Tigers Hold John Merritt Classic Press Conference
Friday, July 24, 2015
Tigers Hold John Merritt Classic Press Conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee State held its annual press conference for the John Merritt Classic football game on Friday morning at Nissan Stadium.

Long time WSMV newscaster Rudy Kalis served as the master of ceremonies, which included head coaches and athletic directors of each institution.

TSU AD Teresa Phillips opened the panel discussion with comments and was followed by ASU interim AD Melvin Hines. The Hornets first-year coach, Brian Jenkins, followed before comments from Tigers coach Rod Reed. Kalis brought the JMC committee chairman Clinton Gray to the podium before posing questions to all four members of the panel.

The 17th Annual John Merritt Classic football game on Sept. 6 will pit TSU against the Alabama State Hornets. The two teams will square off for the third time as part of the classic and for the 13th time all time.

The classic began in 1999 with a 41-8 victory for the Big Blue over the Hornets. The Tigers earned a 30-13 victory against ASU the very next season, the last time the classic featured both squads. In 2014, TSU traveled to Montgomery, Ala. and fell to ASU, 27-21.

The Tigers defeated Edward Waters College, 58-6, last year to improve to 11-5 all-time in JMC games.

TSU great, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, will serve as the honoree for the classic. Jones was a two-time All-American defensive lineman, playing on a team that only lost two games, on the way to winning the black college football national championship in 1971 and 1973. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys with the first overall pick in the 1974 draft.