HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) _ University of Southern Mississippi football coach Jay Hopson knew that his Golden Eagles would be looking to replace a quartet of senior linebackers after this season, with three departing inside and another at the hybrid edge position known as “wolf.”
Now, Hopson and the Golden Eagles can add another emptying locker to the list.
Hopson confirmed Friday morning that redshirt junior linebacker Paxton Schrimsher would not be back for a final season.
Hopson said, briefly, that Schrimsher, who was getting married and had graduated with his bachelor’s degree in construction engineering technology, was passing up his senior year.
Schrimsher was among the Golden Eagles’ top dozen tacklers last season. He played in 11 games, starting four, rolling through the rotation at “wolf” with senior edge man Darian Yancey.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Schrimsher finished with 28 tackles, including four tackles for loss, with a sack and a fumble recovery.
In 2017, Schrimsher started the season at wolf, and then because of injuries at the position, played the final eight games at inside linebacker.
He made 49 tackles (25 solo) and tied for the team lead with 11 tackles for loss, including 4 ½ sacks. Schrimsher also forced two fumbles while setting single-game tackle marks with six stops against both Louisiana Tech University and University of Alabama-Birmingham.
As a redshirt freshman, the Athens, Ala., native appeared in 10 games with seven tackles, incuding a tackle for loss, and a forced fumble.
In addition to the two edge linebackers, USM will have to replace departing seniors Jeremy Sangster and Walden Davis and postgraduate Sherrod Ruff.