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Averie Habas is out for the season, what’s next for the linebacker room?

Charlie Luttrell

At practice on Wednesday, Southern Miss football head coach Will Hall announced that linebacker Averie Habas is out for the 2023 season. Hall described the injury as a “non-football medical issue.” Hall also said that they hoped to secure a red shirt for Habas for him to play again next season, which would be his senior year.

“We’ve got some news on Habas; he’s not going to be back this year. He’s got a medical condition that’s a non-football related injury. I’m going to leave it at that until he chooses to go further if he does because that’s personal to him.” Hall said.

This news came to light at the start of fall camp when Habas was not on the field for day one of practice. Hall said that he had a “non-football related medical injury.” Last week it was clear Habas was back on campus, but it was clear he was not with the team yet.

The next major update came today when Hall announced he would be out for the season.

Obviously, this is a big blow for the linebacker room in more ways than one. First, the player that Habas was last season posting 108 tackles (71 solos), averaging 9.1 stops per game. Granted, with Swayze Boseman and Hayes Maples both out last season, that helped Habas develop into the player he was in the back half of the 2022 season.

Second, with the leader that Habas is, taking that presence of the field is something that takes work to be replaced. Even when he knew he would most likely be sidelined for the 2023 season, he showed a great attitude and was on the practice field today coaching the team, very similar to what Maples and Boseman did last season.

“Even knowing that he would not be with us this year, he still brought a tremendous attitude. He just brought a whole new perspective on our practices. We love the guy, he’s like a brother to me. Me, him, and Hayes are like three amigos, we are always in the weight room together.” Boseman said.

What is next for the linebacker room?

The good news for Hall and the company is that the recruiting that they have done over the past three years has beefed up every single room on the team. The linebacker room is no exception.

The Golden Eagles still have the two stars in Maples and Boseman. Habas played Jack linebacker for most of his time at Southern Miss, and Josh Carr Jr and Jalil Clemons provide Southern Miss options at the Jack position.

“When we lost him, we kind of had a luxury there from the standpoint of we had more than enough. We still got Jalil Clemons who’s got a chance to be an all-conference player. We got Josh Carr who was a dynamic player two years ago. We got ayoun freshman in Tre’Mon Henry who’s going to be a great Golden Eagle one day.” Hall said.

They have the depth there where it won’t be much trouble to fill the position on the field. However, the leadership and character they are losing on the field won’t be as easily replaced. That is why it is so suitable for the players that Habas is staying and coaching with the linebackers; that way, they still feel his presence during games.

All in all big blow but not as big as it would have been two or three years ago, thanks to the advances in recruiting this program has had.

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