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Bailey a welcome addition

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Bailey a welcome addition

Georgia Southern defensive tackle Korentheus Bailey works on his pass rushing techniques during practice Tuesday.

After two seasons at Western Kentucky, Korentheus Bailey decided he wanted to be closer to home.

Back in December, the 317-pound defensive tackle from Lula, Ga. saw a former high school rival on television, playing in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs in the semifinals against Delaware.

He quickly decided he knew where he wanted to go, so he called Georgia Southern quarterback Jaybo Shaw to find out more about the Eagles.

"Jaybo and I played against each other in high school," said Bailey, who enrolled at GSU for spring classes. "I know his family and I know his dad. I gave him a call and told him I wanted to come down here, and I talked to [offensive coordinator Brent] Davis. He allowed me to work on things and get everything situated so I could come down here. It’s been a nice transition."

Bailey joined the Eagles prior to spring camp and, in place of injured first-team All American Brent Russell, has been playing with the ones.

"Korentheus has been a pleasant surprise the last couple of days," said head coach Jeff Monken after Tuesday’s practice session. "He had a great scrimmage on Saturday and did some good things. Not great overall — he made some mistakes like all of them — but he’s making improvements."

Things have certainly changed for Bailey. Playing on a defense that prefers speed to size is one of the changes he’s made.

"He’s slimmed down a little bit, his attitude’s been great, and now, slowly but surely, his progression and play has come along, too," said assistant defensive line coach Victor Cabral. "He had one of the better scrimmages of anybody on defense last Saturday."

Perhaps the biggest difference for Bailey has been defending the option every day at practice. He saw the run-based offense only once at WKU — when the Hilltoppers played Navy on Sept. 26, 2009 — and it’s taken some getting used to.

"I’m glad I have teammates that go against it each and every day," Bailey said about facing the option. "They help me out, the coaches help me out and I’m getting better at it."

"He’s come with a great attitude, and he’s like to develop himself into a great nose tackle in the Southern Conference," added Cabral. "And he can be one.

"Right now, he’s our first-team nose guard, because that’s what we have."


Injury update

During Saturday’s scrimmage, quarterbacks Russell DeMasi and Ezayi Youyoute both left the field with injuries.

DeMasi suffered a broken collar bone, which will not require surgery but will keep him out for the remainder of spring camp, and Youyoute injured his knee.

Monken is hopeful the knee will heal up enough to see Youyoute back on the practice field sometime during the week after Saturday’s scheduled scrimmage.

In the meantime, quarterbacks Jaybo Shaw and Jerick McKinnon have been practicing in red jerseys to avoid contact.

"We’ll continue to dress them in a red jersey," Monken said. "That’s not been our style up to this point. We’ve always kept those guys live. With Jaybo, we’ve tried to rest him and recover him as best we can, and he’s getting a lot better. To keep Jerick healthy – he’s the only one we’ve got healthy at this point – we’re going to keep them off the ground, keep people from tackling them until we get through the spring and just do the best we can at this point."

Spring camp resumes today at 3:45 p.m. at Beautiful Eagle Creek.


Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.

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