An enthusiastic Southern Miss football coach Larry Fedora scooted into the Beau Rivage on Tuesday night to preach the start of a new winning tradition to those in attendance for the Eagle Club meeting.
“It’s always exciting when you are around Southern Miss fans,” Fedora said. “You get down here on the Coast and the Gulf Coast is so important in recruiting, but also in our support so it helped a great deal to get down here.”
Fedora started by singing the praises of two of his go-to players — former Biloxi running back Damion Fletcher and linebacker Gerald McCrath. Of course the boosters liked what they heard when it came to Fletcher.
“Damion is just an unbelievable player on this team,” Fedora said. “He has a tremendous passion for the game and is very unselfish. He plays the game the way it’s supposed to be played. You know he’s going to be there. He’s tough. Tougher than nails.”
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Fedora said, however, there’s a lack of depth behind Fletcher at running back.
ESPN reported Golden Eagles tailback Antwain Easterling won’t return to the team. Fedora wouldn’t go as far as to proclaim Easterling completely off the team.
“Right now he’s suspended from the football team,” Fedora said. “He isn’t with us right now.”
When asked if he would ever expect Easterling back, Fedora replied, “We’ll just have to wait and see.”
Fedora indefinitely suspended Easterling on Feb. 19 for violation of team rules. Easterling has a checkered past, leading back to high school. He was at the center of a sex scandal while attending Miami Northwestern High School, which was later found to be covered up by officials at the high school.
Easterling was charged with second-degree lewd conduct and lascivious battery on a minor. A pretrial diversion program helped him remain out of jail.
Easterling, who was the Golden Eagles’ top recruit in the 2007 class, ran for 85 yards on 16 carries in two games last season.
Fedora also wouldn’t name a starting quarterback between Austin Davis or Martevious Young as spring practice ended Tuesday.