TSU Tigers Kick Off 2008 Football Season
Sunday, June 29, 2008

TSU - Southern Coach Kick-Off Season

Press Conference & Youth Clinic at LP Field

Tennessee State University will kick off the 2008 football season with a John Merritt Classic (JMC) Press Conference at 11:30a on July 10, 2008 at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee.

The 10th John Merritt Classic will be played on September 6, 2008 with the Tigers hosting the Jaguars of Southern University.

The JMC press conference will feature the head coaches from Tennessee State, James Webster and Southern University, Pete Richardson will present their season outlooks and comments on the upcoming game.

Additionally, the respective schools’ Band Directors, Ed Graves - TSU Aristocrat of Bands, and Lawrence Jackson - SU Human Juke Box will be on hand to give details of the scheduled “Battle of the Bands” component of the JMC weekend.

Following the press conference, at 1:30p the second annual JMC Youth Football Clinic will take place on the grounds of LP Field, featuring youth football players from the Nashville area. The clinic will be conducted by the TSU football staff and the two head coaches. Youth Clinic registration for teams and individuals is available for download and online.

The John Merritt Classic, first played in 1999, honors the legendary TSU football coach who led the Tigers from 1963 - 1983. During those twenty-one seasons, “Big John” won four undisputed national championships among historically black colleges ranked by the Sheridan Poll, compiled a lifetime record of 172-33-1, and built a powerful program that produced NFL stars like Richard Dent (Chicago Bears), “Jefferson Street:” Joe Gilliam (Pittsburgh Steelers), Ed “Too Tall” Jones (Dallas Cowboys), Claude Humphrey (Philadelphia Eagles) and many others.

The JMC, the only football “Classic” solely hosted by a single NCAA FCS institution, is intended to allow Tennessee State to raise funds for scholarships and other related needs for TSU students. The Classic also provides an opportunity for community outreach with its weekend of activities.