Moncrief takes college game head on

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 22, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

As far as Richard Moncrief is concerned, football is football.

He’s not feeling that much pressure now that he’s moved from high school back to the college level.

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Moncrief is entering his first season as quarterbacks coach at Alabama State after serving as offensive coordinator at Selma High last year.

Serving under first-year head coach Reggie Barlow, whose lack of experience has been questioned, Moncrief still thinks the key to success is breaking down the X’s and O’s.

“This is going to sound funny, but football to me is football at every level,” Moncrief said. “The only difference is who you’re playing with and the terminology. For the most part, the game is still about blocking, tackling, throwing and catching.”

Moncrief said the Hornets’ coaching staff is in a daylong grind preparing for the 2007 season.

The quarterback spot was a tug of war all last season between oft-injured Alex Engram and T’chelpio Woods, who played inconsistently at times.

The situation still has yet to completely work itself out.

“I’m not going to rule out Alex as being the starter because competition is always good,” Moncrief said. “We lost T’chelpio for academic reasons this year. Summer camp would have been real interesting with him around.”

ASU’s signal caller this year won’t have to look far for a figure to emulate.

Second-round NFL draft pick Tarvaris Jackson was impressive during limited playing time with the Minnesota Vikings. Now Jackson, who led ASU to a SWAC championship in 2004, is the leading candidate for the Vikings’ starting job this year.

“A guy like Tarvaris Jackson is both a blessing and a curse,” Moncrief said. “He’s a blessing in that he’s done things at this level that nobody else at this level can do. For guys with talent and less experience, that’s hard to live up to. And that’s the curse. But I think we’ll have a pretty good season.”

Moncrief says he still has fond memories of the time he spent in this area.

“My year in Selma, I was fortunate to deal with some real good people,” Moncrief said. “When you have people who work hard and care about the outcome it’s a good feeling.”