USM opens spring football Tuesday - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

USM opens spring football Tuesday

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

Every spring, college football teams take to the practice fields to assess and answer questions arising after the previous season.

This spring, the University of Southern Mississippi faces more questions than usual.

Consider:

  • The quarterback derby of 2017 is expected to continue with newcomer Jack Abraham and redshirt freshman Marcelo Rodriguez added to the mix the returning Kwadra Griggs and Keon Howard, who split starts last season
  • USM has to find replacements for both its leading rusher, senior Ito Smith, and its leading receiver, junior Korey Robertson. Smith finished out his eligibility as one of the most prolific and productive players in Golden Eagle history and Robertson declared for the National Football League draft after turning in one of the top receiving seasons in the program’s annals
  • Eight defensive backs bid adieu, including all five starters in the secondary
  • Defensive coordinator Tony Pecoraro left USM recently to assume a similar position at Florida Atlantic University. That created another slot to be filled on a coaching staff that already had lost veteran cornerbacks coach Dan Disch and had not yet announced a hiring for a 10th assistant slot newly-created by the NCAA

The Golden Eagles open practice Tuesday, with sessions also set for Thursday and Saturday.

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