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Southern Miss Projected Depth Chart

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Southern Miss beat writer for the Hattiesburg American and KSR friend Jason Munz provided his readers with a projected Golden Eagle depth chart. You can follow Jason on Twitter at @munzly for in-depth coverage. He provides excellent analysis of the Wildcat’s opening opponent. Munz was the first ever guest on the Depth Chart Podcast and will again be joining us on August 31st. Below is an excerpt from his August 5th article:

Following the first full week of training camp at Southern Miss, here is how the football team’s depth chart is shaping up. 

Disclaimer: Obviously, this is an educated guess and is still very much fluid. Things can change plenty between now and the team’s season opener on Sept. 2nd. 






Kwadra Griggs

Keon Howard


Ito Smith

Tez Parks


Allenzae Staggers

Chase Whitehead


Isaiah Jones

Jordan Mitchell


Korey Robertson

Trevor Terry


Julian Allen

Jay’Shawn Washington


Drake Dorbeck

Paul Gainer


Arvin Fletcher

Bryce Foxworth


Devin Farrior

Wyatt Richthofen


Jerry Harris

Travion Clayton


Ty Pollard

Woodlyson Alcius








1st Team

2nd Team

Bandit end

Xavier Thigpen

Darian Yancey


Draper Riley

Rod Crayton


LaDarius Harris

Delmond Landry


Paxton Schrimsher

Allen Fails


Sherrod Ruff

Walden Davis


Jeremy Sangster

Racheem Boothe


Cornell Armstrong

Trae Collins


Curtis Mikell

Rachuan Mitchell


Tarvarius Moore

Xavier Marion


Demetrius Market

Jomez Applewhite


Picasso Nelson Jr.

Kelsey Douglas

Notable Observations

— Per Phil Steele’s Magazine, USM’s preseason All-Conference USA selections were RB Ito Smith and WR Allenzae Staggers. Steele also predicted Southern Miss to finish third in the CUSA’s West Division. His publication listed USM’s running back and receiver position groups as the conference’s best.


— Munz lists QB Kwadra Griggs to be the starter on September 2nd. Griggs played his first two seasons at Itawamba CC where he threw for 3200 yards and 27 touchdowns. Keon Howard is competing with Griggs for the starting role. Gamesmanship could come into play as the starter may not be announced until game day. Keon Howard started two games against Old Dominion and North Texas a year ago. He ran for 98 yards and passed for 230 against Old Dominion.

— The grouping of RB Ito Smith along with WR’s Allenzae Staggers, Isiah Jones, and Korey Robertson will be one of the top four RB/WR collections that the Wildcats will face in 2017. This foursome is fast, explosive, and dangerous. It will put pressure on Matt House’s defense for four quarters with or without an overly accurate passer through the running game and creative screens.

— RB Ito Smith is the only active FBS player with career totals of 3000 rushing and 1000 receiving yards.

— WR Allenzae Staggers’ 2016 totals: 63 receptions, 1165 yards, 17 touchdowns, and averaged 18.5 yards per catch.

— Similar to Kentucky, senior Devin Farrior started 27 games at guard before moving to center with intention to replace four-year starter and All C-USA center Cameron Tom. Tackle Ty Pollard is the only other returning offensive line starter.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports


— Noticeably missing from the 2017 depth chart is Dylan Bradley. The defensive tackle ravished the Cats with 7 tackles, 1 QB sack, and 2 TFL in last year’s matchup.

— 6’7 240-pound DE Xavier Thigpen returns along the defensive front and is the unit’s designated pass rusher. He finished 2016 with 5 QB sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss.

— Nickel Picasso Nelson is the team’s top returning tackler with 48. He also intercepted 2 passes, registered 2 pass breakups, and 2 TFL’s.

— Cornerback Cornell Armstrong is USM’s second leading returning tackler with 47 to go along with 8 pass breakups and 1 interception.

— Defensive strength lies within its secondary as it will utilize a nickel or 5 defensive back scheme vs. the Cats. Nelson will crowd the box with intent to slow UK’s run game.

What does all this mean?

With that running back (Ito Smith) and those wide receivers (Staggers, Robertson, and Jones) Southern Miss is a risky team with the capacity to score points in bunches. Its inexperience along the defensive line-of-scrimmage could struggle to match Kentucky’s strength which is its offensive line depth.  September 2nd poses an interesting contrast of roster construction.

According to Rivals, Kentucky’s recruiting class average over the past five years ranks 27th  nationally. Southern Miss’s average ranking over the same period of time is 80th.

Remember, it’s not personal; it’s personnel. 

Article written by Freddie Maggard

Former University of Kentucky Quarterback and Andy Griffith Fan Club President

3 responses to “Southern Miss Projected Depth Chart”

  1. Souf beach Lou

    Great info as always Freddie but I think it would also be helpful to indicate the class of the roster especially going forward as we scout the SEC opponents. Football is a game where upperclassmen make a huge difference, in fact I tend to think teams with more upperclassmen generally win more. We stack up pretty well in that regard lots of talent at the Jr. And Sr. Level here

  2. Reuben Cuban

    Nip this in the bud.

    One word: RETRIBUTION!

  3. High Angle Hell

    All good points Mr. Maggard!