HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Football coaches say it routinely – it all starts up front.
Jay Hopson believes it and feels like the defensive line could be very stout for Southern Miss this fall.
The Golden Eagles return preseason All-Conference USA linemen Jacques Turner and Demarrio Smith. Graduate transfers Torrence Brown (Penn State) and Terry Whittington (Alcorn State) join the mix to make that unit even deeper.
Hopson prefers to roll in new troops on the front seven throughout a football game – keeping USM fresh and full-throttle.
“On the defensive front it’s great if you can play more than two guys,” Hopson said. “Just like the front, you really need two-deep up front because you want your defensive linemen going 30, 40 snaps. You don't want them going 85 snaps."
"Man, they’re taking all the action,” said USM junior defensive back Ky’El Hemby. “We just scrimmaged out there and I’m backpedaling, I’m thinking the ball’s coming – sack, sack. I love it. It makes my job easier back there, I don’t have to worry about chasing guys. I think with our group we’re so talented up front, I think our defensive line is like legit. We have a legit defensive line and our backers all flying around, all of them can move. We got a squad.”