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Southern Miss Spring Football Report: Day 7

April 4, 2017

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Week Three began Tuesday for the Southern Miss football team's spring campaign, serving as the nightcap of a busy day that featured Pro Day in The Rock in the afternoon.

A handful of former players stuck around to catch their old team's drills as the sun set.

Head coach Jay Hopson

On today’s practice:
“I thought it was a good practice. I thought we had a good, hard fought practice, back and forward. I thought we had a step today so I’m pretty pleased and we’ll watch the film, but I thought there was some good stuff out there. I thought it was clean. I saw some good fundamental football so I was pleased today.”

On the team’s health:
“Cedrick Snow had an ACL and we had one little freak thing with Ernest [Gunn], but other than that we have been pretty healthy, knock on wood. That’s a big thing in spring, you want good work, but you want to stay healthy.”

On who has stepped in the absence of injured players:
“At linebacker, [Sherrod] Ruff has been out and here comes Walden Davis. On the back end, Picasso [Nelson] has been down and Jomez [Applewhite] has really done some good things back there. There’s guys that are getting there opportunity and doing good things, that’s what you hope for. I think Drake [Dorbeck], on the offensive line, has done some good things. He’s young and has an opportunity to get in there. At the end of the day that’s part of it, we’ve got to get some guys healed up, but also get some guys who are twos one’s reps."

On the quarterback progression
“I thought Keon [Howard] and Kwadra [Griggs] have had a fun battle. They looked good in the scrimmage and I thought they looked good today, so you just continue working them. There’s competition there. As long as we’re getting better, that’s what I’m looking for. I thought today was a get better day.”

Senior defensive back Curtis Mikell

On how spring has been for him so far
"It's fun. Senior year coming up, I'm just trying to have a positive mindset to go out there and have fun with my brothers because this could be my last year. I just want to take advantage of it."

On how the team compares to the previous fall
"We had a lot of guys come back, athletic ones too. There's a lot of speed on the field. The size might not be where it's at, but there's heart and guys want it more this year. If we want it more, we will be a better team this year."

On his current duties
"Right now, I'm at corner. I'll go wherever Coach wants me. I just want to be there. I love this game."

On what will change for next year.
"The secondary has been focusing more on its technique and eyes. We weren't doing what coach was saying. We have bought into that this year and we are trying to become perfect."

Redshirt-junior running back Tez Parks

On what the team's returnees mean for the squad
"It's been great for the offense. We have great competition at offensive line, quarterback, running back. The defense has been flying around. We are looking even better than I thought we'd look. We still have some fundamentals and coaching to do, but it's only the second week of practice."

On how competition fares for everyone
"The intensity is high because you have guys at each position trying to get a spot, and you also have guys trying to help each other. You want to win the job at the end of the day, but you help each other while you're out there."

On if the new quarterbacks will change the outlook
"We will have a new offense this year, but Nick Mullens was an amazing quarterback. Kwadra Griggs and Keon Howard have a good running ability, and that will put a big difference in the offense that's coming back."

On what his primary focuses are
"I'm focusing on rehabbing my knee, learning the plays and getting even better than where I was my freshman year. This spring they have me moving around to make sure my body is up. I'm just doing what they ask me to do."

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