Calvary Grad Clemens Flyin' with the Eagles - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Calvary Grad Clemens Flyin' with the Eagles

Jake Clemens Jake Clemens

Calvary Day School grad Jake Clemens is working hard as a Walkon with the Georgia Southern Eagles.  He knows with the depth at quarterback it'll be tough to find playing time... but to be ready is the key in college.




Clemens was a star for Calvary, leading the Cavs to a 9-win season just a couple seasons ago.  He was named Region 3-A Player of the Year.



Defensive Philosophy Sharpened with Drills and Fundamentals
Curtis keeps Eagles grounded in the basics during spring

STATESBORO, Ga. – Philosophers, generals and football coaches can argue the merits of quotes and adages depending on their point of view. Whether or not the quote "the best offense is a great defense," or "the best defense is a great offense" is applied, for Georgia Southern Football, Coach Willie Fritz expects to have both a great offense and great defense.

While Coach Willie Fritz and Offensive Coordinator Doug Ruse are retooling the Eagle offense into the spread option, Defensive Coordinator Jack Curtis is tweaking the Georgia Southern defense as it prepares for a new set of opponents in the Sun Belt in 2014. The Eagles will stay with their 4-3 base, but will spend the spring getting back to fundamentals, evaluating and adding a few more wrinkles.

"It's (the 4-3) basically the same defense we have been running for the last three years, but every year you go back and re-evaluate how you played the last year and the game of football is always changing, so you re-evaluate and see what worked and didn't work," said Defensive Coordinator Jack Curtis. "You are always looking to experiment and get new ideas. The general philosophy has stayed the same and we're teaching it right from the start like everybody is a freshman. We have a lot of players back who understand the defense, so right now, that puts us ahead of the offense just because of our understanding of the terminology."

Now with responsibilities for coordinating the defense as well as coaching both the cornerbacks and safeties positions, Curtis sees the advantages of having the defensive backs together. The added bonus is the defensive expertise of Coach Fritz.

"We have help from Coach Fritz who is really a secondary guy at heart, he's back with us constantly working with us," said Defensive Coordinator Jack Curtis. "The good part about it is that we are in the same meeting room, they hear the same terminology repeated and that enables you to build some depth. That allows them to grasp all the concepts, and if you are preparing for future games, and if someone gets hurt, it's not completely new to one of the other guys, and someone is able to step in that role."

Familiarity with the Georgia Southern defense and the defensive coordinator will also pay benefits for the Eagle offense. Curtis and Ruse worked together at Arkansas State and Northwestern State and the 2014 season marks their 16th as colleagues.

"The best thing you can do to help prepare your football team is have a good working relationship between offense and defense," Curtis said. "The friendship, the camaraderie over the years has been great."

CREEK INSURANCE: A couple of Eagle players not involved in drills moved to the south side of the defensive field as "creek insurance" to keep any errant balls from venturing into "Beautiful Eagle Creek." Coach Fritz has planned practices during the spring to emphasize the passing game and get a high number of reps for the quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs.

BACK TUESDAY, OFF WEDNESDAY: Monday's practice was a make-up date after wind and rain that rolled through Statesboro cancelled Friday's session. The Eagles will be back at practice on Tuesday at 4:15 p.m. with sessions Thursday (4:15 p.m.) and Friday (4:45 p.m.) before the first scrimmage on Saturday at Paulson Stadium. The scrimmage will begin at approximately 9:30 a.m.

THE GNATS ARE BACK: As the Georgia Southern Football team wrapped up practice Monday afternoon on the banks of "Beautiful Eagle Creek," the tiny flighted creatures invaded the practice fields. Temperatures hit 75 degrees in Statesboro as the Eagles got a preview of the warmth and students flocked to Sweetheart Circle on campus.

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