These types of players are at a premium. While the style points are won by the skill players, it is the offensive line that is the engine that makes the offense go. Without a solid offensive line, no offense can be effective.
With that being said, USM has had several good classes of offensive lineman come to Hattiesburg. To have depth and an adequate understanding of this offense, bringing on solid, smart, and athletic lineman is crucial to the success of this team.
In this edition of the Tuesday notebook we take a look at those who have offers, and where they might be leaning. USM has a high number of offers out for offensive lineman.
Those with USM offers in hand :
James Maiden, OT, Wilkinson County HS, Woodville, MS
GEP's take: He seems determined to be in the SEC, and we see Southern Miss is out of the running for the huge lineman. According to Steve Robertson, he is heading to Mississippi St. with teammate Devin Fossleman.
Kyle Harris, OT, Pepperell HS, Lindale, GA
GEP's take: USM is on an impressive list vying for the services of the GA lineman. The Golden Eagles continue to hit GA hard but probably won't get him on campus. Maryland is the leader, USM is not in the picture.
David Simon: OT, Baldwin County HS, Bay Minette, AL
GEP's take: I talked with Simon early in the recruiting process. USM offered him early, and he was high on USM. He said he has always rooted for Southern Miss. Simon has always favored Duke for their academics, but we wouldn't rule out USM. Even when mentioning the 10 schools that have offered him, he talks about Southern Miss being a team he's always liked. If USM can get him on campus, they have a shot here.
Justin Floyd, OT, Cartersville HS, Cartersville, GA
Offers: Illinois St., Jacksonville St., Memphis, South Carolina, USM, W. Carolina
GEP's take: USM was the 4th school to offer Floyd. If you don't think Southern Miss has a shot at these GA boys, consider they already have two commits from the Peach state. Floyd wants to go SEC, and likely will end up at there. The Eagles are not in the running unless something drastic changes.
Xavier Hemmingway, OT¸ McEachern HS, Powder Springs, GA
GEP's take: Hemmingway wants to stay in the southeast, so USM could be a player here. While he doesn't mention USM as a favorite, Coach Adams and Jackson have been working GA hard. Hemmingway is very much up for grabs, and I'd say USM has a shot here, albeit an outside one.
Kenneth Hughes, OT, Columbia Central HS, Columbia, TN
GEP.com's take: Hughes has not been interviewed, so we cannot name a leader nor have any idea where USM stands with the huge 6'6 offensive lineman. We'll keep trying.
Jraven Tribble, OT, Raleigh HS, Raleigh, MS
GEP's take: USM is his only offer right now. Tribble will hit some camps this summer and likely will be offered elsewhere, but we believe he will end up an Eagle by the time school starts in the fall.
Thomas Williams, OG, C F Vigor HS, Prichard, AL
GEP's take: When asked about the schools high on his list, the Vigor star named Clemson, FSU, and Alabama. He is not ready to name a leader at this time and he does not plan to commit early. USM is in play here because of the close proximity, but he would love to play at Alabama if they offer.
Aaron Morris, OG, Callaway Sr HS, Jackson, MS
Offers: Ole Miss, MSU, Memphis, Southern Miss
GEP.com's take: Morris just left the USM camp, so the Golden Eagles are fresh on his mind. The Big three in Mississippi are all in the running, and we feel Southern Miss has a pretty good shot here. Morris will also attend camps at MSU and OM, then make a decision from there.
Quincy McKinney, OG, Carver HS, Columbus, GA
GEP.com's take: To see USM on that list shows the type of player Southern Miss is not afraid to go after and be mentioned among the big boys. McKinney has USM even with the other schools, as he says every school that has offered is on an even playing field. We don't expect a USM commitment, but never say never.
Justin Bell, OG, Callaway Sr HS, Jackson, MS
Offers: OM, MSU, USM
GEP.com's take: Cade Morrow of GEP.com just interviewed Bell, and he said, "I like the fact that USM has a high graduation rate" said Bell "Academics is a really big plus with me." Bell isn't ready to name a leader just yet, but Southern Miss is definitely in the mix with him. Says Bell again, "They are definitely in the Top 5 with me right now, along with the other two in state schools." USM has a very good shot at landing Bell.
James Elliot, Pensacola Catholic HS, Pensacola, FL
GEP.com's take: Can you tell Elliot is highly sought after? With 12 offers now, and more expected, it is difficult to say where USM might land on this long list. We don't see Southern Miss being a player in his decision, however, as playing in the SEC has always been his dream.
Hunter Long, C, Briarcrest Christian HS, Memphis, TN
Offers: Arkansas St, Memphis, USM, MTSU, Murray St
GEP.com's take: This quote after a USM camp demonstrates that USM is right at the top of the list as of now for Long. "Chris Campbell is the quarterback at Southern Miss and I am good friends with him. He played with my brother (Austin Long) at Briarcrest Christian and I have been down to a game and hung out with him last year. He took me out and I liked the town and the city. It is a lot of fun at Southern Miss." Some SEC schools are showing interest, but we feel Long has a very good shot at ending up in Hattiesburg as USM has made some really good connections with the Memphis school. Long would be an outstanding pick-up for USM.