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C-USA BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP TO BE PLAYED IN JACKSON | TICKETS ON SALE NOW

IRVING, Texas – Tickets for the 2011 Conference USA Baseball Championship in Pearl, Miss. are on sale now.  The eight-team tournament will be held Wed., May 25-Sat., May 28 at Trustmark Park, the home of the Mississippi Braves, class AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves in suburban Jackson, Miss.  This will be the first time in the 16-year history of the C-USA Baseball

Trustmark Park

Championship that the event will be held at a neutral site.

Tournament ticket packages include seats for all 13 games and are available in four different price ranges.  Club seating is $120, dugout level seating is $100, field level seating is $80 and general admission seats are just $60.  Tickets can be ordered online via ConferenceUSA.com (http://conferenceusa.cstv.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/012611aad.html), MississippiBraves.com (http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/tickets/page.jsp?ymd=20110127&content_id=16519422&vkey=tickets_t430&fext=.jsp&sid=t430) or Ticketmaster (http://www.ticketmaster.com/2011-Cusa-Tourney-tickets/artist/1541477).

Trustmark Park, which opened April 18, 2005, has capacity for nearly 7,500 fans. There are 5,500 chair-back seats in the reserved seating areas. The grass berm beyond the outfield walls has room for an additional 2,000 general admission customers.

The Farm Bureau Grill, beyond the right-field wall, is a full-service restaurant and there are nine baseball-themed concession stands that offer a wide variety of ballpark treats.  Twenty-two luxury suites that seat between 16 and 20 fans are equipped with hardwood floors, a bar, flat screen TVs, refrigerator and sliding doors that open up to two rows of seats. The ballpark also includes a picnic pavilion in left field, 150 closed-circuit monitors positioned around the park televising the game and two merchandise shops.

The 2011 Conference USA Championship will feature the top eight teams in regular-season league play.  Those six will be split into two four-team pools (or pods), with the winner of each pod playing in a single championship game. Teams will be assigned pods based on seed, which will be determined by the order of finish in regular-season conference play.

Each team will be guaranteed to play three games. Teams in each pod will play two teams in its pod and one team outside its pod. The team with the best composite record in each pod will advance to the championship game. Two-way ties in a pod will be broken by head-to-head play.  In case of a three-way tie, the highest seed will advance.

Game times are 9 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with the championship game slated for 7 p.m. on Saturday night.  The championship game will be nationally-televised by CBS College Sports.

Three Southern Miss Baseball Signees Named 2011 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-Americans

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Three Southern Miss baseball signees for the 2012 season, Conner Barron (Sumrall, Miss.), Breck Kline (Slidell, La.) and Luke Lowery (Sumrall, Miss.), have been named to the 2011 TPX/Louisville Slugger Preseason High School All-American team.

Barron, a middle infielder from Sumrall High School, batted .514 a year ago with 12 doubles, six home runs and 60 runs batted in, to go along with 57 runs scored and 21 stolen bases.

Fellow Sumrall standout, left-handed pitcher Luke Lowery, posted an 11-1 record with a 1.13 earned run average with 102 strikeouts and just 19 walks over 62 innings of work during his junior campaign.

As for Kline, an infielder from Northshore High School, the three-year starting shortstop batted .419 with seven doubles, three triples, six homers and 21 RBI, to go along with seven stolen bases.

The 2011 Golden Eagle squad starts their season next Friday, Feb. 18, when they play host to Eastern Illinois in the first of a three-game series at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field with the first pitch slated for 4 p.m.

Season tickets, as well as single-game seats, can be purchased online at SouthernMiss.com, or by phone at 1-800-844-TICK (8425) or by visiting the Pat Ferlise Athletic Ticket Center, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m., until 5 p.m.

Hoops for Habitat Raises Over $10,000

The Harlem Ambassadors returned to Hattiesburg to take on a group of local celebrities who call themselves the “Hattiesburg Habitat Hoopsters”.

The Hoopsters included the athletic talents of: Father Tommy Conway, John Brown, Chad Newell, and Cpt. Andy Gilliam just to name a few. They were welcomed by a group of over 700 fans including kids from: the Boys and Girls Club, Homes of Hope for Children,  the ARC, the Children’s Center at USM, the Dubard School, Edwards Street Mission, and the Petal Sunshine Kids.

The colors were presented at the beginning of the game by the Boy Scouts and then the National Anthem was performed by Ms. Kate Dearman, a senior at PCS. The night was filled with laughter and tons of fun as the Ambassadors squared off against the Hoopsters and proved that a night with the Harlem Ambassadors is truly, “Not Your Grandfather’s Basketball Show”! Following the game, all of the Ambassadors were “Fed at The Shed” BBQ and Blues Joint.

This event raised just over $10,000 dollars for the Hattiesburg Habitat affiliate and would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors and volunteers. We would like to especially thank:

• Our Event Sponsor- Pine Grove Behavioral Health

• Our Media Sponsor- Citizens National Bank

• William Carey University for donating the use of the Clinton Gym

• Our Hotel Sponsor- Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriot

• Our Quarter Sponsors:

Will’s Way Pediatric Behavioral Psychology

The First National Bank

Parkway Heights UMC

Medpay Assurance

• Our Food and Beverage Sponsors:

Coca-Cola of Hattiesburg

Walgreens

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

• Volunteer Sponsors:

USM Office of Community Service Learning

Southern Miss Activities Council

• Player Sponsors:

Generosity of numerous entities from the community

About Hattiesburg Area Habitat for Humanity

Hattiesburg Area Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit housing organization committed to assisting families in need with the life-changing

opportunity of buying simple, decent affordable housing in partnership with a team of enthusiastic volunteers and staff guided by Christian values.

For over 20 years our ministry has provided a hand-up, not a hand-out to 54 families in the Hattiesburg community. In addition, through our

tithing efforts, an additional 10 families have been served in Haiti, Chile, Romania and Guatemala. Habitat volunteers build houses in partnership

with low-income families. Upon completion, the families purchase the houses from us through ZERO interest loans and at no profit to Hattiesburg

Area Habitat. For more information about how to get involved or a listing of partner churches, visit www.hattiesburghabitat.org or call the Habitat

office at 601-582-4663.

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Southern Miss Names Disch Defensive Coordinator; Announces Duty Changes for Staff Members

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Southern Miss football coach Larry Fedora announced Tuesday afternoon the hiring of Dan Disch as defensive coordinator as well as safeties coach. In addition, linebacker coach David Duggan has added the title of co-defensive coordinator and running backs coach Pat Washington will add the role of special teams coordinator.

The hiring is pending approval by the IHL Board of Supervisors.

“We basically will go from a basic 4-3 to a 4-2-5 defense that will be multiple and something that we will still be able to bring a lot of heat without everyone knowing where we are coming from, which will be very good against the type of offenses we face in this conference,” Fedora said. “Dan also is known for having the ability of getting everything out of his players and having them play extremely hard for him dating back to his high school coaching days, and that has followed him during his career. He has had some great linebackers at Illinois, which is something that they had not had in many years.

“I am just excited about the attitude that he brings to the defense.”

Disch, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., comes to Southern Miss after spending the last six seasons at Illinois, in which he served as the secondary coach (2004), special teams coordinator/outside linebackers (2005-06), co-defensive coordinator/outside linebackers (2007-09) and inside linebackers coach (2010). He served under Ron Zook for the last seven seasons, including one year at Florida (2004). Fedora also was a member of that Gator staff in 2004.

“Obviously, I am extremely excited, as is my family, about the opportunity of leading the defense at Southern Miss,” Disch said. “Southern Miss has a great tradition of playing defense and they play in an offensive league. I am looking forward to the challenge ahead. I had the opportunity to work with Coach Fedora at Florida and have followed his career since our season there together and am looking forward to working with him again.”

Disch’s linebackers were a strong point of the Illini defense in 2010, as Martez Wilson collected 112 tackles, ranking tied for fourth in the Big Ten. Wilson also ranked among Big Ten leaders in tackles for loss. In 2009, one of Disch’s linebackers again led the team in tackles and ranked among the Big Ten leaders as Ian Thomas racked up 95 stops.

In 2008, for the third-straight season, Illinois’ middle linebacker led the Big Ten in tackles and was a first-team All-Big Ten selection. After J Leman in 2006 and 2007, Brit Miller averaged 11.0 tackles per game. The Illini also led the Big Ten in tackles for loss and sacks, in which Miller was also the team leader.

Disch’s 2007 Fighting Illini defense was one of the best in the Big Ten, led by consensus All-American and first-team All-Big Ten selection, Leman. The heart of the Illini defense, Leman finished sixth on the Illinois career tackles list and ranked fifth in all-time tackles for loss.

In 2006, Disch’s linebacking corps helped the Illini make a large improvement in total and rushing defense. The team bettered their numbers from the 2005 season by over 160 total yards, led mostly in part by the emergence of middle linebacker Leman. He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors as well as honorable mention Sports Illustrated All-America honors. He led the Big Ten with 12.7 tackles per game and ranked 10th in the nation in TFL per game.

As the special teams coach for the Illini in 2005, Disch tutored All-Big Ten and All-American punter Steve Weatherford, who with a 42.6 average, became the school’s all-time leader in punting average. Just one year later, more special teams records were broken under Disch’s watch as running back Pierre Thomas set a new mark for kickoff return yards in a career. He averaged 31.9 yards per return in 2006 and ranks third on the school’s all-time return average list with a 25.3 mark.

In 2004 at Florida, Disch rebuilt a secondary that lost all four starters from the previous year, yet his new group still recorded 16 interceptions. The production came from a group that entered the season with just four career picks. Safety Jarvis Herring ranked third in the SEC in interceptions per game, while corner Dee Webb was fourth in passes defended.

Prior to entering the collegiate ranks, Disch spent 22 years coaching high school football in the Jacksonville, Fla., area, including 16 seasons as the head coach of Ed White High School, where he posted a record of 122-55 to become the school’s all-time winningest coach. While under Disch’s lead, Ed White made 11 playoff appearances, won seven district and six conference championships, and reached the state quarterfinals four times. Ed White also was ranked in the Top-10 of the state’s final football poll eight times. Additionally, five of Disch’s high school assistant coaches went on to land head coaching jobs.

Disch is a 1981 graduate of Florida State University. He was born in Jacksonville, Fla., and is married to the former Janet Johnson. The couple has three daughters: Chandler, Erica and Virginia.

Duggan, who is in his fourth season with the Golden Eagle staff, will add the title of co-defensive coordinator for the Golden Eagles to go along with coaching the linebackers.  Washington, who joined the staff in 2009, will begin his third season overseeing all of Southern Miss’ special teams.

“David Duggan is a heck of a football coach and has a tremendous amount of experience with schemes and in working with kids and is a proven winner,” Fedora added. “This is a move up for him to have more of a say so on the defense. He did a tremendous job for us on special teams the last couple of years and he won’t be able to do that and take on this new job as co-defensive coordinator.

“Pat Washington has proved with the responsibilities that he has had that he has done a great job and I am looking forward to what he will be bringing to the role as well.”

Disch’s Year-by-Year:

2010                   University of Illinois (linebackers)

2007-09            University of Illinois (co-defensive coordinator, outside linebackers)

2005-06            University of Illinois (special teams, outside linebackers)

2004                   University of Florida (secondary)

1988-2003        Ed White High School (head coach)

1986-87            Terry Parker High School (assistant coach)

1981-84            Forrest High School (assistant coach)

Personal:
Hometown: Jacksonville, Fla.
Birthdate: January 6, 1959
Family: Wife, Janet; Daughters, Chandler, Erica, Virginia
Education: B.S., Education/Psychology — Florida State, 1981
Bowl Games: Texas Bowl, 2010; Rose Bowl, 2008; Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl, 2004

Southern Miss Professor’s Dolphin Research Featured in Broadcast of NOVA Feb. 9

“How Smart Are Dolphins?” is part of a NOVA series on animal intelligence that will include Kuczaj’s research on dolphin cognition and communication, as well as correlations between dolphin and human behavior. Kuczaj is director of the Southern Miss Marine Mammal Behavior and Cognition Laboratory, housed in the university’s College of Education and Psychology.

Kuczaj and a crew from NOVA spent spring break last year in Roatan, Honduras documenting the research group’s efforts to learn how two dolphins communicate when they are simultaneously producing novel behaviors. The NOVA crew also interviewed Kuczaj at length regarding his work on dolphin cognition.

Kuczaj and his graduate students in the laboratory have conducted more than 20 years of research on the popular marine mammal, which has received support from the Office of Naval Research and the U.S. Department of Commerce. His research in Honduras began five years ago through a study abroad program near Utila, sponsored by Southern Miss International Education.

More recently, his research on the rebound of the mammal’s habitat off the Mississippi Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina was published in Marine Mammal Science, and last summer his dolphin research was also featured in a show on Japanese public television in July 2010.

For more information on this program, online visit http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/nature/how-smart-dolphins.html. For more information on the Southern Miss Marine Mammal Behavior and Cognition Laboratory, online visit http://www.usm.edu/psy-kuczaj/

Black History Month Activities Schedule Announced at Southern Miss

The University of Southern Mississippi is marking the 25th anniversary of Black History Month by recognizing the achievements of African Americans and their contributions to the American experience with a series of educational, service and recreational activities and programs.

The month’s schedule of events follows:

Feb. 9: Stereotypes: Sentenced to Death,” 7-9 p.m., R.C. Cook University Union room B. This program will be a discussion focused on dispelling and destroying stereotypes of cultures, with particular emphasis on the African American race.

Feb. 10: “Shades of Time,” 6-8 p.m. Stout Hall, located behind College Hall.

Feb. 12: Day of Community Service, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Edwards Street Fellowship Center, located at 1919 Edwards St. in Hattiesburg.

Feb. 14: “Ourstory” Woods Theatre, Theatre and Dance Building 118. Time to be announced

Feb. 15 – Free HIV testing, Student Health Services Clinic, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Feb. 15: Student Soul Food Luncheon, Fresh Food Company, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
The Fresh Food Company will serve Soul Food for lunch, a popular American cuisine often linked to the African American community in the South.

Feb. 15: State of the Black Union, 6 p.m., Thad Cochran Center, ballroom 1.

Feb. 22. “Organized CHAOS,” noon – 1 p.m., Seymour’s, University Union.

Feb. 24: Day of Community Service, 1 – 4 p.m., Edwards Street Fellowship Center, located at 1919 Edwards St. in Hattiesburg.

Feb. 28: Eagle Awards, 6:30 p.m., Manonni Performing Arts Center Auditorium. The Eagle Awards ceremony honors African American Students who have greatly contributed to Southern Miss and beyond. The event will feature student and community entertainment.

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.

Baseball Fan Day Postponed for a Week


HATTIESBURG, Miss
. – Due to the expected bad weather forecast for the greater Hattiesburg area later in the week, the Southern Miss Baseball Fan Day has been pushed back a week from Sat., Feb. 5, until Sat., Feb. 12.

The day starts with a 10 a.m., free baseball clinic for kids ages 4 through 13, with instruction provided by Southern Miss players and coaches. Registration for the free camp will begin at 9:30 a.m. At noon, fans will have the opportunity to meet the entire 2011 squad and coaching staff during an autograph session, followed by a 2 p.m., nine-inning, intra-squad scrimmage.

Throughout the day, the Southern Miss mascot, Seymour, will be on hand for pictures and autographs for this free event. Assorted inflatables will be set up for children to enjoy along with drinks provided by Powerade.

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.”

Cargill Named to NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award Watch List

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Southern Miss senior relief pitcher Collin Cargill (Hattiesburg, Miss.) has earned a spot on the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Stopper of the Year watch list.

Golden Eagles

Forty-five players have been named to the initial watch list for the seventh annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball.

Cargill, who posted a 4-2 record with a 1.75 earned run average, tallied nine saves over 27 appearances. He threw 46 1/3 innings and allowing just 46 hits and nine earned runs, while striking out 36 and walking 11 in 2010.

The right-hander pitcher is one of four Conference USA hurlers to make the list. The others include East Carolina’s Seth Simmons, Tulane’s Nick Pepitone and UCF’s Joe Rogers.  With four nominees, C-USA is tied with the SEC and Big 12 for most nominees.

Cargill and the Golden Eagles begin their quest for a ninth-straight postseason when the campaign begins Feb. 18, at home against East Illinois. Season tickets are still available by going online at Southern Miss.com, by calling 1-800-844-TICK (8425) or by visiting the Pat Ferlise Athletic Ticket Center Monday through Friday from 8 a.m., until 5 p.m.