First Day of Two-a-Day Workouts for Eagles Wednesday
After going for almost three hours in full pads during the morning session at the Joe P. Park Practice Facility, the Golden Eagles returned to action in the evening shorts and helmets went another hour and a half on the game field at Roberts Stadium.
Second-year coach Todd Monken has all week praised different position groups for their improvement from last season, now stretching into the sixth day of fall camp, after the many hours of preparation and conditioning since a 62-28 victory over UAB in the season finale last November.
As the team went into full pads for the second day, Monken commended one of the deeper position groups of the squad and that has been at defensive line which returns three starters from a year ago as well as the return of Rakeem Nunez-Roches, who missed most of last season with an injury.
"They've been good," said Monken. "Rakeem is going to get himself back in shape after not being able to go in the spring. Neither did Michael Smith. Those guys are going to get in shape. (Senior) Adam Williams is playing as well as he's ever played with Dylan Bradley and Ja'Boree Poole in the other spot. We have some young guys coming on. We have got to continue to get better, but good."
Smith, a junior defensive end from Birmingham, Ala., is the only player from last year's squad to start in every game last season.
Monken also lauded another defensive lineman after the morning workout, senior Daman McCullum, who is from nearby Laurel, Miss., and who has fought hard back from injury to fight for playing time this fall and his presence has been a welcome sight to help mentor the younger players on the defensive front.
"Das(man) is a leader by example," said Monken. "The thing with Das is he has been hurt since I've been here. Just trying to get him back just in terms of how he does his business. His maturity helps us just with how he works."
The two-a-days practice marked the first of six scheduled during fall camp. The Golden Eagles return to the practice fields early Thursday at 8 a.m.
Southern Miss football single game and season tickets are also available by going online at SouthernMissTickets.com, as well as calling 1-00-844-TICK (8425) or by visiting the Pat Ferlise Athletic Center weekdays from 8 a.m., until 5 p.m.