Just over one week after landing a commitment from D'Iberville's Jacques Turner, Southern Miss pulled in another verbal from a Coast standout.
Wednesday morning, Harrison Central senior defensive lineman Jordon Beaton verbally committed to the Golden Eagles, according to HCHS coach Casey Cain.
Beaton held other offers from Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Troy and Nicholls State, and was drawing interest from other schools.
"To be honest, they're real close to home and they run a four-man defensive line so it gives me more opportunities to play," Beaton told the Sun Herald on Wednesday afternoon. "I trust their system, fit in good and like what they've told me. I feel more comfortable there and think I'll be a good help.
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"I'm real excited to see what they have in store for me."
Beaton said he told Turner after the Red Rebels' 21-17 win on Friday he was leaning toward committing.
"He said to come on," Beaton said.
Listed at 6-foot-3, 265 pounds, Beaton, who has attended three USM games this season, can play all along the defensive line.
"That's what makes him so impressive along with his size and strength," Cain said. "He's an unbelievable defensive lineman. He helps us every Friday night, usually makes the offense game plan how to handle him. That helps us tremendously."
Cain said Beaton's quickness along the line is part of what separates him from his peers.
No. 8 Harrison Central got off to a rocky start this season, but the Red Rebels are now 4-2 in Region 4-6A and are playing for a playoff spot Friday against No. 2 Ocean Springs. Cain credits Beaton for the team's recent success.
"I think the last three weeks he has really come on as a football player and has caused offensive lines problems in the last few weeks," he said. "There's no doubt the strength of our team is our D-line."
During the summer, Cain raved about Beaton's drive.
"He's a kid who is committed," Cain said in July. "He hasn't missed a day all summer. He sees what's in front of him and he wants it bad."
Beaton said in July he picked up his Southern Miss offer in June when he attended a Golden Eagles camp.
"After the camp, they wanted to talk with me," Beaton said. "It was more of a surprise (to get offered). When I go to these camps, I just try to do my best and do what I can and whatever happens, happens. I just do what I can."
At the time, Beaton said he thought his leadership was part of what caught head coach Todd Monken's attention.
"Every drill I was trying to go first and lead the drill for the d-linemen," he said. "That's probably why they gave me the offer."
According to Scout.com, Southern Miss has 16 commitments in addition to Beaton toward its 2016 signing class. Turner and Beaton are the only defensive linemen currently in the class.