USM snags 13 from Mississippi on National Signing Day

USM snags 13 from Mississippi on National Signing Day

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Twenty-five players signed with the Golden Eagles on Wednesday. Overall, Southern Miss head coach Jay Hopson said he was "thrilled to death," with his 2017 signing class.

"It's kind of like NFL draft day," Hopson said. "You know where your needs are with your graduating senior class and your upcoming senior class, so you know where you got to have depth for the future."

Southern Miss signed six defensive backs with the reality of losing eight after the 2017 season.

With five offensive linemen graduating in 2016, the Golden Eagles signed six "trenchmen" including Gautier High's Paul Gainer.

"I had to go ahead and make the right decision for me, not just for the next five years but for the next 20 years," said Gainer, a three-star prospect by "I feel like [Southern Miss] was best for me."

"Southern Miss to the top," said Callaway High defensive back Emanuel Dabney. "[Southern Miss is] really the ones that have been on me since day one. "A lot of schools stopped recruiting me. Coach Hop[son] showed me love so I just wanted to return it back."

Replacing Nick Mullens, USM's all-time leader in passing yards and passing touchdowns, isn't an easy errand. However, Hopson expects his two quarterback commits from Florida, Suwannee High's Steven Anderson and Columbus High's Marcelo Rodriguez, to compete right away for the starting job under center.

"We're anxious to get these two young quarterbacks into our system and let them compete with Keon [Howard] and Kwadra [Griggs]," Hopson said. "It's going to be fun to watch them battle. That's the great thing about football and competition is you put the ball down there and let them compete for it."

Seven of USM's signees come from Florida but ultimately the Golden Eagles stayed in the Magnolia State, signing 13 Mississippians.

"The family atmosphere and how good it feels to be around the players and coaching staff," said Clinton High running back Darius Maberry on his decision to commit to Southern Miss. "Just how they make me feel at home."

"When I got their offer it was a no-brainer," said D'Iberville High defensive back Tyler Barnes. "I just immediately wanted to play for them. I wanted to be an Eagle since I was young."

"I believe in Mississippi," Hopson said. "I believe in this area. I'm a Mississippi boy myself. At the end of the day, I just believe the guys in this state can play football."

Southern Miss Football's 2017 Signing Class:

Early Signees (4)

Woodlyson Alcius, OL, 6-4, 290, Miami, Fla./North Miami Beach HS

Delmond Landry, DE, 6-4, 285, Donaldsonville, La./Southwest Mississippi CC

Justus Satterfield, OL, 6-3, 295, Toledo, Ohio/Coffeyville (Kan.) CC

Trevor Terry, WR, 6-1, 185, Long Beach/Jones County JC

Wednesday signees (21)

Jaylond Adams, WR, 5-10, 177, Adamsville, Ala./Minor HS

Steven Anderson, QB, 6-3, 236, Live Oak, Fla./Suwannee HS

Tyler Barnes, DB, 5-10, 185, D'Iberville/D'Iberville HS

Briggs Bourgeois, PK, 6-0, 190, St. Amant, La./St. Amant HS

Travion Clayton, OT, 6-3, 310, Glen Saint Mary, Fla./Baker County Senior HS

Andrew Cole, DT, 6-5, 285, Somerville, Tenn./Fayette Ware Comprehensive

Emanuel Dabney, CB, 6-1, 170, Jackson/Callaway HS

Bubba Fludd, CB, 5-9, 167, Okeechobee, Fla./ Okeechobee HS

Bryce Foxworth, OL, 6-4, 302, Gulfport, Fla./Boca Ciega HS

Paul Gainer, OL, 6-3, 275, Gautier/Gautier HS

Freddie Hartz, LB, 6-2, 230, Morton/Morton HS

Tyler Jack, CB, 5-10, 175, Lucedale/Pearl River CC

Tim Jones, WR, 6-1, 200, Biloxi/Biloxi HS

Santrell Latham, OLB, 6-2, 192, Meridian/Meridian HS

Darius Maberry, RB, 5-9, 173, Clinton/Clinton HS

Kris Reed, WR, 5-10, 168, Tallahassee, Fla./Lawton Chiles HS

WyDale Flott, DB, 6-0, 175, Saraland, Ala./Saraland HS

Marcelo Rodriguez, QB, 6-2, 196, Miami, Fla./Columbus HS

Shannon Showers, DB, 6-1, 185, Fort White, Fla./Fort White HS

Tahj Sykes, DT, 6-3, 265, Columbus/Columbus HS

Jimmie Terry, OG, Madison/Tyler (Texas) CC