The days of “Godfather” Marino Casem roaming the sidelines, packed stands chanting Cherokee watching an agile Steve McNair and the famed Spinks Jinx are fond memories in the back of the minds of Alcornites.
But with National Signing Day quickly approaching, Alcorn State head football coach Jay Hopson and Co. can began to relive those days with a solid recruiting class of their own.
Hopson’s 4-7 first season record, which includes loses to both-in-state rivals Mississippi Valley State and Jackson State, has left a sour taste in the mouths of many Alcornites.
Hopefully, the Alcorn staff can provide a sweeter outcome by recruiting a few blue chippers to anchor the Braves return to dominance.
With a patch job of an offensive line in the 2012 season, the Alcorn faithful are looking for some beef to be added upfront to protect whomever will be under center for this upcoming season.
Speaking of under center, the program has struggled to find a consistent answer at the quarterback position since the controversial departure of star quarter back ‘Air Canada’ Brandon Bridge to the University of South Alabama.
After quarterback Darius Smith’s poor showing, true freshman John Gibbs, Jr. was giving the keys to a dismal offense last season. But adding a signal caller to the recruiting wish list wouldn’t be a mistake, while also adding pure speed in keys areas to upstart the team’s zone read attack.
Adding a few skill players on defense to complete defensive coordinator Tony Pecoraro’s scheme will further help the process.
Being the motivator he is, Hopson is well up to the task and has the ability to set a strong foundation. It leads one to ask the question: Will time run out or will he return the Braves back into a powerhouse?
Hopson has said the Braves will win when they deserve to win, but after multiple coaching changes and the loss of a star quarterback – deserving or not – patience is not in the vocabulary of most around the Reservation.
This upcoming recruiting class holds a lot of weight for Hopson, because as we all know Alcorn (with a depleting fan base) doesn’t mind making a change of the guard with a quickness.