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Oops… TSU now eligible for postseason after recalculation of APR

Oops… TSU now eligible for postseason after recalculation of APR

Posted on 04 June 2015 by Allen


TSU made a big announcement last week about their APR being too low and were going to be banned from the postseason in football. Now it seems that they made a mistake and will be eligible afterall.

Here’s the release from TSU.

The Tennessee State Athletic Department received news, Thursday, that due to a recalculation of the football program’s multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR), the team is not subject to a postseason ban or Level I penalty for the upcoming season.

“Although many perceive the APR as purely academic, it is actually more complex than that with retention being an equal part of the calculation,” Director of Athletics Teresa Phillips said. “The athletics department, university and football staff will continue to work together in meeting and exceeding the standards established by the NCAA.”

On May 27, the NCAA published its annual report in which the Tennessee State football program’s rate was deemed to be below the benchmark set by the NCAA.

With Thursday’s news, the Tennessee State athletic program continues its stretch of exceeding the NCAA’s APR threshold for all sports and has never been issued a postseason ban or penalty of any level.

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TSU Football works to improve academic standing following NCAA Notice of Postseason Ban

TSU Football works to improve academic standing following NCAA Notice of Postseason Ban

Posted on 27 May 2015 by Allen


Tennessee State University has implemented new programs to improve academic performance of its football-student athletes. This comes following notification from the NCAA’s Committee on Academic Performance that the program will be banned from postseason competition for the 2015 season. The notice states that the TSU football program failed to meet the academic standards required by the NCAA Academic Progress Rate. This year marks the first time that a TSU athletic program has ever been issued a post-season ban or Level I penalty since the NCAA started collecting APR data 11 years ago.

“While 14 of our athletic programs have scored at or above the NCAA’s APR benchmark, unfortunately, the football team fell short,” said Teresa Phillips, director of Athletics. “We take the academic progress of our student athletes very seriously and have implemented new processes and procedures for our coaches and students to address this issue and improve the overall administration of the football program. I am confident that these new measures will rectify the problem going forward.”

The sanctions against TSU are a result of the multiyear APR calculations—a four-year measurement covering the academic years 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14. The football team’s multiyear APR score was 915, falling short of the 920 benchmark set forth by the NCAA for limited resource institutions.

As a result, the football program will be subject to a Level I penalty. This penalty reduces the number of hours allowed for regular season athletic related activities – an amount that must be replaced with activities related to academics. Last fall, the TSU athletics department made serious and substantive modifications to the football program to address the APR score decline. Some of the measures include:

• Developing and submitting an improvement plan outlining future expectations;
• Increasing academic support for student-athletes, including the proposed addition of an advisor specifically assigned to football;
• Improving accommodations, support and access to student-athlete tutoring services;
• Relocating to an upgraded facility that includes a larger computer lab, tutoring room and quiet study area;
• Developing a new policy that requires increased study-hall hours for students with GPAs that are below standards;
• Implementing a zero-tolerance policy for class and study hall absences; and
• Requiring head football coach and key assistants to attend the yearly NCAA Rules Seminar

TSU President Glenda Glover issued the following statement regarding the NCAA’s announcement citing the university.
“Educating and graduating our student athletes is a top priority for all our programs, including football,” said Tennessee State University President Glenda Glover. “It is clear we should have done a better job monitoring the academic progress of our football student-athletes. However, recent changes within our (football) program have already had a significant impact in achieving the success we expect in the classroom. We will strive to maintain that standard as we move forward. Winning on the field is important, but the most important thing to all of us is for our student-athletes to obtain their degrees.”

All intercollegiate sports programs at NCAA member institutions receive an APR score during the academic year. Scores are compiled based on points given for eligibility and retention for student-athletes that receive athletic scholarships and financial aid each semester. Teams lose points when a scholarship player is not academically eligible to play at the end of a semester or transfers without a minimum 2.6 GPA.

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Davidson Joins TSU Football Staff as Ends Coach

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Davidson Joins TSU Football Staff as Ends Coach

Posted on 15 April 2015 by Allen


Tennessee State head football coach Rod Reed officially announced the hiring of Nick Davidson, Wednesday, to coach the defensive ends and take over as the team’s recruiting coordinator.

Prior to his arrival on campus in a full-time role, Davidson spent 2013 as a graduate assistant on the Tiger staff.

“We were really impressed with the job Nick did in 2013,” Reed said. “So we are excited to bring him back in a larger role. He is a young coach that brings enthusiasm and the ability to recruit south Ga. to the table.”

While at TSU, Davidson helped guide Big Blue to a 10-4 record and a top-10 nationally ranked defense.

Davidson coached five All-OVC players on the defensive front, including end Anthony Bass who was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year after recording 14.5 sacks. In addition, the Tennessee State defense ranked as one of the best in the country, only allowing 296 total yards per game. The unit also forced 32 turnovers and gave up just 18.1 points per contest.

Prior to arriving at TSU, Davidson worked as the defensive tackle coach at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga in 2012 after an accomplished playing career.

Davidson played his first two years at the University of Alabama-Birmingham where he notched 33 tackles and saw action in all 24 games for the Blazers. He then transferred to UTC and was named Preseason 2nd Team All-SoCon as a senior.

Davidson currently resides in Nashville, Tenn. with his dog “Bear”.

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Blue Tops White in Spring Game, 48-28

Blue Tops White in Spring Game, 48-28

Posted on 11 April 2015 by Allen


The Blue Team defeated the White Team, 48-28, in Tennessee State’s annual Spring Game, Saturday. Over 2,500 Big Blue supporters were on hand to see the offense best the defense thanks in large part to quarterback Oshay Ackermann-Carter.

Despite throwing an interception on his first attempt of the day to Ty Law, Ackermann-Carter finished the game with 123 yards on 7-for-10 passing and a touchdown.

Senior tight end Joe Bowens was the beneficiary of Ackermann-Carter’s scoring toss, catching the bullet pass from 15 yards out. The touchdown was one of two receptions on the afternoon for Bowens who tallied 33 yards.

Fellow quarterback Ronald Butler was just 3-of-9 for 21 yards and he too was picked off by Law. Butler did make a couple of key plays with his legs however, including a 41-yard run that set up his touchdown from nine-yards out.

Butler’s performance on the ground was one of the many bright spots for the TSU’s run-game on the day, as Telvin Hooks had 69 yards and a score on seven carries while Marcus Deanes rushed 11 times for 43 yards.

Defensively, Vantavious Williams and Roc-M Nesbitt each had a tackle-for-loss and stopped many other run plays for minimal yardage.

Latrelle Lee was also tough to block from his defensive end position and registered a pair of sacks.

The Tigers will next suit up this fall in preparation of their first game on Sept. 6 against Alabama State in the John Merritt Classic.

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Tennessee State’s Robert Myers Invited to NFL Combine

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Tennessee State’s Robert Myers Invited to NFL Combine

Posted on 09 February 2015 by Allen


Tennessee State offensive lineman Robert Myers was invited to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine, which will take place in Indianapolis. Myers will compete on the first of the four-day event on Friday, Feb. 20.

The LaVergne, Tenn. native played in the 2015 Reese’s Senior Bowl last month following a standout campaign at TSU.

Myers was the only offensive player to start all 12 contests and anchored a unit that did not allow a sack during the last four ballgames. The guard also helped protect a quarterback duo that threw for 3,268 yards and 23 touchdowns.

He led the OL-unit to a No. 18 ranking in FCS, giving up only 1.17 sacks per game, earning him a spot on the All-OVC Second Team for the second straight year.

Myers is the third former Tiger to be invited to the combine as Kadeem Edwards and AC Leonard represented TSU in 2014.

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TSU signs 23 on National Signing Day

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TSU signs 23 on National Signing Day

Posted on 04 February 2015 by Allen


Tennessee State head coach Rod Reed announced the addition of 23 new Tigers on National Signing Day, Wednesday.
The class includes 18 incoming freshmen and nine players who call the Volunteer State home.
The 2015 group is tied for the largest in Reed’s tenure and features 12 offensive player, nine defenders and one specialist. The full list can be seen, below:

Jonte Broski – TE, 6’3”, 235lbs., Northmont HS, Clayton, Ohio

Played tight end and linebacker for Northmont HS in Ohio… Played in 10 games as a senior… Caught 30 passes for 308 yards… Averaged 10.3 yards per reception… Scored three touchdowns… Made 13 tackles as a senior… Caught a season-high six passes for 73 yards in a win at Fairfield… Selected to 2015 Ohio All-Star Game… Ranked number 8 in the JJ Huttle top one hundred football prospects… Saw action in nine contests as a junior… Made 14 receptions for 116 yards… Scored three touchdowns… Led team to an 8-4 record in 2013… Was a senior captain playing under Lance Schneider… Played in the Greater Western Ohio Conference… Had offers from Akron and Youngstown State… Is the son of Veronica Broski… Born July 17,1997…

Greg Harvey, Jr. – CB, 5’9”, 172lbs., Cordova HS, Cordova, Tenn.

Played cornerback at Cordova HS in Tennessee… Notched 52 stops as a senior (33 solo)… Had 2.0 tackles for loss… Intercepted three passes, returning them for 80 yards… Broke up seven passes… Returned six kickoffs for 130 yards… Had a long of 45 yards… Fielded six punts for 95 yards… Ran the 40-yard dash in 4.40 seconds… Did the shuttle run in 4.26 seconds… Has a vertical leap of 32”… Received an offer from Jacksonville State… Played for Anthony Jones, Jr…. Son of Carolyn and Greg Harvey, Sr…

Shakur Jackson – CB, 5’9”, 165lbs., Roswell HS, Roswell, Ga.

Played wide receiver and cornerback at Roswell HS in Georgia… Led team to an 8-4 record overall and a 6-2 mark in region as a senior… Played in five games according to Maxpreps and caught15 passes for 109 yards… Scored a touchdown… Named First Team All North Fulton County 6A as a senior… Played in the 2014 Senior Chamber Bowl… Earned his team a playoff berth for the first time since 2010… Had offers from Air Force, Army, Austin Peay and Campbell… Son of Tabitha Hanes…

Andrew Knox – RB, 5’10”, 242lbs., Siegel HS, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Played fullback and middle linebacker at Siegel HS in Murfreesboro, Tennessee… Scored 12 touchdowns and 74 total points as a senior… Ran the 40-yard dash in 4.57 seconds… Can bench press 325lbs…. Can squat 485lbs…. Has a twin brother, Andre who also played for Siegel HS… Played for the East Team in the eighth annual Toyota East vs. West Tennessee All-Star Classic… Ran for 106 yards against Blackman as a junior… Coached by Greg Wyant… Son of Andrea and Earl Knox…

Quintis Maddox – DE, 6’3”, 265lbs., Salem HS, Conyers, Ga.

Played reps at defensive end and middle linebacker for Salem HS in Conyers, Georgia… Led team to a 6-5 overall record and a 6-3 mark in the region as a senior… Had offers from Middle Tennessee State, Austin Peay, Western Kentucky and South Carolina State… Was also a member of the track and field team… Played for John Starr… Son of LaDonna Maddox…

Trevion Duncan – S, 5’10”, 180lbs., Lamar HS, Houston, Texas

Played in the defensive secondary at Lamar HS in Houston, Texas… Recorded four interceptions as a senior… Returned three picks for touchdowns… Recovered a fumble… Ran back the recovery 25 yards for a score… Averaged 31 yards per interception return… Notched 40 stops as a junior… Broke up four passes in 2013… Picked off three passes as a junior… Scored one touchdown in 2013… Led team to a 10-3 overall record and a 7-0 mark district play… Made it to the second round of the 6A State Playoffs in 2014… Ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds… Can bench press 300lbs… Had offers from Lamar, Incarnate Word and Texas State… Coached by Tom Nolan…

Mahlon Medley – TE, 6’3”, 220lbs., Mallard Creek HS, Charlotte, NC

Lined up at tight end for Mallard Creek HS in Charlotte, North Carolina… Led team to a 15-1 record overall and a 7-0 mark in conference… Won the 4AA State Championship as the four seed… Defeated No. 1 seed Wake Forest, 25-14 in the championship game… Caught 49 passes for 538 yards and two touchdowns as a junior… Ran the 40-yard dash in 4.71 seconds… Named 2015 TE MVP by… Rated a three-star prospect by… Had offers from Ball State, Hampton and Gardner-Webb… Was also a member of the track and field team… Coached by Michael Palmieri… Son of Devon Medley…

Gabe Scott – CB/WR, 5’11”, 165lbs., Trezevant HS, Memphis, Tenn.

Played in the secondary and at wideout for Trezevant HS in Memphis… Accumulated over 800 yards receiving during last two seasons… Caught 22 touchdowns and scored 27 total… Had 2,000 all-purpose yards… Picked off 12 passes… Broke up 25 passes… Forced four fumbles and recovered five… Returned one fumble for a touchdown… Notched 70 tackles… Had one sack… Ran back two kickoffs for touchdowns… Returned three punts for scores… Named team MVP as a junior and senior… Selected All-State as a receiver as a junior… Named All-State as a cornerback in 2014… Selected to the All-Metro and Rated a two-star prospect by… Ran the 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds… Has a 33.1 inch vertical leap… Had offers from Central Arkansas, McNeese State, Howard and Texas Southern… Coached by Teli White… Son of Claudine and Robert Scott… Born June 8. 1997… Plans to major in Biology…

Lachavious Simmons – DE/T, 6’4”, 270lbs., Selma HS, Selma, Ala.

Played on both sides of the line at Selma HS in Alabama… Also had offers from Jacksonville State, Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Samford and Savannah State… Led team to a 6-4 record as a senior… Coached by John Terrel… Son of Quincella Simmons… Born Sept. 26, 1996…

Akeem Granger – RB, 6’0”, 210lbs., Flanagan HS, Pembroke Pines, Fla.

Played running back at Flanagan HS in Pembroke Pines in Florida… Rushed for three touchdowns in a game against West Broward… Had 80 yards on only 6 carries versus Fort Lauderdale… Recorded 392 yards on only 61 carries and five touchdowns in 2013… Ran the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds… Can squat 500lbs… Has a 30” vertical… Led team to a 12-1 record overall and a 7-0 district record as a senior… Lost to eventual State Champ Columbus in the semi-final at the 8A State Playoffs…Named to the 2015 Dolphins All-Star Game for Team Broward… Coached by Devin Bush…

Tyler Black – CB, 5’9”, 170lbs., Oakland HS, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Played running back, quarterback, wide receiver, safety and cornerback for nearby Oakland HS… Carried the ball 109 times for 736 yards as a senior… Averaged 6.8 yards per rush… Had three games with over 100 yards rushing… Notched 50 (30 solo) tackles in 2014… Had 3.0 tackles for loss… Intercepted six passes in his career, including three as a senior… Broke up a total of nine passes… Recovered a fumble and blocked a field goal in 2014… Caused a fumble as a junior… Scored three touchdowns as a sophomore… Led team to a 14-2 record and a berth into the Final Four of the 6A State Playoffs… Lost to state champions Maryville in the semi-finals… Coached by Thomas McDaniel… Teammate of Jack Jones (Tennessee), Kyle Oliver (Tennessee) and Josh Smith (Vanderbilt)…Rated a three-star prospect by 24/7 Sports and Rivals… Had offers from Eastern Michigan and Austin Peay… Member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Men of Distinction and Young Life… Had a 3.5 GPA and was on the Honor Roll… Son of Bridgette Black-Kertchaval and Kenneth Adams… Born Nov. 15, 1996… Plans to major in Business with a minor in Accounting…

Blair Edwards – LB, 6’1”, 192lbs., Gadsden City HS, Gadsden, Ala.

Played middle and outside linebacker as well as safety at Gadsden City HS in Alabama… Notched 133 stops… Recovered a pair of fumbles… Scored a touchdown of defense… Had eight tackles for loss… Was honored by the Alabama High School Association for his 16 tackle and two sack performance in the Titans’ 34-28 double overtime win over Auburn… Named Second Team All-State by the Alabama Sports Writers Association as a senior… Led team to a 10-3 overall record and 6-1 region record as a senior… Named Fox 6 2014 7A Defensive Player of the Year… Selected to the Pigskin Roundup All-star Team… Had offers from Jacksonville State and Alabama State… Coached by Matt Scott… Son of Freda and Rodney Edwards… Born Jan. 30, 1997…

Jacob Gray – T, 6’2”, 262lbs., Bolivar Central HS, Bolivar, Tenn.

Played tackle at Bolivar Central HS in Tennessee… Chosen as one of Brandon’s Beasts of the Week for Week 7 by The Jackson Sun… Won the 2014 Steve Young Award… Named 14-AA Offensive Lineman of the Year by Shelby Metro Sports… Had offers from Kennesaw State and Alcorn State… Played for Woodrow Lowe, Jr…. Nicknamed “Cowboy”… Son of Sharon Anderson…

Camren Jones – T, 6’4”, 295lbs., Ridgeway HS, Memphis, Tenn.

Played on the offensive line, specifically at tackle for Ridgeway HS in Memphis… Led team to a 12-2 overall record and a 6-0 mark in the district as a senior… Helped his team reach the semi-finals of the Division I Class 5A State Championship… Fell to eventual State Champ Hillsborough in the Final Four… Named First-Team 15-AAA All-District… Can bench press 395lbs…. Can squat 500 lbs…. Had offers from Southeast Missouri, Eastern Kentucky and Alcorn State… Played for Duron Sutton… Son of Vaniessa and Charlie Jones…

Deon Ragston – OL, 6’3”, 290lbs., Caney Creek HS, Conroe, Texas
Played mainly at guard for Caney Creek HS in Conroe, Texas… Named Offensive Lineman of the Week 5 times as a varsity OG starter in his sophomore year… Was a 7 time O-lineman of the Week in his junior season… Made the All-District team as a senior… Recorded 54 pancakes and 68 chop blocks as a junior… Credited with 29 pancakes and 45 chops… Carried a solid 3.5 GPA… Ranked 83rd out of 400 students in his class… Was on the A/B honor roll… Can bench press 300 lbs… Can squat 430 lbs… Had offers from Lamar, Grambling, Texas Southern and Sam Houston State… Played for Coach Vee… Son of Linda a Darrell Ragston Sr….

Robert Crawford – DL, 6’2”, 245lbs., Father Ryan HS, Nashville, Tenn.

Played outside linebacker and defensive end for Father Ryan HS in Nashville… Amassed 84 stops (52 solo) during his junior campaign… Had 6.0 tackles for loss… Sacked the quarterback 5.5 times in 2013… Recovered a fumble and forced four as a junior… Named Second Team All-Midstate by the Tennessean… Selected to the Division-AA All-Rutherford County Team… Ran the 40-yard dash in 4.88 seconds… Bench presses 365lbs… Can squat 460lbs… Had an offer from Tennessee Tech… Played for coach Bruce Lussier…

Roshea Grays – RB, 5’10”, 183lbs., Lavergne HS, Lavergne, Tenn.

Played running back at nearby Lavergne HS in Tennessee… Carried the ball 191 times as senior… Rushed for 1,491 yards… Averaged 7.8 yards per carry… Gained an average of 165.7 yards per game… Scored 17 touchdowns… Did not fumble once… Had offers from UT Martin, Tennessee Tech and Austin Peay… Ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds… Rated a two-star prospect by… Coached by Stanton Stevens… Also ran track…

AJ Flowers – S, 6’1”, 200lbs., College of the Siskiyous, Miami, Fla.

Played in the secondary at College of Siskiyous in California… Ran the 40-yard dash in 4.53 seconds… Can squat 400lbs… Picked off three passes as a JUCO… Forced and recovered one fumble… Notched 38 stops… Had three tackles for loss… Broke up three passes… Attended La Salle HS in Florida… Named Second Team All-Dade County… Participated in an All-Star Game showcasing Public and Private School Athletes… Played under Coach Roche… Son of Andrea Riley and Amp Flowers…Born Feb. 21, 1993…Plans on majoring in communications…

Geordie Bunn – P, 6’6”, 207lbs., Butte College, Queensland, Australia

Suited up as punter for Butte College in California… Friends with former TSU Australian punter Leon Holderhead… Was named all-conference in 2014… Led team to Junior College State and Co – National Champions in 2013… Selected MVP vs American River… Chosen as Butte College’s Special Teams Player of the Year in 2014… Played under Coach Jordan… Enters TSU as a sophomore… Son of Paul and Donna Bunn… Born July 11, 1992… Intends on majoring in Business… Relatives include Sam Thaiday – Australian Rugby League Player (Brother), Damariay Drew – Cal Berkeley Safety (Brother In-Law)…

Mid-Year Enrollees

Michael Hughes – QB, 6’2”, 215lbs., Hillsboro HS, Nashville, Tenn.

Played under center at Hillsboro HS in Nashville… Threw for over 1,300 yards and 14 scores in 2014… Led team to a 14-1 overall record, 7-0 in the district as a senior… Made it to the State Championship Game of Class 5A… Completed 104 passes for 1,694 yards as a junior… Threw 16 touchdowns in 2013… Completed 51 percent of his passes as a junior… Ran for a pair of touchdowns as a junior and two as a sophomore… Completed 63 percent of his passes… Named All-District and All-City in 2014… Selected All-State as well in 2015… Coached by Louis C. Clayton… Born May 8, 1996

Rodney Morris – TE, 6’3”, 220lbs., UAB, Alpharetta, Ga.

Spent last season redshirting at the University of Alabama-Birmingham… Played senior season at Alpharetta High School after attending 9th-11th years at Wesleyan High … Saw action at wide receiver, tight end, linebacker and defensive back … Caught 30 passes for 500-plus yards as a senior … Rated a two-star prospect by… Had offers from Alabama State, Appalachian State, Buffalo and Charlotte… Also played basketball at Alpharetta… Enrolled at TSU in Spring Semester of 2015…

David Kamara – CB, 5’10”, 199lbs., Ole Miss, Loganville, Ga.

Spent the last two seasons at Ole Miss… Played in 10 games in 2014… 2013: Played in four games on special teams … Posted a solo tackle in college debut… HIGH SCHOOL: Selected as a Semper Fidelis All-American … Rated the No. 70 cornerback in the nation by and No. 85 by … A 3-star recruit according to, and … Named to the Gwinnett Daily Post All-County third team as a senior after helping Grayson win the Region 8-6A championship … Helped Grayson win the Class 5A state title and compile a 15-0 record en route to a No. 4 ranking by USA Today his junior season when he posted 59 tackles and four interceptions … Coached in high school by Mickey Conn…PERSONAL: Son of Sorie and Alice Kamara … Born: Oct. 3, 1994 …

Duaron Williams – T, 6’3”, 289lbs., Iowa State, Orlando, Fla.

Spent the last three seasons at Iowa State, including redshirting in 2012… Was a three-star recruit according to … Ranked No. 29 among projected offensive guards in the class of 2012 by … No. 10 among prospects ranked in the Orlando Sentinel Central Florida Class of 2012 “Super 60”… 2010 second-team All-Orange County selection by Orlando Sentinel … Helped the Tigers earn a 10-2 record in his junior season … Played at left tackle for Jones in the 2010 season … Named top offensive lineman at the National Underclassmen Combine … coached in high school by Kenard Lang, who played 10 seasons in the NFL for Cleveland, Denver and Washington… Born Sept. 17, 1993 … Son of Angela Williams …

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Reed signs extension

Reed signs extension

Posted on 19 December 2014 by Allen


Tennessee State head coach Rod Reed agreed in principle to a contract extension, Friday, keeping the alum on the TSU sideline for the foreseeable future.

“I am very thankful that our Director of Athletics Teresa Phillips and administration have shown a commitment to this program and myself,” Reed said. “Leaving TSU would have been tough to do because I feel like there is more left to be accomplished.”

Official terms of the new deal are still undisclosed, but details of the contract’s length and salary are to ironed out a later date .

Reed led the Tigers to a 6-6 mark in 2014, capping off a run of three straight non-losing seasons – a feat that has not been done at Tennessee State since 1984-86.

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Saunders, Thrasher Named AFCA All-Americans

Saunders, Thrasher Named AFCA All-Americans

Posted on 15 December 2014 by Allen


Tennessee State defenders De’Ante Saunders and Nick Thrasher were named to the 2014 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) FCS Coaches’ All-America Team, Monday.

The AFCA has selected an All-America team every year since 1945. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best — the coaches themselves.

Playing in just his second season at TSU, Saunders contributed to the OVC’s top total defense (303.2 yards per game) and pass defense (153.3 yards per game).

Saunders was also named First Team All-Ohio Valley Conference while after leading the league with five interceptions on the season while also tallying 51 tackles and six pass breakups.

The DeLand, Fla. product’s five picks were the seventh-most by a Tiger in TSU’s 102-year history.

Thrasher tallied 128 stops on the season, which was sixth-most in a single-season in school history and the highest total for a Tiger since 1991.

The Morrow, Ga. native was second in the Ohio Valley Conference in tackles to go along with his 11.5 tackles-for-loss and 3.5 sacks.

The senior also moved up to second-place in tackles in the TSU record book over the course of the season, finishing with 358. Thrasher was First Team All-OVC last season, too.

The four-year starter intercepted the first pass of his career this season against Florida A&M.

Saunders and Thrasher were two of the four HBCU players selected to the team and Colin Seibert from Eastern Illinois was the only other representative from the OVC.

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TSU gets rid of 2 Asst Coaches

TSU gets rid of 2 Asst Coaches

Posted on 01 December 2014 by Allen


Tennessee State Head Coach Rod Reed announced Sunday night that Co-Offensive Coordinator Mike Jones and Running Backs Coach Larry Williams will not return to the coaching staff in 2015.

The news comes on the heels of a 6-6 season in which the TSU offense mustered 21 points or fewer in six contests.

Jones, a Tennessee State alum (1982), handled play-calling duties from the press box for the last five seasons until he was supplanted by Co-Offensive Coordinator Jeff Parker in week nine.

With Parker calling the plays, the Tigers averaged 450.2 yards and 31 points per game, up from 378.5 and 26 under Jones.

Jones’ coaching career includes head coaching duties with the Frankfurt Galaxy (2004-07). While in Germany, Jones’ teams appeared in three championship games, winning one in 2006. The same season he was named NFL Europe Coach of the Year.

He later coached in four World Bowl games as Offensive Coordinator with the Rhein Fire (1998, 2000, 2002-03), winning two in 1998 & 2000.

Jones also coached in the short-lived XFL.

The move ends Williams’s two-year stint with the Tigers after his unit did not produce a 1,000 yard rusher for the first time in three seasons.

Williams did coach Tim Broughton who ran for 1,146 yards in 2013, but Big Blue could not find a consistent back this past season as Tom Smith led the squad with just 385 yards.

Before TSU, Williams spent his previous five seasons at Miles College as running back and special team coach.

At Miles College, he helped the Golden Bears win their first SIAC Western Division Title, SIAC Championship Game and Division II SIAC Championship in 2011.

Reed broke the news at a team meeting Sunday afternoon and a search for Jones’s and Williams’s replacements will begin immediately.

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Tigers earn OVC honors

Tigers earn OVC honors

Posted on 23 November 2014 by Allen


Tennessee State football players Mike German and Gabe Terry were named Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player and Newcomer of the week, respectively.

German broke the school record for career passing yards (8,664) and the Tennessee State football team won at Murray State, 48-33, for the first time since 2003.

Playing in his final collegiate game, German finished the day 28-of-48 for a personal-best 463 yards and six scores including one on the ground.

The redshirt senior’s six touchdown passes were the second-most in school history, matching Kenneth Biggles’s mark in 1982 and his 463 yards were the fourth-most in a single game.

For Terry, the OVC sack leader anchored a defensive unit that had 12 tackles for loss and caused four Racer turnovers.

The defensive end notched five tackles and three of those went for sacks and 30 yards lost.

On one of his sacks, Terry stripped MSU quarterback KD Humphries and picked up the fumble. His eight-yard return set up a Tiger touchdown and helped add to the rout.

German is the first Tiger to win OVC Offensive Player of the Week this season, while Terry is the second to win Newcomer, joining Tom Smith on Aug. 31.

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TSU comes back to beat Govs

TSU comes back to beat Govs

Posted on 08 November 2014 by Allen


Michael German threw a game-winning touchdown with 34 seconds left, and the Tennessee State football team snapped its five-game losing streak with a, 31-27, win over Austin Peay.

The Tigers trailed 17-3 at halftime, but German threw four second-half touchdowns to lead the comeback.

On the go-ahead scoring drive, German found Ryan Mitchell over the middle to convert a third-and-15 and later hit Isaiah Freeman to make good on a second-and-10. His final throw was caught by Freeman on a five-yard slant to seal the win for Tennessee State (5-6, 2-5 OVC).

German finished the game 30-of-46 for a career-high 395 yards – 287 in the second half – in addition to the four scores.

Weldon Garlington caught eight of German’s passes for 143 yards and three touchdowns.

TSU looked like a different team to start the second half and scored its first touchdown of the game when German found Garlington wide open on a go-route. Garlington waltzed into the end zone for a 58-yard score and the Tigers trailed by just eight after the missed PAT by Clark.

After a field goal by APSU (1-9, 1-5 OVC), German hit Garlington again on an uncovered deep route for a 24-yard touchdown. This time, Clark nailed the point, making the score 20-16, with 11:03 left.

Riding high off the momentum from the offense, the TSU defense forced APSU to punt from its own 23-yard line. For the second straight week, the punt hit a Tiger and the kicking team recovered. Three personal foul penalties on TSU later, Taylor snuck into the end zone to raise the lead to 27-16 at the 7:16 mark.

For the third time in the half, German and Garlington connected on a touchdown and German then hit Mitchell for the two-point conversion. TSU trailed by just three, 27-24, with 4:50 to go in the game.

The TSU defense forced a punt on APSU’s next offensive possession, setting up the game-winning drive.

The game started rough for TSU and after a missed field goal on the Tigers’ first drive, APSU marched down the field and scored the game’s first touchdown via an eight-yard run off of left tackle by Otis Gerron. The strike put the home team up, 7-0, at the 6:38 mark of the first quarter.

After two TSU turnovers, Austin Peay found the end zone again in the second quarter when Trey Taylor hit Rashaan Coleman with a 10-yard pass to give his team a two-touchdown lead with eight minutes to go in the half.

The Tigers finally were able to cobble together a scoring drive thanks to 76 yards through the air by German. Once again, however, the offense stalled on the APSU side of the field, but Lane Clark kicked a 41-yard field goal to cut the lead to 14-3 with just under four minutes to play in the half.

The Governors responded with a field goal of their own as the clock hit zeros, and went into the locker room with a two-touchdown lead that they could not hold.

Nick Thrasher once again led the defense with 12 stops and the TSU defense recorded seven tackles for loss.

Tennessee State will finally welcome its bye week this upcoming Saturday, but will return to the field at Murray State on Nov. 22.

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Breaking Down TSU at Austin Peay

Breaking Down TSU at Austin Peay

Posted on 07 November 2014 by Allen


Tennessee State Tigers (4-6, 1-5 OVC) at Austin Peay Governors (1-8, 1-4 OVC)
Saturday, Nov. 8 • 4:00 p.m. CT
Governors Stadium (7,000) • Clarksville, Tenn.
TV: OVC Digital Network
Series Record: Tennessee State leads 10-6
Last Meeting: Tennessee State won 31-6 (11/9/13)
Tennessee State Last Week: L, 56-42 vs. #16 Eastern Kentucky
Austin Peay Last Week: L, 56-0 vs. #5 Jacksonville State

GAME NOTES: Austin Peay will host Tennessee State in its annual Homecoming game on Saturday at Governors Stadium. Tennessee State has won the last two meetings after Austin Peay had a three-game winning streak in the series from 2009-11. In last year’s meeting the tough Tennessee State defense limited Austin Peay to just 92 yards of total offense in winning 31-6 at Hale Stadium. Ronald Butler passed for 167 yards and two touchdowns while Telvin Hooks rushed for 66 yards and two scores to pace the Tigers. Andrew Spivey had 44 passing yards for the Govs but was sacked four times. Overall TSU had 14 tackles-for-loss in the game.

SCOUTING TENNESSEE STATE: Tennessee State lost its fifth-straight game in falling at home to No. 16 Eastern Kentucky by a 56-42 margin. The game featured the top two scoring defenses in the OVC but those two teams ended up combining for 98 total points. The Tigers fell behind 17-0 before storming back to take a 21-17 lead at halftime. But the Tigers would allow EKU to score 17-straight points out of halftime to break the game open for good. Senior Darion Hall returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, becoming the 10th player in OVC history to accomplish that feat (and first since 2011). Hall finished the day with 174 yards on kickoff returns, 81 rushing yards and seven receiving yards to total 262 all-purpose yards (the third-most by an OVC player this season) and was named National Specialist of the Week by the Sports Network for his play. Senior quarterback Michael German passed for 326 yards and four touchdowns and now ranks sixth in OVC history with 55 career passing touchdowns. German also moved up to seventh in career passing yards (7,811) and completions (597) and eighth in total offense (7,876). German connected with sophomore walk-on Isaiah Freeman seven times, as Freeman racked up 98 yards and three touchdowns in the game.

Senior Nick Thrasher ended the game with a career-high 17 tackles and now ranks seventh nationally in tackles/game (10.9). As a team Tennessee State is first nationally in pass defense (118.4 yards/game) and pass efficiency defense (86.23), second in fourth down conversion defense (15.4%), sixth in total defense (274.6 yards/game), seventh in sacks/game (3.30), ninth in passes intercepted (13) and 10th in third down conversion defense (27.7%).

SCOUTING AUSTIN PEAY: Austin Peay suffered its third shutout of the season in falling to fifth-ranked Jacksonville State 56-0 on Saturday. The team has now been shutout in six of its last 21 games after going 84-straight games without being shutout prior to that. The team has now lost 30-straight overall road games and 18-straight road OVC contests. Justin Roberson had 57 rushing yards to lead the Governors while Darrien Boone had a career-best 40 rushing yards while completing five passes for 18 yards. Defensively Buddy Mitchell had a career-high 13 tackles (9 solo) including 2.0 tackles-for-loss; the 13 tackles were the most by an APSU player this season.

Senior punter Ben Campbell punted eight times and has now punted 79 times this season, just 14 attempts away from tying the OVC single-season record of 93 set in 1982.

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TSU to host Thanksgiving Tournament

TSU to host Thanksgiving Tournament

Posted on 28 October 2014 by Allen


The Tennessee State University women’s basketball team will host the inaugural Teresa Phillips Thanksgiving Classic, Nov. 29-30, in the Gentry Center.

The tournament, which is named after TSU Director of Athletics and former head women’s basketball coach Teresa L. Phillips, will feature four teams from across the country, including Youngstown State, Nicholls State, Norfolk State and host TSU.

“We thought the Thanksgiving classic would be a great opportunity to give recognition to Coach Phillips,” said TSU head women’s basketball coach Larry Inman. “Not only was she a great basketball coach but she continues to be a proven leader in college athletics. It is an attribute to all her years of service to Tennessee State University.”

Teresa Phillips was head coach of the Lady Tiger basketball program at TSU for 11 seasons from 1989-2000. The three-time OVC Coach of the Year recorded 144 total wins while at the helm of the women’s basketball program.

She guided the 1993-94 team to the program’s first-ever Ohio Valley Conference regular season championship, the OVC tournament title and TSU’s first appearance in the NCAA tournament.

Phillips and her staff enjoyed another successful season in 1994-95 as the Lady Tigers (22-7, 12-4 OVC) claimed the regular season championship while earning its second consecutive tournament title and a trip to the NCAA tournament.

Phillips garnered national attention when she became the first woman to coach a Division I NCAA men’s basketball team in 2003. She is also an inaugural member of the Girls’ Preparatory School Sports Hall of Fame and a 2008 inductee of the Lookout Mountain Sports Hall of Fame.

Recently, the Ohio Valley Conference named Phillips one of the league’s most influential women in its celebration of the 40th anniversary of Title IX. Just last year Phillips was featured on the Tennessean’s Legendary Ladies Elite 8 list in conjunction with the 2014 Final Four.

All contests of the Teresa Phillips Thanksgiving Classic will be played in the Gentry Center located on TSU’s main campus. For ticket information call 615.963-ROAR.

Tournament Schedule
Saturday, Nov. 29
Nicholls State vs. Youngstown State – 1 p.m.
TSU vs. Norfolk State – 3 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 30
Norfolk State vs. Nicholls State – 12 p.m.
TSU vs. Youngstown State – 2 p.m.

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Breaking down TSU at Eastern Illinois

Breaking down TSU at Eastern Illinois

Posted on 22 October 2014 by Allen


Tennessee State Tigers (4-4, 1-3 OVC) at Eastern Illinois Panthers (2-5, 2-1 OVC)
Saturday, Oct. 25 • 1:30 p.m. CT
O’Brien Field (10,000) • Charleston, Ill.
Series Record: Eastern Illinois leads 10-7
Last Meeting: Eastern Illinois won 51-10 (12/7/13)
Tennessee State Last Week: L, 21-16 vs. UT Martin
Eastern Illinois Last Week: W, 52-13 at Southeast Missouri

GAME NOTES: Tennessee State and Eastern Illinois have played 17 previous times including twice a year ago when they also met in the second round of the FCS Playoffs. The Panthers won both of those meetings and have won three of the last four against the Tigers. In the first meeting a year ago the Panthers topped then No. 21-ranked TSU 34-16 as Jimmy Garoppolo passed for 410 yards and four touchdowns and Shepard Little rushed for 138 yards and a score. In the playoff meeting the Panthers led 37-0 at halftime on the way to a 51-10 victory. In that game Garoppolo had 240 passing yards and three scores while Little rushed for 184 yards and two touchdowns. Michael German passed for 242 yards and no interceptions in the loss.

SCOUTING TENNESSEE STATE: Tennessee State lost its third-straight OVC game, falling at home 21-16 to UT Martin. It marked the first time since the 1995 season that the Tigers lost back-to-back games at Hale Stadium (although the team did not play at the venue from 1999 until 2012). The TSU defense limited UT Martin to just 210 yards of total offense, but the team fumbled twice, was tackled for a loss six times and saw an interception returned for a touchdown in the loss. Michael German passed for 314 yards and two scores and in the process moved into eighth place in OVC history in career passing yards (7,336), eighth in career touchdown passes (51) and 10th in career total offense (7,409). Ryan Mitchell hauled in six passes for 156 yards and a 75-yard touchdown from German while Telvin Hooks had 28 rushing yards to pace the rushing attack that was limited to just 53 yards for the game.

Michigan State transfer Ezra Robinson had 10 tackles, a sack and a pass breakup for the defense while Nick Thrasher added 11 tackles, moving him into second place in school history for tackles (trailing only his current coach Rod Reed). As a team TSU ranks first nationally in pass defense (129.8 yards/game) and pass efficiency defense (83.14), second in sacks/game (3.75) and third in total defense (251.3 yards/game) and third down conversion defense (25.2%).

SCOUTING EASTERN ILLINOIS: Two-time defending OVC champion Eastern Illinois proved they are still a contender this season with a convincing 52-13 victory over Southeast Missouri (who had previously been ranked in the Top 25 the week prior). The Panthers led 14-13 midway through the second quarter before the Panthers defense stepped up to shutout the Redhawks the rest of the way and the offense scored two touchdowns in each the third and fourth quarters. Junior transfer quarterback Jalen Whitlow earned his fourth OVC Newcomer of the Week honor of the season after accounting for five touchdowns in the victory. Whitlow passed for 213 yards and two scores and added three scores with his feet, finishing the game with 75 rushing yards on 15 carries. Whitlow’s two passing touchdowns went to Adam Drake who finished the game with seven catches for 110 yards; Drake now has 165 career catches which is just one away from the OVC career Top 10. Drake ranks third nationally in receptions/game (8.0) and fifth in receiving yards/game (110.0) in 2014. Junior running back Shepard Little had his second strong rushing game after returning from an injury, tallying a game-high 103 yards on 22 carries.

Junior safety Jourdan Wickliffe had two interceptions in the win, the second time in as many games he has had multiple interceptions; he currently ranks ninth nationally in interceptions (0.6/game) and ranks 10th in EIU career history for interceptions (9). The Panthers have won 14 of its last 15 OVC games dating back to the middle of the 2012 season. EIU currently ranks 12th nationally in total offense (480.3 yards/game) and eighth in passes intercepted (10).

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Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24