STATESBORO — Tra Cofield, Ty Phillips and Kindle Vildor have founded a new tradition in Georgia Southern football.
It began in the spring of 2017 when Vildor noticed that his roommate Phillips was eating out of a bowl. Vildor asked what it was and wanted to try it.
The bowl comes from Seasons of Japan, a small Japananse takeout franchise located on Northside Dr.
“A couple of the guys, Kindle Vildor, Tra Cofield, a long time ago we found this restaurant that had some nice food,” Phillips said. “Every Saturday since, we make a point to go right before they close. The people there love us and they greet us when we come in.”
They all get the Super Bowl, but each put their own spin on it. Cofield goes with shrimp, steak, teriyaki chicken and lots of shrimp sauce.
Phillops gets his with no mushrooms.
“Everything on it, steak, chicken, broccoli, rice and mushrooms with the yum yum sauce,” Vildor listed off his order. “You have to go crazy.”
Word got out publicly about the weekly ceremony via a Twitter video posted Saturday.
“We’d post videos on Snap(chat) and everyone would always ask and laugh,” Cofield said. “So everybody started going and everytime Saturday came, people would start sending pictures of Seasons.”
On the field, Phillips and Vildor have already cemented their starting roles at nose tackle and cornerback. Cofield is still working to get on the field more as a safety, after only being in 10 plays in the 2018 season.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys stepping up this year, trying to fill the holes left by the safeties who left,” Cofield said. “I’m trying to take advantage of the opportunity I have. The coaches told me that I have the chance to play a defined role, so I’m going to step up.”
Other practice notes
Redshirt sophomore defensive end Justin Ellis and redshirt junior linebacker Todd Bradley were both fully healthy and elusive, after both missing most of 2018.
Ellis was sidelined due to NCAA transfer rules after transferring from Syracuse. Bradley injured his leg in the Arkansas State victory, limiting his season to just three games and 10 tackles.
Bradley and Ellis being healthy provides experience and depth to a Scot Sloan defense that was already looking to be one of the best in the Sun Belt.
“We’re not there yet, but we’re working to get better and better as a defense as a whole,” Phillips said. “We have a lot of young guys on this defense, especially the defensive line. My job is to show them how Georgia Southern plays defense. I go out there and do what I do.”
On the offensive side of the ball, redshirt freshman running back Andrew Cunningham had a positive morning. In one on ones, Cunningham scurried past redshirt senior linebacker Jay Bowdry.
Sophomore Wes Kennedy continued to be shifty out of the backfield and caught plenty of punts, taking every play seriously.
“I would say since day one, we've been ready,” Kennedy said. “We've been staying down, staying focused.”
Shai Werts connected on several passes, but an on the run, across the body throw to sophomore Najee Thompson was really impressive.
Bowdry made up for his miscue against Cunningham later on by intercepting Werts.
Oklahoma State transfer running back J.D. King was again in full participation mode, but still has not received word on his eligibility.
“It would clear some things up for us because he is a good football player and if they were to clear him, that changes things a little bit If they didn’t...we have a lot of running backs,” Head Coach Chad Lunsford said. “Either 2019 will be the year of the King or 2020 will be the year of the King.”
McClain Baxley, The George-Anne Editor-in-Chief, email@example.com