to the offense best.”
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