Southern Miss redshirt junior quarterback Parker Adamson has decided to leave the football program.
The Oxford native told the Sun Herald on Tuesday he plans to graduate in May and will not return for his fifth year.
Adamson said he’s still trying to figure out what’s next for him.
“I’m not sure yet,” he said. “I’m actually still exploring all options.”
As for playing football again, that’s not in the plans.
“I’ve hung up the cleats for good,” Adamson said.
The 6-foot-4, 214-pound Adamson signed with Southern Miss in 2013, Todd Monken’s first year as coach. He was in the same class of signees as Nick Mullens, making it hard for him to get on the field.
Mullens finished the 2016 season as the all-time leading passer in USM history with 11,994 yards.
Adamson played well in limited opportunities during his junior campaign, appearing in four games. He completed 19 of 39 passes for 193 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. He ran 13 times for 60 yards and a touchdown.
Adamson received his most playing time when Mullens went down with an injury on Nov. 5 in a 38-27 loss to Charlotte. He completed 13 of 27 passes for 155 yards and ran four times for 19 yards and a touchdown.
However, Adamson left the game late with an injury. With Adamson sidelined, freshman Keon Howard was forced to start the next two games at Old Dominion and North Texas, both losses.
With Adamson no longer in the mix for the 2017 season, USM will likely have to rely on a young group of quarterbacks to take over as Mullens’ replacement.
Howard should start the spring as the favorite to be the starter. The Laurel native completed 44 percent of his passes for 365 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions in 2016. He was at his best as a runner, carrying 44 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns.
Kwadra Griggs, a junior who sat out the 2016 season after becoming academically ineligible, is the only other scholarship quarterback on the USM roster.
USM has two verbal commitments at quarterback — Steven Anderson of Live Oak, Florida, and Marcelo Rodriguez of Miami. National signing day is Feb. 1.