USA Adds JC Transfers

Seeking to get more talent and experience to face the challenges of an NCAA schedule next year, South Alabama dipped into the junior college ranks to pick up tight end Kennedy Helms of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Gabe Loper of East Central Community College(MS).

Helms, whose brother Kevin played for USA last season, is a 6'3" 242lb tight end who will help in both the running and passing games.

"He's a really aggressive blocker," said USA Coach Joey Jones. "and a good, solid pass catcher. He's a guy who could grow to 255 or possibly 260lbs and be a nice-sized tight end for us."

Loper is a 6'2" 190lb safety who was recruited earlier by such teams as Tennessee and Kentucky but was available when the Jags came calling. The secondary was one of the priorities for this recruiting class so Loper's addition is key.

"We're real excited about Gabe, " said Jones. "He's got some great ability. He's so athletic he played some cornerback (in junior college). Sometimes you get to a point in a season and you have some injuries that you need a guy that you can swing between positions. We're going to start him at safety, though. I think this guy's got some big-time potential."

This will probably be all the mid-year junior college transfers that USA will add, but two or three more could be added in May. There are rumblings that several FBS transfers may join the Jags this month as well. USA recently received word from the NCAA that four-year college transfers will still be immediately eligible as long as they join the program by next fall. This means that USA may have several more experienced players joining the program before they take on the likes of NC State and Kent State next season.

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