ST. PETERSBURG — The Shrine Game's West coaching staff this week is a reunion of sorts, with former Falcons coaches June Jones and Jerry Glanville and three of their former players working together on the West staff.
"I played for Jerry, coached for Jerry, then he coached for me, so we've been (around) forever, for 40 years," said Jones, 62, finishing a practice at St. Petersburg High on Thursday afternoon. "They all know the offense, so it makes the coaching easier, because I don't have to teach the coaches."
Jones was an assistant under Glanville with the Oilers and Falcons, then succeeded him as Atlanta's head coach in 1994.
Jones has Chris Miller coaching his quarterbacks, Steve Broussard the running backs and Terance Mathis the receivers. Glanville, 74, still has the cowboy hat and signature sunglasses at practice.
"It's great. It's fun. Lots of great memories, and they're all teachers," Glanville said.
Jones is excited about his new players as well — the first name he mentions is former Spoto High and Illinois receiver Geronimo Allison: "He's caught my eye. Big kid, runs really smooth, catches it in his hands."
Jones is best known for his work with quarterbacks, and he likes all three on his West team, especially Oregon's Vernon Adams.
"I'm a little bit surprised, because I wasn't sure if the Oregon kid was a product of what they did, but he can throw it," Jones said. "He's accurate, competitive, seems like he has it. I guarantee if (a team) brings him to camp, they're going to like him."
Visiting: Former USF coach Jim Leavitt, a Dixie Hollins graduate who grew up in St. Petersburg and is now defensive coordinator at Colorado, stopped by to see two of his players, CB Ken Crawley and OT Stephane Nembot. … New UCF coach Scott Frost, who had been Oregon's offensive coordinator, was on hand to see Adams. … Former Miami and Bucs quarterback Steve Walsh, now director of football at IMG Academy, was on the sidelines. Several players in the game have their pre-draft training at IMG.
This and that: Nembot, born in Cameroon, speaks English, French and Spanish, as well as 11 African dialects. He didn't come to the United States until he was 16, playing mostly basketball until his junior year of high school. "It's obviously very important for all of us. It's a blessing," said Nembot, 6 feet 7 and 320 pounds. "It's a job interview, a chance to showcase our talent. … Three Canadian players are on rosters: Manitoba DE Ebuka Onyemata, Calgary C Sean McEwen and Laval G Charles Vaillancourt.
Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.