Roster moves put former Jeff Davis star in two-deep

Michael Showers was back at practice this week and for that we are thankful.

Showers was carted off the field Saturday on a stretcher after going head first into a pile trying to tackle an Alcorn State player. Head coach Reggie Barlow diagnosed the injury as a “neck stinger,” which wasn’t serious enough to hold Showers overnight in the hospital for observation but is serious enough — as any injury of that type is — to hold him out of practice this week as well as Saturday’s game at Texas Southern as a precautionary measure.

That decision produced an interesting domino effect on the depth chart.

The “old” depth chart listed Bradley Street and Dionte Ponder as the backups to Showers and fellow starter Nick Martin. It turns out that Street is no longer at that position, having recently been moved to safety.

So with Ponder moving up to a starting role this week, who is his backup on the two-deep roster?

Meryles Gilbert? Ja’Quez Bowser? Ed Murray? Kenyan Davis? It turns out to be Therron Presley, a true freshman who this time last year was playing for a winless Jeff Davis team.

T.J. Presley isn’t the first name that would come to mind. He doesn’t have the pedigree of playing for a championship program, the height (5-foot-11) or the weight (170 pounds) you would look for in that situation. Having struck out in all three categories, at least on paper, he looks to be an obvious candidate for a redshirt season in order to build experience and physical strength. And that may turn out to be the case by the time the season is over.

But, at least at this point in the season, it’s a very impressive move by the Capital City native to get his name on the two-deep roster. It’s a sure sign that Presley is doing all the right things on and off the practice field to put himself in position for early playing time.

And as Ponder found out this week, he’s only one injury away from hearing his name called when the starting unit takes the field.


About tgayle

Tim Gayle is a sports reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper and
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