Throughout the years, Southern Miss has found some of its best talent from Louisiana, and they hope to establish more of a foothold there for the next crop of future Eagles.
Here are 10 to watch from the state of Louisiana:
1. Shelby Lavergne, DB, Patterson HS- Lavergne picked up his first offer from the Eagles and is quietly one of the biggest sleeper prospects in the state. He's been identified early by the Eagles and that gives them an early leg up, but he's sure to blow up this summer.
2. Javahn Fergurson, DE/LB, Catholic HS, Baton Rouge- Fergurson has been clear in naming Southern Miss as the team to beat. Even with interest coming in from Nebraska and neighboring LSU, he maintains USM has been a favorite for him for a long time. With daily contact with the Eagles remaining, Fergurson could be very close to a commitment.
3. Antonio Parks, East St. John HS, Reserve- Parks was an early offer for the Eagles, and has stayed in regular contact with Coach Simon. He's named a few more offers out there, but right now the Eagles remain in his top 3.
4. Christian Campbell, QB, Ponchatoula- Campbell is a big time QB who would be a huge get for the Eagles, who are still in the race for him right now. He's a dual threat kid who is just an outstanding athlete and a QB of the future. He holds offers from all the in-state Louisiana schools and Southern Miss and Georgia Tech are the out of state schools to take their chances on him. He mentions the Eagles when naming schools of interest, and the early offer will certainly help here.
5. Rhashid Bonnette, WR, Loreauville- Bonnette is an off the radar kid because of a knee injury that kept him out of most of last season. He's a track star and is the burner the Eagles are looking for, though. He currently holds four offers including Mississippi State, Houston, and Louisiana Tech in addition to Southern Miss. It will be to the finish with Bonnette, and a strong summer of camps could land him more offers.
6. Tyrell Jacobs, DE, Rummell HS, Metairie- The question for Jacobs has become, "is there any team you have NOT heard from?" The stand-out defensive end is drawing interest from around the country, and is earning an offer every few days. He maintains to me that Southern Miss is right there in the hunt. The quiet, humble stand-out just wants to find a place where he can call home and earn early playing time. He knows the Eagles fit that bill and they are not out of the picture.
7. Andrew Hicks, ATH, Belle Chasse- Hicks took a few visits to Southern Miss before finally picking up an offer a few weeks ago, his first. He's always favored the Eagles, and likes what they are telling him about his possibilities in the offense. Look for a possible late summer commitment from the rising star.
8. Jalen McClesky, WR, St. Paul's HS, Covington- McClesky is hoping for a big summer and is making the rounds of camps. He's picked up offers to Southern Miss and South Florida so far, and says those two are his top two for now. Interest is rising from Tennessee and others as his top level speed is being put on display. The Eagles are right in the mix for him right now.
9. Michael Dunman, TE, Byrd HS, Shreveport- Dunman has an offer from the Eagles, and a ton of interest from other schools who are intrigued by the size (6'5, 245) and hands of the big man. That first offer is always a big one, and the Eagles got in first. They'll have to hold out a lot of other challengers as the summer wears on, however.
10. Kavontae Turpin, WR, Neville HS, Monroe- Turpin picked up an offer from the Eagles and Appalachian State close together, and the speedy 5'9 WR says the Eagles are still right there at the top. Here is another one where the summer camp circuit will make him one to watch as he tries to impress possible interest from other schools.