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Southern Miss Football Recruits

2011 Southern Miss Football Signing Class
2011Name Pos Hgt Wgt Class Hometown/Previous School
Tray Becton-Martin WR 5-10 160 Fr. Eads, Tenn./Briarcrest Christian HS
Chris Briggs WR 6-4 195 Fr. Franklinton, La./Franklinton HS
Michael Brinson DT 6-4 260 Fr. Flowood, Miss./University Christian School
Vincent Brown* OL 6-6 315 So. Miami, Fla./ASA Institute
Garrett Clark OL 6-4 286 Fr. Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett HS
Jordan Greene OL 6-3 270 Fr. New Orleans, La./Brother Martin HS
Cooper Harrington WR 6-0 180 Fr. Birmingham, Ala./Briarwood Christian HS
Cortez Hartzog DT 6-4 295 Fr. Gulfport, Miss./Gulfport HS
Rashod Hill OL 6-6 265 Fr. Jacksonville, Fla./Ed White HS
Collin Jarbo TE 6-3 226 Fr. Gadsden, Ala./Gaston HS
Clifford Johnson* DB 5-11 180 Jr. Jacksonville, Fla./Pierce CC
Emmanuel Johnson ATH 5-11 175 Fr. McKenzie, Ala./McKenzie HS
Trent Johnson LB 6-2 206 Fr. Memphis, Tenn./Christian Brothers HS
Ricky Lloyd QB 6-2 185 Fr. Concord, Calif./Concord HS
Max Mason TE 6-7 215 Fr. Kennesaw, Ga./North Cobb HS
Rakeem Nunez DL 6-3 300 Fr. Phenix City, Ala./Central HS
Lance Schuffert DS 6-2 245 Fr. Prattville, Ala./Prattville HS
Chauncey Smith LB 5-11 230 Fr. LaGrange, Ga./LaGrange HS
Michael Smith DE 6-5 222 Fr. Birmingham, Ala./Wenonah HS
Jhyryn Taylor WR 6-0 175 Jr. Franklinton, La./Pearl River CC
Martez Thompson* DB 6-1 200 Jr. Pascagoula, Miss./Miss. Gulf Coast CC
Terrick Wright LB 6-2 205 Fr. Gadsden, Ala./Gadsden City HS
Ed Wilkins DB 5-10 165 Fr. McDonough, Ga./Union Grove HS
Khalid Wilson DT 6-1 300 Jr. New Orleans, La./East Central CC
Keivondre Watford TE           6-4          215         Fr.           Tuscaloosa, Ala./Central HS
* Signed in December during the early junior college period

Tray Becton-Martin WR 5-10 160 Fr. Eads, Tenn./Briarcrest Christian HS
Caught 48 passes for 664 yards and six touchdowns for an average of 13.8 yards per catch as a senior for coach Major Wright … Earned Tennessee Sportswriters Association All-State team honors … Added 40 receptions for 602 yards and nine TDs as a junior … Earned three stars from ESPN and two stars from both Rivals.com and Scout.com … Son of former Memphis running back John “Tweet” Martin and former Lady Tigers basketball guard Kiva Becton.

Chris Briggs WR 6-4 195 Fr. Franklinton, La./Franklinton HS
Caught 54 passes for 867 yards for a 16.1 per catch average at 4A state champion Franklinton High this past fall .. Added 15 touchdown receptions and posted three 100-yard receiving games, including a five-catch performance for season-high 134 yards and four TD catches against Covington … Had four catches for 57 yards and a touchdown in 34-28 state championship victory over Karr at the Louisiana Superdome … An honorable mention Class 4A All-State selection by the LSWA … Voted All-District 9-4A at wide receiver … Uncle, Jake Reed, played for the Minnesota Vikings … A three-star athlete by Rivals.com and a two-star by Scout.com.
Michael Brinson DT 6-4 260 Fr. Flowood, Miss./University Christian School
Played both running back and defensive end at University Christian School for coach Phil Hannon as squad went 9-3 last season… Tabbed all-Metro by the Clarion-Ledger … Named a first-team All-MAIS selection following senior season … Voted District 5-1A all-conference at defensive end … First Division I signee at the school since its opening in 1997 … A three-star recruit and No. 26 rated player in the state by Rivals.com … A three-star player by Scout.com and a two-star by ESPN.
Vincent Brown* OL 6-6 315 So. Miami, Fla./ASA Institute
An offensive lineman from Miami, Fla., who played last season at the ASA Institute in New York City, where the program finished with a 7-3 record … Was a second-team Northeast Football Conference selection on the offensive line … Prepped at Monsignor Pace High School and played just one season … Lone campaign was good enough to earn him All-Star team honors in the state of Florida .. Will have three seasons left for Southern Miss … A three-star offensive lineman by Rivals.com.
Garrett Clark OL 6-4 286 Fr. Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett HS
Transferred to  North Gwinnett High School and played for coach Bob Sphire his senior campaign, after playing at Mainland High in Daytona Beach, Fla. … Garnered preseason AAAAA honors for All-State heading into senior campaign … Played in the Rivalries of Gwinnett All-Star Game … Earned honorable mention All-State honors and second-team All-Central Florida by the Orlando Sentinel during his junior campaign … A three-star offensive lineman by Rivals.com and was also listed as the No. 35 offensive guard and No. 51 player in the state of Georgia … Earned three stars from both Scout.com and ESPN.
Jordan Greene OL 6-3 270 Fr. New Orleans, La./Brother Martin HS
Attended Brother Martin High School and played for coach Mark Bonis …Voted a two-star offensive lineman by Rivals.com, Scout.com and ESPN … An honorable mention 5A All-State selection by the LSWA … He was a three-year starter and played in the 2010 Darren Sharper Lake Pontchartrain All-Star Football Classic.
Cooper Harrington WR 6-0 180 Fr. Birmingham, Ala./Briarwood Christian HS
Played for Class 5A state runners-up Briarwood Christian for coach Fred Yancey … Team went 13-2 during his senior campaign, but he battled through an injury … A three-star wide receiver by Rivals.com and a two-star by both Scout.com and ESPN …  Had 1,314 all-purpose yards, 290 yards rushing with three touchdowns, 633 yards receiving with six touchdowns, 285 kick return yards, 106 punt return yards and was 3-for-3 passing with two touchdowns during his junior season … Earned Shelby County Reporter Honorable Mention All-County that season.
Cortez Hartzog DT 6-4 295 Fr. Gulfport, Miss./Gulfport HS
Played for coach Mike Justice at Gulfport High School … Named 6A 1st Team All-State by the Mississippi Association of Coaches … Picked second-team All-State by the Clarion-Ledger … Named All-South Mississippi by the Biloxi Sun Herald … Chosen Region 4-6A first team and defense line … Recorded 50 tackles and six sacks … Participated in the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Classic … A three-star recruit by Scout.com and a two-star by Rivals.com.

Rashod Hill OL 6-6 265 Fr. Jacksonville, Fla./Ed White HS
Played for the 2010 District 4-4A champions for Ed White High School and coach Terry Gilliam … Team finished season with an 8-3 mark as he helped open holes for an outstanding running squad … A two-star offensive lineman by both Rivals.com and Scout.com.
Collin Jarbo TE 6-3 226 Fr. Gadsden, Ala./Gaston HS
Named the Etowah County Player of the Year his senior campaign for coach Josh Averett at Gaston High School on the strength of 36 catches for 894 yards and second TD catches … A three-time ASWA all-state pick and a 2010 Alabama’s Most Wanted Top 50 selection … A member of the Gadsden Times Dirty Dozen … Totaled 643 receiving yards and was honored as All-State First Team All-County First Team WR, Gadsden Times All-Area First Team at tight end as a junior … Had 634 receiving yards and was honored as All-State First Team, All-County First Team, Gadsden Times All-Area First Team as a sophomore … A three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Scout.com and ESPN.
Clifford Johnson* DB 5-11 180 Jr. Jacksonville, Fla./Pierce CC
Played at Pierce College in Los Angeles, Calif., the previous two seasons for coach Efrain Martinez … His team went 8-3 this past fall has tallied 10 tackles, including seven solos, to go along with five pass breakups … Played his prep football at First Coast High School in Jacksonville, Fla. … A three-star recruit by Rivals.com and a two-star by Scout.com.

Emmanuel Johnson ATH 5-11 175 Fr. McKenzie, Ala./McKenzie HS
Played for coach Miles Brown at McKenzie High School whose team finished 10-3 during senior campaign and region championship … Became first person in history of school to participate in Alabama/Mississippi All-Star Game and caught a 36-yard touchdown pass … Named to 1A ASWA All-State team at Athlete … Accounted for more than 3,000 all-purpose yards last season and led McKenzie to the second round of the state playoffs as a junior … Named to the ASWA 1A All-State team as a defensive back … Was an honorable mention pick as a running back in 2008.
Trent Johnson LB 6-2 206 Fr. Memphis, Tenn./Christian Brothers HS
Played for coach Kevin Locastro at Christian Brothers, where they finished 9-1 this past season and won the Division II-AA West Championship … Totaled 27 tackles (16 solos) to go along with two tackles for loss, two interceptions and a pass breakup … A two-star recruit by Rivals.com, Scout.com and ESPN … Tallied 64 tackles as a junior.
Ricky Lloyd QB 6-2 185 Fr. Concord, Calif./Concord HS
Led the state of California in passing yards and completions, finishing with 4,451 yards and 301, respectively, this past season at Concord High School for coach Brian Hamilton … Both numbers finished No. 4 in the country … Finished season with 52 TD passes (tying a NorCal record) and a 69 percent completion percentage … Helped lead team to school’s first North Coast Division II championship … Voted North Coast Section Player of the Year, Division II Player of the Year by NorCalPreps.com, Metro Area Player of the Year and All-Metro first team by the San Francisco Chronicle, first team All-California by Calhispots.com and All-East Bay Player of the Year by the Contra Costa Times … Played in the East Bay vs. Sacramento All-Star Holiday Classic … One of seven finalists for the 2010 California Mr. Football … His three-year passing totals, including his two years as a starter, included 7,579 yards on 509-of-791 passing with 94 TDs and just 22 interceptions with a 64.2 completion percentage … A 2010-11 Scholar-Athlete.
Max Mason TE 6-7 215 Fr. Kennesaw, Ga./North Cobb HS
Played for coach Shane Queen at North Cobb High School … Caught 26 passes for 481 yards and four touchdowns, while averaging 18 yards per catch … Added a 36.0 yards per punt average over 16 boots … A three-star player by Rivals.com and a two-star by Scout.com … Played in the Cobb All-Star Senior Bowl.
Rakeem Nunez DL 6-3 300 Fr. Phenix City, Ala./Central HS
Played for coach Woodrow Lowe at Central High School .. His team finished 9-2 in 2010 and captured the Region 3 6A championship … Tallied 132 career tackles, to go along with 17 sacks and four forced fumbles … Picked second team All-Area by the Opelika-Auburn News and was an Alabama Top 50 player, ranking No. 39, by the Tuscaloosa News … A three-star defensive lineman by ESPN, as well as earning two stars from both Rivals.com and Scout.com.
Lance Schuffert DS 6-2 245 Fr. Prattville, Ala./Prattville HS
Was an All-Metro and Prattville Progress Super Team selection for coach Jamey Dubose … Started in 32 straight games and lettered in three seasons … Earned  All-County honors twice and was an All-State honorable mention selection as well … Played in the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Classic and started at center … Named a two-star athlete by both Scout.com and Rivals.com … Played in the National Underclassmen World Gridiron Classic in Charleston, S.C., following his senior campaign.
Chauncey Smith LB 5-11 230 Fr. LaGrange, Ga./LaGrange HS
Played for coach Steve Pardue at LaGrange High School … Posted 104 total tackles (69 solos) to go along with eight tackles for loss three sacks, two forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and two interceptions – both for touchdowns … Made the LaGrange Daily News All-County football team … Added 120 tackles (89 solo), 26 tackles for loss, a sack and an interception as a junior … A two-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com.
Michael Smith DE 6-5 222 Fr. Birmingham, Ala./Wenonah HS
Played for coach Ronald Cheatham at Wenonah High School … Recorded a 78-yard fumble return against Woodlawn for a touchdown … An honorable mention 5A ASWA All-State selection and Best of the Rest selection by the Birmingham News … Tallied 97 tackles (64 solos) to go along with seven sacks during junior campaign … A three-star player by Rivals.com and a two-star by Scout.com.
Jhyryn Taylor WR 6-0 175 Jr. Franklinton, La./Pearl River CC
Played last  season for Tim Hatten at Pearl River Community College … Caught 19 passes for 343 yards and four touchdowns … Transferred to Pearl River from LSU … Played in nine games with no starts during his two years with the Tigers … All nine appearances came during his redshirt freshman season in 2009 … Saw action in a backup role at wide receiver and on special teams … Named to the Rivals.com Louisiana Top 30… Rated as the No. 50 athlete in the nation by Rivals.com … Rated as the 12th best overall prospect in Louisiana by Rivals.com … Named to the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s Blue-Chip List, Mobile Press-Register’s Super Southeast 120 and PrepStar’s All-Southeast Region team … First-team all-state in 2007 after catching 47 passes for 827 yards and 14 touchdowns … As a junior, had 40 receptions for 650 yards and seven touchdowns … Coached by Shane Smith at Franklinton High School.
Martez Thompson* DB 6-1 200 Jr. Pascagoula, Miss./Miss. Gulf Coast CC
Attended Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College the last two seasons … Posted 28 tackles (23 solos) to go along with 2.0 tackles for loss as the Bulldogs finished 10-2 and won the MACJC championship as a sophomore … Also defeated Grand Rapids 62-53 in the Mississippi Bowl … Prep at Pascagoula High School where he was a first-team all-state selection by the Clarion-Ledger and the MAC … Garnered All-South Mississippi Honorable mention selection by the Sun Herald … Participated in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic in Mobile … Recorded 44 tackles and four interceptions on defense and had 32 receptions for 598 yards on the offensive side of the ball .. Was rated a two-star receiver by Scout.com and Rivals.com out of high school and was part of the signing class of 2009.

Terrick Wright LB 6-2 205 Fr. Gadsden, Ala./Gadsden City HS
A 6A honorable mention All-State performer for coach Joseph Billingsley at Gadsden City High School … Tallied 104 tackles, 10 sacks, 17 QB pressures, two forced fumbles … Was All-Area at Defensive End and Most Valuable Player … Started in the Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Classic … Lettered four times in football, three in track and once in basketball … Won the U.S. Academy of Science Award, the U.S. Academy Business Leadership Award and registered over 90 percent grade point average … Father player college baseball at Alabama A&M … Voted the No. 37 player in the state of Alabama by Rivals.com and also garnered three stars … Given two stars both by Scout.com and ESPN.
Ed Wilkins DB 5-10 165 Fr. McDonough, Ga./Union Grove HS
Prepped at Union Grove High School for coach Paul Burgdorf … Was a second-team All-Southern Crescent selection … A two-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com.
Khalid Wilson DT 6-1 300 Jr. New Orleans, La./East Central CC
Played the last two seasons at East Central CC for coach Brian Anderson … Tallied 50 tackles (28 solos) with three tackles for loss, four sacks and two forced fumbles during sophomore season … Added 54 tackles (42 solos) with five tackles for loss and three sacks as a freshman … Played his prep football at Wilson Academy in New Orleans … A three-star recruit by Rivals.com and a two-star by Scout.com.

Southern Miss Coach Larry Fedora Media Conference | Signing Day, Feb. 2, 2011

Opening Comments
“I was trying to think of the best word I could use to describe this class and the best thing I could come up with is just ‘special.’ I am extremely excited about this class and I know this staff is excited about it because they have done a tremendous job of putting this class together.

Larry Fedora

“As you look at everything about this class, signed one quarterback and the kid threw 52 touchdowns this season and that says a lot. I think he led the state of California in passing, which they throw the ball a little bit out there. We signed three tight ends in this class – one kid that measured over 6-6 and the other two were 6-4. We signed four wide receivers. The best word to describe them is “speed.” Every one of those guys can run. We signed four offensive linemen. We needed some length and we got two kids that were over 6-6 and then two that were 6-4. We signed a deep snapper for the future, which is going to be really critical to our success in the future. We signed three defensive tackles and the smallest one is 295 pounds. So we are excited about what that is going to bring inside for us. We added two defensive ends, one that is 6-5 and the other is 6-4. We have some height there and we are going to add some weight to them and they have a great burst of getting off the ball.  We signed three linebackers and every one of these kids can run and hit. That was a big part of what we were looking for at linebacker. Then we got four DBs in this class and they can all run.

“The one position that we didn’t sign was running back and that was intentional. We didn’t go into this class feeling like we needed to sign a running back and so we didn’t.

“You have eight guys from Alabama, five from Mississippi (three natives, two at Mississippi JCs), four from Georgia, three from Florida, two from Louisiana and Tennessee and one from California. We were all over the place signing kids.

“This group of young men has a lot of class. I have been in each and every one of these kids’ homes. I met their families and they all have class and character, great athleticism, speed, size, integrity and another word that comes to mind is “desire” to be great. They all have high football IQs. In addition, they all had strong family backgrounds and it was really interesting getting to know each and every one of these kids and finding out about their families and support systems. They all understand the meaning of commitment. A lot of these guys were committing to us early on and they stuck with us from the beginning, even though were in there hammering away. They are winners and all have a desire to graduate.

“It will take four years, or three years, to really tell about this class, but I think overall what you are going to be saying four years from now, after these guys win multiple championships, that this is a very special class.”

On meeting the team’s needs
“I have always got more needs than we can meet to be honest with you, but I think we did exactly what we wanted to in this class. I probably, if I could go back, take another defensive lineman. But they only give you so many scholarships to give out.”

On any surprises during the day
“There were really no surprises. It went smooth all the way through. Guys signed when they said they were going to sign. We got the faxes in when they said they were going to fax them in. There were really no problems throughout the morning.”

On the ability of keeping the early commitments
“That is a tribute to the staff. This staff has done a tremendous job of building relationships with these kids and keeping those relationships going. There was a lot of talk, a lot of smoke, about this kid is thinking about this and these schools are talking to him, but every one of these kids has been solid all the way through.”

On how important it was in having a large recruiting weekend when you bring in most of your recruits
“That was the first time that we had done that and I thought it was a huge success. It was a great weekend, we had great weather and had all of those families, all of those parents and all of those players in and it was like that they were already friends. Most of them have built relationships through Facebook and all these other things and talked to each other. They were all excited about coming that same weekend. The parents were able to mingle with each other and build relationships, because they are going to be sitting next to each other for the next four years. They are going to be travelling together for the next four years. They will be tailgating with each other for the next four years. So they already have a relationship with some of the other parents, which I think will be a unique thing.”

On the how the recruiting shook out in terms of where these kids were from
“We’ve never just said that that is the most important thing. The most important thing is identifying the kids that can help us win a championship and then recruited those kids. It doesn’t matter to us certainly where they come from, as long as they can help us win and that they want to be at Southern Miss. That’s big. (The first job) is to find kids that want to be at Southern Miss. This year we just happen to have more from the state of Alabama and the state of Georgia than we do from the state of Mississippi.”

On Chris Briggs and the influence from fellow signee Jhyryn Taylor on getting him to Southern Miss
“They were high school teammates that know each other very well. Their families know each other well and it came down to a few schools for Chris and in the long run Jhyryn helped to make him feel more comfortable. Also, it is an hour from home. His whole family from the Franklinton area is going to be able to come over and see him play every week. He is another kid that has great length. He is 6-4, 190 lbs., catches the ball well and makes plays. I just think he will be another big wide receiver that will be able to make plays for us in the future.

On resigning Martez Thompson (who was a part of the 2009 signing class)
“We still communicated with him over those two years and we are anxious to get him back and finally we have him back on campus and excited about having him here. He had two really good years down there at Gulf Coast and the whole time that we were communicating with him we were also communicating with the staff down there and they were saying good things about him which just made us feel better about the decision we made two year ago.”

On how close these players are on playing right away
“I think all of these kids have the ability and I think it is going to come down to the mental part of it and where they are mentally when they get here. There will still be a lot of development. You take a kid like Rashod Hill, the offensive lineman from Jacksonville, Fla. He is 6-6 ½ and he weighed 270 pounds. Well, he’s playing basketball and he has played one year of football. I look at that kid and I predict that he is going to be 320 in a year and a half. Max Mason, the tight end that is over 6-6, is 210 to 215 pounds in that area. I think easily he will be 250 and maybe even bigger than that in a year or year and a half. There is still quite a lot of room for development and that is one thing you get when you have kids with length. They have room to get bigger. So we brought in some kids that had length that are leaner than maybe some that we have had in the past so that our new strength coach can develop those kids.”

On having ever signed three tight ends before
“Never in one class, no. We got into a situation where we have only two on scholarship for next year and it was important that we went out and got some, especially with the importance of (that position) is in our offense.”

On QB Ricky Lloyd
“Sunshine (which is his nickname), he probably is what everybody thinks of about a guy from California. He has long hair and got a big smile. You don’t ever see him when he is not smiling. We saw film on him about this time last year. Obviously we look at a lot of film on a lot of kids and that is one position that we do not make offers unless we see the kid in camp. We let his coach know that we would have to see him in camp and we didn’t know if we would ever see him again. He showed up in camp and tore it up. He really did some great things. Also, he has a very infectious personality with the smile he’s got and he is really a great kid. You watched him in camp and saw all the other players get drawn to him and they were hanging out around him all the time, which is a great quality for a quarterback to have. We made the offer to him. When he made the commitment, obviously we were concerned because of the distance but the kid never wavered. It didn’t matter who came in his house, who came to his school to see him. He always said he wanted to be a Golden Eagle and he stuck to that.”

On Jhyryn Taylor
“He can run, so we are excited by him. We really are.”

On finding a defensive coordinator
“Now that recruiting has slowed down, or I should say started up for next season, I can start focusing a little bit more on that. So that’s where we are on that right now. I have got some guys lined up to be coming in and we will see where that takes us from there. I am hoping to have someone in place, if it is the right person, in the next couple of weeks.”

On getting most of these players on campus for next season
“That is something I am very confident about by far. More so than the last three classes.”

On rating this signing class
“Probably people are going to think this class does not have the flash or the bling, but I am going to predict that this will be the strongest class out of all of them when the four years is up. That is my prediction.”

On ever signing a deep snapper before
“Never in my life, but I have never seen one in my life also. We are excited to have a guy and know that you are going to have him for the next four years and not be worried about somebody walking-on and trying out and hopefully having someone. We know that we have a guy now.”

Southern Miss Football Signs Three Junior College Players

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Southern Miss football coach Larry Fedora announced the signing of junior college players Vincent Brown (Miami, Fla.), Clifford Johnson (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Martez Thompson (Pascagoula, Miss.) for the 2011 season to start the early signing period here Wednesday.

Brown, at 6-6, 310, is an offensive lineman from Miami, Fla., played last season at the ASA Institute in New York City, where the program finished with a 7-3 record. He was a second team Northeast Football Conference selection on the offensive line.

He prepped at Monsignor Pace High School and played just one season. That lone campaign was good enough to earn him All-Star team honors in the state of Florida.

Johnson, at 6-0, 195, played at Pierce College in Los Angeles, Calif., the previous two seasons. His team went 8-3 this past fall has tallied 10 tackles, including seven solos, to go along with five pass breakups.

He played his high school football at First Coast in Jacksonville, Fla.

Thompson, at 6-1, 190, is a defensive back from Pascagoula, Miss. He attended Miss. Gulf Coast Community College the last two seasons. As a sophomore, he posted 28 tackles (23 solos) to go along with 2.0 tackles for loss as the Bulldogs finished 10-2 and won the MACJC championship. They also defeated Grand Rapids 62-53 in the Mississippi Bowl.

As a prep star at Pascagoula High School, Thompson was a first-team all-state selection by the Clarion Ledger and the MAC. In addition, he was a All-South Mississippi Honorable mention selection by the Sun Herald. Thompson Participated in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Classic in Mobile. He recorded 44 tackles and four interceptions on defense and had 32 receptions for 598 yards on the offensive side of the ball. He was rated a two-star receiver by Scout.com and Rivals.com out of high school and was part of the signing class of 2009.

Both Johnson and Thompson will have two years of eligibility with the Golden Eagles, while Brown will have three.

Danny Hrapmann Receives More All-America Mentions

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Southern Miss place kicker Danny Hrapmann received mention from two more All-America teams Tuesday afternoon as he was selected third team by the Associated Press and honorable mention by SI.com.

Hrapmann finished the 2010 regular season by establishing school single-season records for kicking points (129), field goals made (26) and extra points made (51). He converted the first 15 field goals he attempted this season and established a school game record with five made versus East Carolina.

The junior belted a career-long kick of 54 yards against UAB, which is tied for the third longest in the school’s history.

The New Orleans, La., native was one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Collegiate Place Kicker Award and was a part of the Home Depot College Awards Show last Thursday.

Hrapmann is the first Golden Eagle to earn AP honors since linebacker Michael Boley collected second-team honors in 2004. The last USM players to get recognized by SI.com came in 2005 when both linebacker Kevis Coley and punter Luke Johnson garnered third team honors by that website.

Last week, Hrapmann garnered first-team Walter Camp Foundation All-America honors and was the second team place kicker by CBSSports.com.

Hrapmann and the remainder of the Golden Eagles (8-4) will have one more game next week as the program heads to their ninth-straight bowl game. Southern Miss will meet Big East foe Louisville (6-6) on Dec. 21, at the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg at Tropicana Field. Game time is set for 7 p.m. CT.

Three Golden Eagles Named C-USA First Team; 20 Total Players Cited by League

HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Three Southern Miss football players, Cameron Zipp, Johdrick Morris and Danny Hrapmann, all garnered first team Conference USA honors in a vote of its 12 head coaches and released by the league Tuesday afternoon. A total of 20 Southern Miss players merited mention for their play during the 2010 season.

Deadline Extended

That list includes second team All C-USA Golden Eagle honorees quarterback Austin Davis, defensive linemen Anthony Gray and Cordarro Law and defensive back Justin Wilson.

In addition, nine Southern Miss players were tabbed honorable mention selections, including running back Kendrick Hardy, offensive linemen Joe Duhon and Lamar Holmes, wide receiver Kelvin Bolden, defensive lineman John Henderson, linebackers Jamie Collins and Korey Williams, defensive back Chico Hunter and long snapper Creighton Nelms.

Hardy also headlined the All-Freshman team for Southern Miss which also included tight end Zeke Walters, defensive lineman Khyri Thornton and defensive backs Deron Wilson and Alexander Walters.

Zipp, a senior from Mandeville, La., has started in 41 games during his career, including his last 38 games, and has been mainstay at center on the offensive line. His leadership on the offensive line has helped the Golden Eagles rush for over 2,000 yards in each of his playing seasons. The team is also on the cusp of breaking the total offensive yard record for a season. That mark has been established two of the last three years with Zipp leading the controls on the offensive line.

Morris, a senior from Baton Rouge, La., has posted a team-best 46 receptions for 663 yards, which is the second-most receiving yards on the team. His reception total includes four touchdowns as he is averaging 14.4 yards per catch and 60.3 yards per game. Morris has the opportunity to become the first Golden Eagle tight end since Robert Ray Stallings (1985) to lead the team in catches and first since Raymond Powell (1981) to lead the squad in receiving yards.

Hrapmann, a junior from New Orleans, La., and a finalist for the Lou Groza Award, converted 26-of-30 field goals during the year while making all 51 extra point tries. During the year, he equaled the third longest field goal in school history of 54 yards against UAB and established a school record with five field goals against East Carolina. In addition, he has established single-season school records for kick scoring (129), field goals made and extra points made.

The Golden Eagles, who have put together its best season since 2006 with an 8-4 record, will play in their ninth consecutive bowl game later this month when they meet Big East member, Louisville, in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg. The game is set for Dec. 21, at Tropicana Field with the kickoff slated for 7 p.m., CT.

Tickets can be purchased through the Southern Miss Athletic Ticket Office by going online at SouthernMiss.com, or by calling 1-800-844-TICK (8425). Fans can also go by the Pat Ferlise Center in person from 8 a.m., until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday to purchase tickets.

Southern Miss to Hold Final Bowl Social at Turtle Creek Mall

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Southern Miss football coaches and players will be on hand Sunday, Dec. 12, from 1-3 p.m., at Turtle Creek Mall (1000 TurtleCreek Dr.) for the final Golden Eagle bowl social prior to its appearance in the third annual Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg.

All Golden Eagle fans are invited to come and meet with the coaches and players, as well as Seymour and the cheerleaders. There will be an autograph signing session, a silent auction, face tattoos by the cheerleaders as well as an opportunity to purchase tickets to the bowl game.

The event is located at the center court near JCPenney.

The Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl is set for Tuesday, Dec. 21, at Tropicana Field. The game can be seen live nationally on ESPN and heard on the Southern Miss Sports Network.

Southern Miss to Play Louisville in Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The University of Southern Mississippi learned today that it will be playing Louisville of the Big East Conference in the thirdannual Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl on Dec. 21, at 7 p.m., CT. The game, which will be televised by ESPN, will take place at Tropicana Field.

It will be the 29th meeting between the two schools in football with the Golden Eagles holding an 18-9-1 series advantage.

“(First-year coach) Charlie (Strong) has done a tremendous job with those guys this year getting them into a bowl game and I am sure they are going to be excited about playing down there,” said Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora Sunday following the Golden Eagles’ first bowl practice.

The game marks first time the two teams will have met for a bowl game and the initial time a contest in the series has been played outside either the states of Mississippi or Kentucky. In fact, only one game has been played outside the city of either school and that was a 1952 contest in which Southern Miss won 55-26 in Jackson, Miss.

The two teams did meet each other every season from 1978 until 1991 and both were members of Conference USA from 1996 until 2004. The Cardinals left the league for the Big East Conference following that season.

Since the Cardinals departure from C-USA, the two teams have played once and that last meeting came during the 2009 campaign with UofL capturing a 25-23 decision at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville.

The Southern Miss Department of Athletics wants Golden Eagle fans to know that the priority deadline for tickets is Dec. 10. Ticket prices are $30 for the general public, $20 for students and $20 for band donations. Fans can go online at SouthernMiss.com, call 1-800-844-TICK (8425) or visit the Pat Ferlise Center Monday through Friday from 8 a.m., until 5 p.m., to purchase tickets. From premium packages (suites, club level, Bud Light Lounge) please contact the Southern Miss Athletic Ticket Office.

Incentives have also been developed for those fans wishing to purchase multiple tickets. For purchasers of 10-19 tickets, they will receive a $30 gift card from Campus Book Mark. For 20-29 tickets bought, those individuals will receive a $30 gift card to Campus Book Mart and a bowl watch. For ticket purchases of 30 or more tickets, they will receive a $30 gift card from Campus Book Mart, a bowl watch and a duffel bag.

Fans will also receive a free ticket of their choice to one of the Hardwood Club Basketball Classic contests, with each bowl ticket purchase, to be held at Reed Green Coliseum, Dec. 29-30.

Students may purchase tickets immediately, one with their current University ID, and will be made available for pickup beginning Dec. 8.

Please note that all tickets are will call only and none will be mailed. General public ticket pickup begins Dec. 14.

For those wishing to pick up their tickets on game day, the will call at Tropicana field will open at 4 p.m. and be located at Gate 4. The stadium does not open until 6 p.m., that evening.

Lumberton Wins State Football Championship | Jackson Police Threaten to Arrest Players and Coach

This is an Editorial by Dean Wade

To start with I am posting links to the information that has prompted today’s post.

The first is a link to video from last night’s sports on WDAM-TV.

The second is a link from GoreSports.net. that describes exactly what happened last night.

Jackson PD, MHSAA officials smudge championship moment for coach and family

In a nutshell the Lumberton Panthers won the state 2A football championship. They coach’s wife with their 5 year old son, goes to join her husband on the field as they celebrate the victory.

Then, here’s how GoreSports.net puts it:

Ford’s wife, Dena, came on the field carrying their 5-year old son to share in the moment with her husband, but instead they were forced to go back towards the stands. In seeing this, Ford alerted the officers it was his family trying to join him and the situation quickly turned into a heated confrontation between the police officers and the coach.

Players’ celebration were cut short when they saw the altercation as they quickly rushed to the side of their head coach. The situation became more heated as JPD officers threatened to arrest Lumberton football players.

The field was cleared and Lumberton moved their championship celebration to their locker room when representatives of the Jackson Police Department called Coach Ford and other players out of the locker room to lecture them with what on-lookers called “coarse language” while “waiving fingers” in the faces of coaches and players. The players and coaches were made to apologize to the officers afterwards while Ford’s family was left distraught as they were made to go back to the stands.

Let me start by saying, I have no idea what the Jackson Police Department or MHSAA are thinking. I have seen no comment or statement from either one. I don’t know if they thought this was somehow a “safety” issue or a “sportsmanship” issue. I just don’t know how they are going to defend this.

I do know though that the behavior of the Lumberton Coach and his family is seen yearly in big football games all across the nation. This includes the Super Bowl (remember Drew Brees and his family) and College football championship games.

I believe after this history from JPD and MHSAA that the state championship football games should be moved from Jackson. Take them to a location where they understand that people would like to celebrate and  congratulate players, coaches and family for a job well done. Move the championships to M.M. Roberts Stadium at the campus of USM. Hattiesburg knows how to welcome people into the city.

I look forward to hearing your comments.

Head Coach Larry Fedora’s Weekly Press Conference Transcript

Opening Statement:

“Obviously that was a very frustrating game for us the other night. We had many opportunities to win the football game and we did not get it done. We gave up way too many big plays on defense and turned the ball over too many times on offense and kicked too many field goals in the red zone. The only phase that I can say we played well enough in to win the football game was our special teams.

“We are excited about getting the opportunity to play in a bowl game and get our ninth win.”

On an End of Year Meeting with Athletic Director Richard Giannini:

“I meet with him every Monday. We have not started evaluating the season yet. Basically, we meet every week and just talk about the week – what happened in the game, the practices and everything that encompasses that week. That is what we spent most of our time talking about this morning.”

On the Schedule headed into the Bowl Game:

“Until we find out what bowl we are going to play in, the guys will lift and run this week. We will probably get into practices this weekend. If we know who we are playing in the bowl game, we will start preparing for them. If not, we will just have some basic fundamental practices. We will get some practice in this weekend, either way, around the high school state championship games.”

On if the league is headed to an offense only style of play:

“I hope not. I said at the beginning of the year that the team that plays the best defense will win the league and we will see this weekend. I thought there were some games that we played very well in defensively and there were some games that we did not play the way we needed to play. In each of the three C-USA games we lost, it did not matter that we scored 142 points, we still needed a few more.

“I cannot really tell you that we played great offensively in any of those three games. I think we had some tremendous opportunities to score points that we did not take advantage. We have to play better in every phase. You can go back in each one of them, as we did throughout the season, and find five or six plays that were the difference in the game, just like you can in every game. But when it’s a one-point game, it just digs a little bit deeper into you because you were very close.

“This team was close, just a play or two away and we could have won 11 games pretty easily. In one aspect its frustrating, but also when you look at it the future is very bright. The program is heading in the right direction. Give these kids some credit as well. We overcame a lot of adversity this year – a lot of adversity. We had the shootings that overshadowed all the injuries. We were having a rough time with all the injuries and then we had that incident. There were just a lot of things that the kids have overcome and we had three games there we just did not get it done.”

On any surprise players this season:

“There were guys that played that we did not anticipate playing. We played two true freshmen at receiver. Francisco Llanos helped us some this year. He scored a touchdown the other night. Deon Hodges scored a couple of times. Alex Walters was a true freshman at corner who played extensively this year. There were a lot of guys that were young and playing that we did not expect would have to play. That is kind of the nature of the beast and I was proud of those guys.”

On the inconsistencies from game to game:

“I am sure that was a contributing factor, but I do not know if it was the only factor. I will have to go back as this week goes on and really look and see why there was inconsistencies and what the reasons were. You are going to have inconsistencies throughout the year. Very few teams every year play at that high of a level 12 weeks in a row, where you go out and play your best each and every week. It does not happen very often.”

On the bowl game:

“First of all, we are excited to be in another bowl and do not ever want to take that for granted – 17-straight winning seasons and 13 bowl games in the last 14 years, you don’t take that for granted. There are some programs out there that have been very successful in the past who this year are not and maybe because they took some things for granted, I do not know. But I do know that I will never take those things for granted and I am happy to be in a bowl game as well as these players are. Now, they are excited about finding out where we are going and who we are going to play. That gets them excited to know they will play a quality opponent and be out there one more time to play. This is the last time that this football team will be together as a team and, no matter what, there will be changes. It is a lot of fun and you have to take advantage of it.”

On Francisco Llanos’ kickoff returned for a TD:

“I would love to say it was Llanos that did it all, but there were guys who did a tremendous job of blocking. He was untouched because they did such a tremendous job. If you go back and look at it, not only are guys on their blocks, but they stuck on their blocks and stayed on them well into they were in the clear. We also had guys downfield with him. There was two guys running all the way down beside him still blocking all the way down the field.

“(Coach) Pat (Washington) did a great job with that team, especially in the second half of the season. The year before we were really good on our kickoff return team and I think the guys just thought it was going to happen and probably did not have the mindset they needed to have. Pat changed that around probably around the Tulane game and decided that they were going to be the best kickoff return team from that point. They went back and did some fundamental things in practice and got after it. From that point on those guys really did a nice job.”

“(Tracey) Lampley has been banged up the whole time. Then you had Desmond (Johnson) who was back there early on and then he got hurt. Injuries have done a lot to us. We have had to make a lot of changes throughout the season. More times than not people do not realize it, but those injuries hurt you more in special teams that they do anything. If it is a guy on defense you just think he has to be replaced on defense but he may have been the starter on four special teams. (That is the) same thing on offense, because you have guys from both sides of the ball on special teams.”

“One thing about that position is that you have to be fearless. The good ones have no fear. They hit it 100-miles an hour. They hit it full speed, and do not stutter step. They just make one cut and go. Reggie (Hunt) has bought into that and he has done a great job, especially there in the second half of the season when you start trusting that those guys are going to do their job up front and you can just hit it as hard as you can.”

On the challenges of this season:

“No doubt this has been the most challenging year I have ever had by far (as a coach) and it is not even close.”

On offseason evaluations:

“We do the same thing every year. Until I get to really breakdown the season and really evaluate every aspect of the program, which will not come until after the bowl and we can get everything done.”

On staff turnover:

“Do you ever know me not to be worried? I am always worried about everything. Everything concerns me about this program and I am always trying to stay one step ahead and not get caught off guard by anything that happens. When you have good people and you do good things people will come looking. That is just something you have to deal with year-in and year-out.”

Latest news on the three players who were shot:

“Everything that I know right now is that they are still making good progress. Martez and I played phone tag yesterday and could not catch each other, but I have not heard anything negative.”

Austin Davis Named C-USA Offensive Player of the Week

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – After accounting for six touchdowns in a 59-41 win over Houston, Southern Miss junior QB Austin Davis has been named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week in a vote of selected media around the league. C-USA announced the honor on Monday.

Davis led the Golden Eagles to a season-high 59 points in a victory over Houston over the weekend as the squad won for the third time in a row. The Meridian, Miss., native threw for 293 yards on 24-of-31 passing with two touchdowns and no interceptions.  He added his second career 100-yard rushing performance with 111 yards on 17 carries, including a long run of 29 yards to go along with four rushing touchdowns.

Davis’ precision passing and ball-control rushing helped the Golden Eagles hold the football for 37:29, which is the seventh-most time of possession in a game for the Golden Eagles since the 1981 campaign.

It was the sixth time in the last seven games that the Golden Eagles have scored at least 40 points.

SMU junior DB Richard Crawford won the Defensive Player of the Week honor after recording two interceptions in the Mustangs’ 31-17 win over Marshall.  The Special Teams Player of the Week award went to UCF sophomore KR Quincy McDuffie after he returned a kickoff for a touchdown for the second time this season.