3 things to look for in TSU’s Spring Game

Houston weather has knocked back the TSU Spring Game a day from Saturday, April 13 to Sunday, April 14th. After a miserable 2-9 season, the team has acquired a new head coach, Clarence McKinney. Originally from the Houston area, he hopes to bring success to his hometown HBCU.

Here are the 3 things to look for during the scrimmage:

DeAndre Johnson:

Many students were hyped to see Johnson to on the TSU campus. They were initially familiar with Johnson from Netflix’s football series “Last Chance U,” but this event will be the first time Tiger Nation is going to see him in action while wearing the maroon and grey.

His journey has been long and full of turmoil. After committing to Florida State as a 4-star athlete, he was dismissed from the team before the season started due to a legal case. After his dismissal, he made his way East Mississippi Community College, where he gained notoriety on Last Chance U. His next move was return to Florida, this time in Florida Atlantic University. However, while there, trouble struck again, but this time it was internal.

His diagnosis of blood clots ruined any hope of gaining traction in the team. Now in Houston, he will be fighting to be the Tigers’ starting quarterback next season. He will be competing with the returning Devin Williams who was part of the revolving door of quarterbacks that plagued last season. His performance on last season was promising, but it ended due to injury. Now healthy, he hopes to claim the starting quarterback position full-time.

Where’s the offense going to come from?

That has been a big question throughout the offseason. The Tigers’ offense was already struggling, ranking last in rushing yards and seventh in total yards in the SWAC, so when you take pieces away from that it could cause some real trouble. The team’s leading rusher and receiver both left the program after the last season. RB Brad Woodard was a senior, and provided the team with 496 yards on the ground, 300 yards more than any other rusher.

Fortunately, I would look to senior RB Tylor Cook to replace that production. This could be his time to shine after going sitting behind Woodard for three years. The team also lost WR Bobby Hartzog, who was a graduate. Replacing the only thousand yard receiver is a tough task for any team. One player that could ease the transition is Tren’Davian Dickson. He had nearly 800 yards in a less than ideal situation for a receiver. This year he will be playing under different circumstances which will lead to better production. If the QB competition, mentioned above, provides stability, the passing game should flourish this season.


There’s a different feel in the air now. Even though the typical humidity that comes in the month April is still as rampant as ever, after years of losing seasons, it feels as though the team has been revitalized by the hiring of new head coach Clarence McKinney.  He has overseen the offenses of many different division one schools, including University of Houston, Texas A&M, and lastly University of Arizona. His experience with bolstering offenses is a major plus for the Tigers. McKinney has brought a completely different vibe in to the team since his hire.. The football team’s Instagram page is now filled with clips from spring ball practice. There are two major social media the team is pushing forward, #FollowtheDrip & #TheSauceU. There is just a different culture. Anyone who has been near the football team or field is capable of feeling it.

Hopefully the building anticipation is a sign of winning ways to come.

Look for those three things on Sunday when you’re cheering on you Tigers football team Sunday afternoon.