Looking into the Circle City Classic


The Circle City Classic could be a quarterback showdown between Grambling State University’s junior quarterback D.J. Williams and Alcorn State’s sophomore quarterback John Gibbs. 

Despite the Tigers’ (0-6, 0-3 SWAC) tying their worst start, this has been the junior quarterback’s best season.

In six games, Williams has totalled a career high in completions and yards with 95 passes for 1,119 yards. He also has thrown for 10 touchdowns. 

As good as an individual season Williams is having, Grambling interim coach, George Ragsdale said the quarterback could be on the next level if he his receivers caught the ball.

“What D.J. needs to do is get his receivers to hold the ball,” said Ragsdale.”D.J. made some good throws and sometimes we don’t hold them.”

Alcorn States’s second year coach, Jay Hopson is also impressed by the play of Williams. 

“D.J. does a good job and he throws the ball really nice,” said Hopson in a football teleconference on Monday. “He’s a really good quarterback, he sees the field well and he throws the ball well. I think he’s a good football player.” 

In Hopson’s second season in the SWAC, his team is offensively intact. 

The Braves (4-2, 2-1 SWAC) are Top Five in every offensive statistical category. 

The Braves’ 35.5 points per game is ranked third in SWAC

Mind you, this year the Braves’ offense recently scored 57 points in their shutout win against Warner University. They also scored 63 points earlier this year in a victory over Edward Waters.

 Alcorn is ranked fourth in total offense with 385.5 yards per game, fourth in rushing offense for 179.8 yards per game, and fourth in passing offense for 205.7 yards per game. 

The Braves can credit most of their offensive success to their quarterback.

Gibbs is a first-year starter for Alcorn and he has emerged as one of the premier quarterbacks in the conference. 

He is fourth in passing yards, averaging 188.8 yards per game, second in pass efficiency with a rating of 148.7. Gibbs has completed 92 of 144 passes for 1,133 yards, 10 touchdown and three interceptions. 

Ragsdale added in his Monday press conference that along with the coach staff, D.J. has to often reiterate to his receiving corps to hold onto the football when he throws it because maybe, if Grambling don’t drop the ball, the team wont drop their seventh game straight in Indianapolis. 


Circle City Classic activities

The G-Men will take on Alcorn State University Saturday. Kickoff will be 3 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Friday Nite Classic Cabaret featuring Charlie Wilson, Johnny Gill and Rose Royce. Show starts at 7 p.m. at the Indiana Convention Center. Cost: Individual $49.99; Premium $57.99. For ticket information, call 800-745-3000.

Comedy Jam featuring Ted Carpenter, Melanie Commacho, JJ and Ricky Harris. Show starts at 8 p.m. at the Murat Theatre Old National Center. Cost: $29.99 and $39.99. For ticket information, call 800-745-3000. 

Circle City Classic Greek Step Show at Madame Walker Theatre. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. For ticket information, call 317-923-3091.