HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi football program is expected to begin replenishing its ranks on the first day of the newly-minted "early signing" period.
Nearly half of the early class expected to sign letters of intent Wednesday could be enrolled for the upcoming spring semester.
According to 24/7sports.com, among USM's 18 nonbinding verbal commitments, seven were made by players from various Mississippi junior colleges, including two pairs of teammates: outside linebacker TyRee Evans and cornerback Travion Williams from East Mississippi Community College and quarterback Jack Abraham and offensive tackle Tairek Johnson from Northwest Mississippi Community College.
Other junior college players expected to transfer mid-semester include tight end Christopher DeLoach of East Central Community College, receiver DeMichael Harris of Hinds Community College, and defensive tackle Darius Freeman of Southwest Mississippi Community College.
All seven are expected to enroll and go through spring practice with the Golden Eagles. Both Abraham and Freeman have three years of eligibility.
Freeman, DeLoach, and Harris were rated three-star recruits by 24/7sports.com, while Williams and Evans were two-star prospects.
The early commitments also featured 11 high school players, though four were expected to delay their signing until the first Wednesday in February.
According to 24/7sports.com, the quartet includes linebacker Will Robinson of Hattiesburg High School, quarterback Tate Whatley of Lakeland (FL) Christian School, defensive tackle Jalen Bedell of Greenwood High School, and defensive end Shannon Carswell of Freeport (FL) High School.
High school players expected to sign Wednesday include linebacker Hayes Maples of Oak Grove High School, cornerback Malik Shorts of Jefferson Davis County High School, center Trace Clopton of Brookhaven High School, cornerback Jemaurin Jones of Brookhaven High School, cornerback Curry Benn of New Orleans Landry-Walker High School, defensive end Ethan Edmondson of Scottsboro (AL) High School, and offensive guard Kameron King of Marshall (TX) High School.