Six Golden Eagles From 2016 Season Headed to NFL
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Six former Southern Miss football players are headed to the NFL. Dylan Bradley (Vikings), Wil Freeman (Falcons), Nick Mullens (49ers), Cameron Tom (Saints), Ja'Boree Poole (Jets) and D'Nerius Antoine (Bears) will all be furthering their careers this spring and summer.
Bradley was far away the biggest presence for the Golden Eagles in opponent backfields as a senior, leading the team with 15.5 tackles-for-loss and 8.5 sacks, which ranked second and third in C-USA, respectively. Bradley made a season-high nine stops against Troy and recovered and forced fumbles in the comeback win at Kentucky. The UTEP game saw the Macon, Miss., native make 2 1/2 tackles behind the line and break up a pass.
Freeman began his career as a defensive lineman and had some spot starts before shifting to the offense in his redshirt-senior year. He was a main starter on this past year's team, paving the way for the Golden Eagles to average 472.8 yards per game, which ranked No. 21 nationally. Freeman was a product of Flowood, Miss.
Mullens broke several school passing records during his four seasons at the quarterback helm, including passing yards (11,994), touchdown passes (87), passing efficiency (137.81) and attempts (1,546), in which he was voted the C-USA Offensive Player of the Year following the 2015 campaign. He is a native of Hoover, Ala.
Tom earned first-team all-conference honors each of his last two years and has made the CoSIDA All-District and C-USA All-Academic team for the past three. He helped engineer a Golden Eagle's aforementioned No. 21 offense and was Mullens' partner in his rewriting of the Southern Miss passing record book. Tom, a product of Baton Rouge, La., also posted a 3.8 GPA as an economics major and started the final 48 of his 50-game college career.
Poole ended his college career on the highest note possible with a New Orleans Bowl-record three sacks and career-high nine tackles. The Brookhaven, Miss., native had just 11 tackles in his junior year. Of his 25 total tackles as a senior, 9 1/2 were for loss. He also finished fifth in C-USA with seven sacks.
Antoine, originally from New Iberia, La., was a first-team all-conference selection this past fall after leading Southern Miss in tackles each of his two years with the team. The defensive back totaled 86 on the year, including three for loss, and broke up five passes.
Southern Miss has seven alumni on active NFL rosters.