High Ceiling for South Alabama Football’s 2023 Season

Kane Wommack and the Jags hit ground running in Spring Practice
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 5:51 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - South Alabama football is coming off a great opening weekend of spring practices. They’ll continue to practice every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until the Blue and Red spring game on April 15th.

After a successful 2022 season, all eyes will be on the Jags here in 2023.

The Jags look great from what I’ve seen so far. We’re only a few days into spring practices now, but a lot of great things happening for South over the weekend. The guys were loose, having fun, and just seemed really excited to be back on the field.

After the Jags 10-3 season and a trip to the New Orleans bowl, expectations for this squad are high in 2023. Head coach Kane Wommack has taken a program that has never had a winning season to a team that racked up 10 wins and made it to a bowl game for the first time in six years. Some players like offensive lineman Reggie Smith have already set the goal for next season.

“Everybody’s been on it and just trying to improve on last season, just hoping for 12 wins this season. We focus on what we can focus on. We don’t worry about what people say coming in looking at us or things. As long as we focus on what we control and moving the dial forward in what we need to do, I think we’ll be okay.”

It’s a goal that is not an unrealistic one, although it would mean a unblemished regular season including non-conference matchups with Tulane and Oklahoma State. We can’t forget crucial meetings with in-state rival Troy and our neighbor, Southern Miss. However, coach Wommack says that isn’t the topic of his team’s conversations.

“I think that our players have an expectation for themselves, but we don’t put preseason goals up on a board. you walk in our building; you’re not going to see ‘go to a bowl game.’ we’re not going to talk about conference championships or how many wins or whatever it may be. but at the end of the day, when you put your head on a pillow at night, you know what the expectation is — that we all do it to compete at the highest level.”

In the short time Wommack has been head coach, we’ve seen this program move forward leaps and bounds since his arrival two years ago. The Jags have just signed one of the top recruiting classes we’ve ever seen. Freshman quarterback Gio Lopez out of Huntsville, Reginald Neely, a JUCO transfer out of East Mississippi at cornerback, and Shamar Sandgren, a wide receiver from Itawamba Community College are expected to make an immediate impact. There’s no Cinderella story here, says coach Wommack. For South Alabama the ceiling is high and they are rising up.

“We talk about all the time in our building — ‘expectation is more powerful than belief. Belief is what Disney movies are made of, but expectation is knowing that you are there and can sustain what it takes to operate at a high level, and I think we’re moving in that direction.”

We are still a long way off from the start of the season, but for now the Jags will prepare for a chance to showcase what they can do on April 15th.