Jackson State football coach T.C. Taylor still undecided who'll be offensive coordinator in 2024

During Jackson State's annual spring football game Saturday, head coach T.C. Taylor called the offensive plays as the Blue team defeated the White team 23-9 at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium.

It was a duty made necessary by offseason changes in the coaching staff. Co-offensive coordinators Maurice Harris and Jason Onyebuagu, who called the plays in 2023 when the Tigers led the Southwestern Athletic Conference in total offense, left for other jobs. So did quarterbacks coach Quinn Billerman.

According to the Jackson State football website, no coach has offensive coordinator listed among his duties. At the postgame news conference Saturday, Taylor would not commit to becoming the offensive coordinator for the 2024 season.

“We’ll see,” Taylor said.  “We still have a lot of time. We won't have a game until August. We will continue to grow this football team, but I did handle it today.  I will continue to evaluate it and see how I feel about it going forward. And I will make that decision.”

There are more than four months until the Tigers' opener Aug. 29 at UL Monroe, but no more practices until about four weeks before that game. If Taylor hands off the offensive coordinator role to a current assistant or fills that job from outside the program, he is trusting that coach to implement a new system or, more likely, to master the one in place in those four weeks. Given all that entails -- from learning the system to imparting it to the assistants and offensive players to making play calls under the heat of a game -- it's a daunting hurdle.

DEFENSE DOMINATE BLUE AND WHITE GAME Defense dominates during Jackson State football Blue and White spring game

It may make more sense for Taylor to handle the offensive coordinator duties. He served six seasons as an offensive coordinator at Coahoma County Community College and four at North Carolina Central, including in 2016 when the Eagles went to the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl.

Taylor also served as offensive coordinator at Jackson State under Deion Sanders in 2021. The team was fourth in the SWAC in scoring offense (27.5 points per game), seventh in total offense (337.6 yards per game) and second in passing (248.5 yards per game) with FCS and SWAC freshman of the year Shedeur Sanders as quarterback. The Tigers won the SWAC and played in the Cricket Celebration Bowl.

Regardless of how Taylor handles about the offensive coordinator position, it's a critical decision for a team trying to improve on 2023's 7-4 record and Taylor in the second season of a three-year contract..

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Jackson State football: T.C. Taylor unsure who'll call plays in 2024