Staggers, Jones taking advantage of opportunity - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Staggers, Jones taking advantage of opportunity

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

The game is the same but other elements have changed for Allenzae Staggers and Isaiah Jones. They find themselves surrounded by players who could be playing professionally in a year. They’re also competing for major playing time on a Southern Miss squad projected to be one of the best in Conference USA.

Nope, Staggers and Jones aren’t in Scooba anymore. Scooba still follows them, though. If you aren’t privy, one of the latest sports documentaries, “Last Chance U”, has enjoyed a nice run on Netflix. The six-episode series follows the grid iron trials and triumphs of East Mississippi Community College.

You may be able to catch glimpses of Staggers and Jones, two of a host of players playing for their respective futures.

The future is now for these two and so far, it’s pretty bright.

Through the fall camp grind, Staggers and Jones have shined at wide receiver. Outside of leading returner D.J. Thompson, it’s pretty much an open competition. Jones is all for it.

“We compete,” Jones said. “We all compete. We've got the new guys and the old guys. Everybody wants a spot so everybody (is) competing for a spot. And I feel like that will transfer to the game.”

At 6-foot-4, Jones offers a nice blend of size and speed.

“I bring a bunch of hard work and I bring speed,” he said. “But our whole team is pretty fast. I want to be the one to make big plays.”

Staggers (6-foot-1) has shown nice athleticism as well. His quickness is apparent while running routes. Staggers showed reliable hands in the Golden Eagles’ first scrimmage as well.

“Man each one of us bring something different to the table,” Staggers said. “Each person got their own unique ability. See me, I got speed. I can come out my cuts easily. But I mean I can't just do it by myself. I got my teammates. They got my back. I got they back. We just roll with it.”

Rolling with it is the only option this group has. With the loss of Casey Martin (80 receptions, 925 yards) and Michael Thomas (71 receptions, 1,391 yards, USM is in the market for receiving production.

You could call it perfect timing for Staggers and Jones.

Staggers said it helps to have his fellow “Last Chance U” alum alongside for this new chapter.

“It was a great adjustment,” Staggers said. “Me already knowing him, that kind of gave me a comfort spot being here. Didn’t know anyone so me and him were around a lot. We talked about it. We studied a lot together. That helped us on the field.”

And yes, Staggers gets noticed for his role in the documentary.

“Yeah a lot of questions,” he said. “They were like man ya’ll movie stars. I seen ya’ll on Netflix. But all that paparazzi, that ain’t no factor.”

Jones added that the attention doesn’t change the process. In the “Last Chance” spirit, playing time isn’t promised.

 “I don't really feel like it's pressure,” Jones said. “I just continue to keep on going with my day because that's what we did when we was making (the documentary). We just kept on going with our day. Living day by day.”

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