Georgia Southern recruiting updates; Tippins indoor practice facility opens; Preseason practice notes & quotes

EAGLE EXTRAS

Updated August 11, 2023 at 10:40 a.m.

AJ Henderson/GS Athletic Communications

On Monday, Aug. 7, Georgia Southern opened the brand new Anthony P. Tippins Family Training Facility by conducting their fall camp practice inside the long awaited venue. The football team was the first to use it, but 17 different departments have plans to utilize it in the near future.

“The Athletics Department was given the Certificate of Occupancy on Friday,” read the school issued press release on Monday afternoon. “While aesthetic work on the facility will continue through the month, it is functional … to use.”

Second year GS head coach Clay Helton was, for good reason, ecstatic about the unofficial opening. It’s a project that first began to gain momentum long before Helton or Athletics Director Jared Benko arrived in Statesboro.

"What an unbelievable opportunity it was to be in the Anthony P. Tippins Family Training Facility today. This is a professional facility,” Helton said in the release. “From a logistics standpoint, this is going to help us so much. Weather can always play a factor when you're living in the Southeast so to be able to be right by the stadium and take weather out of play, that helps you. When you add in the tailgating spots, which will be a revenue generator for the department, this is a first-class facility."

RECRUITING UPDATES

As hopes are high for winning in 2023, GS has been picking up plenty of wins already. Those by way of the recruiting trial. A staff with five first-year coaches is on a commitment heater lately, picking up a trio of commits for the 2024 class on July 31 while adding a three-star defensive back out of Lee County and a Valdosta offensive lineman on August 5.

The early signing day is on Dec. 21, 2023, and the traditional National Signing Day is on Feb. 7, 2024. According to 247Sports, GS has 17 verbal commitments in the class as of Aug. 9. Eight of those are rated as 3-star recruits by 247Sports. The 17 listed commitments on the website are listed below, with the three-stars identified and the rest being unrated by 247.

CLASS OF 2024 COMMITMENTS

Name - Position - High School (State, if not Georgia)

Latori Williams - LB - Central (Alabama)*

Carmelo Hayes - LB - Southwest*

CJ Allen - LB - Sandalwood (Florida)*

Devin Collier - DB - Lee County* (Collier had offers from Auburn, Arkansas and Ole Miss)

Taeo Todd - RB/ATH - Troup County

Jaquari Brown - CB - Houston County

Korey Jordan - DL- Douglas County

Ziggy Holloway - CB - Tallassee (Alabama)*

Jalen Burgess - OL - Valdosta

Kingtriton Samuela - OL - Pebblebrook

Colin Alexander - OL - Dutchtown

Keon Davis - WR - Newton*

Jordan Anderson - WR - First Coast (Florida)*

Mikhai Isaac - TE - Warner Robins

Eli Anders - DE - William Amos Hough (North Carolina)

Phillip Gladney - CB - North Cobb*

Tyler Budge - QB - Weddington

*3-star recruit by 247Sports.com

EAGLE EXTRAS

Other notes and quotes on the Eagles ahead of their season opener with The Citadel on September 2 (6pm, ESPN+) at Paulson Stadium …When the preseason Coach’s Poll was released on Monday, Aug. 7, Southern found out it would be playing the No. 21 team on Sept. 16 when it travels to Madison, Wisconsin to take on the Badgers out of the Big Ten. The Associated Press Preseason Top 25 comes out on Monday, Aug. 14. The Eagles beat Big Ten opponent Nebraska last year in Lincoln, the program’s first win over a Power 5 school since shocking Florida in the swamp in 2013 … Several players on the preseason roster for GS have Savannah ties. They are: Alijah Lacey (DL – Fr. – New Hampstead), Brian Miller (OL - 7th - Memorial Day), Mark Langston (R-Sr. - LS - Savannah Christian), Trevon Locke (DL - RJr. - Benedictine), Keion Wallace (WR - Fr. - Effingham), Tyler Padgett (DL - Fr. - Calvary Day) and Matthew Daniel (P - RSr. - Richmond Hill) … If you’re a GS fan, you’ll need to subscribe to ESPN+ to watch almost every game on the schedule, including Week 1 versus The Citadel … At Sun Belt Media Days in late July, Helton answered the question that many have had this offseason: What makes this year’s defense different from the 2021 (31.4 points per game allowed) and 2022 (31.6) teams? When listening back to his roughly 20 minute presser at the podium, it’s easy to hear the theme of “depth” being hammered home by Helton. But he also gave insight into what he wants from all that defensive depth he and new Defensive Coordinator Brandon Bailey have this season. 

“The biggest area of growth for us is the ability to now get the ball back defensively on a grander scale and that's why we brought Coach Bailey in,” said Helton. “I've always been fascinated by that system and they do the things that match up with our offense. It creates turnovers and it gets us the ball back. When that happens, with the nature of this offense, you look up and you're up two or three scores and it's hard to come back. That's our biggest area of growth (from 2022 to 2023).”

Remaining Georgia Southern Preseason Practices

Thurs., Aug. 10: 10am (Paulson)

Fri., Aug. 11: OFF

Sat., Aug. 12: 5:30pm (Scrimmage #1; Paulson)*

Sun., Aug. 13: OFF

Mon., Aug. 14: OFF (First day of class)

Tues., Aug. 15: 9:50pm (Paulson)

Wed., Aug. 16: 4:20pm (Eagle Creek)

Thurs., Aug. 17: 9:50pm (Paulson)

Fri., Aug. 18: 4:20pm (Paulson)

Sat., Aug. 19: 10am (Scrimmage #2; Paulson)

*The Fan Fest and “Lil' Eagles Clinic” will take place on Aug. 12 after the scrimmage.

Published August 11, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

Travis Jaudon

Travis Jaudon is a reporter for Connect Savannah. He is a Savannah native and has been writing in Savannah since 2016. Reach him with feedback or story tips at 912-721-4358
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