On Saturday, the Golden Eagle seniors take the field at "The Rock" for the final time. For every group that comes through knowing it is nearing the end of their playing career at Southern Miss, senior day is an emotional day. Perhaps, for this senior class, there is a little something extra special. These seniors who have been around the program for several years have been through seasons unlike any other at Southern Miss. They have truly seen some of the darkest days in the history of this football program, and they will be sent off with the satisfaction that they were the senior class that helped lead the program back where it belongs.
Some in this group are in their first year with the program, but they knew how far it had fallen and were ready to be a part of the rebirth.
In 2012, coming off the heels of one of the best seasons in Southern Miss history, some in this group had no way of knowing what stood in front of them. The colossal fall of the 0-12 season saw many abandon ship. For guys like Terrick Wright, Jalen Richard, Wil Freeman, Kalan Reed, Michael Smith, and others, everything they knew of Southern Miss football had been lost. They lost 23 games in a row. The swagger of this proud program was gone.
Yet here were, continuing to stick with it when many around them fled for greener pastures.
This Saturday is for them. This last home game at "The Rock" is a chance for the fans and teammates to say "thank you" to them for staying true to this program and keeping the faith that this day would come. They have taught everyone a tremendous lesson in endurance, faith, hope, and perserverance. They have laid the groundwork for more winning streaks, better recruiting classes, and the pride a school feels with winning football. This day is for you.
This day is also for those seniors that even came on board for one year to help be a part of the resurgence. For Anthony Swain, Quincy Russell, Andrew Bolton- you guys came to help. You are going to end your proud careers as winners.
As the final home game of your tremendous careers come to a close, all fans and alumni of Southern Miss say thank you to you for all you've done to represent this proud Golden Eagle program...
Thank you, seniors, you will be missed.
Terrick Wright, Gadsden, AL, LB
Wright has been instrumental in adding LB depth, and has seen big growth his senior year under Zac Woodfin.
Mike Thomas, Chicago, IL, WR
Thomas came to Southern Miss from Dodge City CC (KS) and will leave as one of the most explosive and dominant Southern Miss wide receivers of all time. He has had 6 games of more than 100 yards receiving and has 9 TD's as well.
Anthony Swain, Gadsden, AL, LB
Anthony Swain transferred from Auburn and in his final season with Southern Miss has given the Eagles a physical presence in the heart of the defense. He's also added experience and leadership.
Michael Smith, Birmingham, AL, DL
Michael Smith has been around the program and has seen all the highs and lows. Always willing to do what the coaches have asked of him, Smith will be remembered as a hard worker and great leader for the Southern Miss defensive line.
Lance Schuffert, Prattville, AL, DS
Lance Schuffert knows how to dazzle with his popular long snapping videos. He's been instrumental in the solid special teams for Southern Miss.
Quincy Russell, San Antonio, TX, DL
Quincy Russell transferred from Oklahoma and brought an immediate impact to the defensive line. His physical presence and leadership has helped make this line the dominant force its been this season.
Jalen Richard, Alexandria, LA, RB
Jalen Richard will be remembered as one who endured so much as an Eagle, and has had the season of his life as a senior. One of the most popular Eagles, Richard has battled injury and set backs and has come out as the leading rusher with 886 yards on the season and an astounding 10 TD's. His smile and leadership will be one that will be remembered by all as well. His career really mirrors that of Southern Miss over the past few seasons.
Kalan Reed, Birmingham, AL, CB
Kalan Reed is a work horse who came to Southern Miss and played as a true freshman in 2012 and got his feet wet early. Now, he's the leader of the defensive backfield and has 3 INT's that lead the team. More than that, he's a leader on and off the field and a true testament to what hard work and dedication can become.
Norman Price, Vicksburg, MS, OL
Norman Price flipped to Southern Miss right before signing day from Mississippi State, and he's never looked back. The senior transfer from Hinds CC has really developed this season under Coach Woodfin and has provided depth at the tackle position.
Bradley Nugent , Pell Lake, WI, OL
Bradley Nugent has seen limited action on the field, but is everything Southern Miss looks for in a student athlete with his hard work and locker room presence.
Matthew Moseley, Franklin, TN, P
Moseley boomed a 60 yard punt against Nebraska his sophomore season. He's had 4 punts this season for 126 yards.
Illiad Kelly, Terry, MS, DL
Illiad Kelly transferred to Southern Miss from Southwest CC and has seen some action for the Eagles recording a couple of sacks on the year.
Randall Agee, Terrytown, LA, OL
Randall Agee had an injury that kept him out last season after the first two games. He's a hard worker who has always done what the coaches have asked him to do.
Brian Anderson, Little Rock, AR, LB
Brian Anderson transferred in from Butte College last season and has added depth and a physical presence the Eagles needed last season. He's improved his strength and speed in the off-season and is a tackling machine. He's second on the team in tackles this season, and has 9 tackles for a loss. He's started all 10 games for USM this year.
David Bertucci, Gulfport, MS, LB
David Bertucci has been a stand out on special teams for the Eagles over the years and has provided good depth at the LB position as well. He's a very versatile player who can fill multiple roles.
Andrew Bolton, Bolton, MS, DT
Andrew Bolton returned home to Mississippi to play his final season close to his ailing family member. He's been everything the Eagles have needed up front, physical, tough, and nasty in the trenches. The Kansas transfer has started all 10 games for Southern Miss.
Johntre Goudy, Meridian, MS, RB
Goudy saw his first action as an Eagle in the blowout win over UAB that stopped the streak at 23 games. Now, he's hoping to finish where he started.
Justice Hayes, Flint, MI, RB
Justice Hayes is an example of the talent at RB the Eagles have this season. The Michigan transfer would start for most programs, but is the 3rd RB for USM this season. In limited time, he's rushed for 200 yards and has 2 TD's.
Rashod Hill, Jacksonville, FL, OT
Rashod Hill will be remembered for his physical play at tackle. The coaches asked him to be more of a leader his senior year and he responded and has helped develop this offensive line into one that has been very effective for USM this season.
Casey Martin, Huffman, TX, WR
Casey Martin has quickly risen to the top for Southern Miss as a receiver with his ability to catch the ball in traffic and extend plays with his shifty running ability. Small in stature, but big in heart, speed, and quickness, Martin was a tremendous find for Southern Miss last season.