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A ‘Celebratory’ return: Southern Miss Football kicks off fall camp to start the 2022 season.
August 5, 2022
Southern Miss football started fall camp on Friday, August 5, with a new look and conference. The first game of the season is just under 30 days away, and here are three things I observed at fall camp on day one.
1. Ty Keyes says he’s ‘ready to go.’
They had the QB drills going when practice started, and Keyes began the show by dropping 40-yard bombs right into the bread basket of his standout receivers Jason Brownlee and Jakarius Caston. Keyes talked after practice about what he has done over the off-season and what is different about him this season.
“[I’m] mainly just staying healthy, eating right, getting rest and hydrating. That is the main thing.” Keyes said.
The quarterbacks behind Keyes also showed some flashes in practice. Trey Lowe and Zach Wilcke had their share of good throws and got some reps in with their respected groups. Keyes did mention that the offense felt like they had something to prove.
“We are going to really show who we are this season. Everybody thinks that we are just down on the bottom, but we are going to show everybody. We are going to shock the world.” Keyes said.
Keyes suffered a season-ending injury after earning starting experience, but he is the clear choice for QB1 going forward.
2. New players aren’t new anymore.
Coming into fall camp, Southern Miss has 16 returning starters along with multiple additions via the transfer portal. Ten players from the transfer portal were from the SEC, and several more were added from JUCCO schools.
Head Coach Will Hall said at the Sun Belt Conference Media Days last week that he told all the transfer players on day one “that we will not become you-you have got to become us.”
Today, the media got a chance to talk to Ole Miss transfer Tylan Knight, who discussed the transition to Southern Miss and his role on the team.
“Since I’ve been here since the spring…I feel really comfortable like I’ve been here almost a whole fall, but I just got here in the past semester.” Knight said.
Thanks to the transfers and added players in the recruiting trail, Southern Miss has had three completely different rotations on the offensive side of the ball.
3. The rotations on the offensive side of the ball
I focused just on the offensive rotations when the Team was doing their 11-on-11 drills, and these are the rotations that I saw.
QB: Ty Keyes (#5)
RB: Frank Gore Jr. (#3)
WR: Jason Brownlee (#1), Jakarius Caston (#15), Antivirus Willis (#11)
TE: Cole Cavallo (#33)
OL: Brisson Mayes (#51), Gerquan Scott (#65), Paul Gainer, Jr. (#71), John Bolding (#77), Tykeem Doss (#79)
QB: Trey Lowe (#8)
RB: Dajon Richard (#6)
WR: Richard Mays (#13), Jalen May (#82), Mitchell Sellers (#84)
TE: Ray Ladner (#48)
OL: Bryce Ramsey (#55), Coker Wright (#60), Kyron Barnes (#64), James Middleton (#70), Matt Ryals (#72)
QB: Zach Wilcke (#12)
RB: Chandler Pittman (#2)
WR: Tiaquelin Mims (#21), Davis Dalton (#81), Jack Jackson (#80)
TE: Avery White (#42)
OL: Will Saxton (#50), Ethan Bumgarner (#52), Kyron Barnes (#64), Kamron Barnes (#66), Kameron King (#74)
This is not an official depth chart, but these are the rotations that were visible from the sidelines on day one of practice.
Photos by Charlie Luttrell
There is much more to be learned, but these were the main observations after day one.
“This fall camp is a celebration of everything we have put in over the course of eight months. By the time FIU ended, and that’s recruiting, which involves everybody in our program, players and coaches. All the way through spring lifting, spring workouts, summer workouts, [and] academics, we have totally changed the perception of our academics and our football program. We are winning off the field and now it’s time to reap those rewards on the field to,” Hall said.
It’s a celebratory return to Southern Miss football, and everyone is ready to go. Defensive back Malik Shorts believes that Southern Miss is crafting together what he called “a superteam.”
We will get more information to see if that statement is true in the coming days and weeks.