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New look offense for the Jaguars

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Farmville Central's Dantavious Short lifts weights during practice on Aug. 7, 2019.

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By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Friday, August 9, 2019

FARMVILLE -- Farmville Central football will look, and operate, a little different this season as changes in the coaching staff and roster, combined with a subpar season in 2018, have left the Jaguars in a state of rebuilding led by new head coach Eddie Rhodes.

Rhodes, who is entering his 39th season as a coach, made some immediate changes in terms of where players will line up when they take the field Aug. 23 at home against Kinston.

"I'm hoping that we will be an exciting team, both offensively and defensively," Rhodes said. "We're hoping to throw the football a little more. We have some great athletes here at Farmville Central, we always have."

One of Rhodes' first changes upon arriving was at the quarterback position, where rising junior Tavyon Suggs was moved to running back, allowing freshman QB Brandon Knight to step in and begin leading the offense immediately. Suggs was more than happy to make the move to running back, as he hopes to help the team more with his legs rather than with his arm.

Last season, Suggs threw the ball just 72 times, completing 27 of his attempts for 423 yards. He also threw four touchdowns and five interceptions in former head coach Scott Gardner's offense.

Knight, who has been taking first-team snaps since the beginning of summer workouts, will be asked to throw the ball more than other recent Jaguar quarterbacks.

"We will be throwing the ball a little bit more," Rhodes said of his new offensive scheme. "We hope we can excite the fans when they come watch us play."

Joining Suggs and Knight in the backfield will be junior slotback and receiver Dantavious Short. Short, who rushed for 374 yards and three touchdowns last season, has also received praise from Rhodes, who called Short, "lightning in a bottle," showing that he quickly made a strong impression on the new coach.

Up front, Rhodes said he has been busy trying to figure out what combination of offensive linemen will be named starters for Week 1. Not one starting offensive lineman from last season returned, pushing last year's backups and other newcomers to the team into an immediate position of need.

"We're young," Rhodes said of the Jags. "We were young last year and we will be a young group again this season."

With just two weeks until the regular season kicks off, Rhodes will have to work quickly to determine what combination he will use to protect his new freshman quarterback.

Contact Jake Keator at jkeator@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.

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