Today, 4:15 p.m.
He blitzes, he goes man-to-man with receivers, he defends the pass and he stops the run.
Part safety and part linebacker, senior Darius Eubanks does a little bit of everything for Georgia Southern’s defense.
Eubanks, who has primarily played linebacker, has had a lot to learn about playing safety.
And he’s not the only one.
“(Former running back) J.J. Wilcox is also new to the defensive backfield,” Eubanks said. “We try to help each other out the best way that we can.”
The Southern Conference is a league with a lot of spread offenses that seem to lean heavily on either the pass or the option running game, so Eubanks has to be a hybrid player, allowing the Eagles to keep the same personnel on the field whether they present a look with four or five defensive backs.
“Coverage is the biggest difference out there (for Eubanks),” said first-year GSU defensive assistant Kevin Corless. “There is some coverage where he’s required to be on the hash back there, and that’s different for that position.”
Eubanks was third on the team in 2011 with 69 tackles, including three for loss. He also recorded two interceptions.
A close call
Corless came to GSU as the linebackers coach after the 2011 season, but his ties to the program go a lot farther back.
Corless coached alongside GSU defensive coordinator Jack Curtis at Arkansas State from 2002-2009.
He also nearly faced Georgia Southern in the 1998 playoffs when he was coaching at Northwestern State.
“I knew all about Georgia Southern,” Corless said. “I was at Northwestern State in 1998, and we lost in the semifinals. Otherwise we would have been playing Georgia Southern in the national championship game. The amount of winning that has happened here has been unbelievable. It’s been a great opportunity for my son, my wife and me to become a part of this program.”
At GSU, the first impression that Corless got from the defense came as a result of how it faces the option offense constantly in practice.
“The first word that come to my mind is toughness — not just physically tough but mentally tough, and a lot of that is derived from facing our offense every single day,” he said. “You can’t be out there going against our offense every day unless you’re a tough guy.”
Reuniting Corless with Curtis has worked out well.
“He walked in the room, and they were speaking the same language,” said GSU head coach Jeff Monken. "It made for an easy transition.
“Jack and I talked about Kevin (before he came to GSU), and I talked to several people that I knew, but I think when it came down to it we needed somebody who knew the defense and would be a good teacher. Kevin is a great teacher.”
One last scrimmage
With fall camp in the rearview mirror, the Eagles have one final chance to scrimmage before the season starts Sept. 1 at home against Jacksonville.
The staff feels good about the players suiting up for the season opener, so the scrimmage will focus on situations.
“Where we’re at now gives us an opportunity to get into any situation that may come up in a game,” said Monken. “We’re going to create ways for that to happen. I don’t want there to be anything that could come up next Saturday that we weren’t prepared for.”
The scrimmage takes place today at 4:15 p.m. in Paulson Stadium.
Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-9408.