It will be Senior Day in Hattiesburg as Southern Miss hosts Old Dominion at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.
While much of the talk over the summer was about the number of transfers set to join the Golden Eagles, most of the top players for USM this season have been returners.
Let’s have a look at five seniors who managed to stick it out during the program’s struggles to be a part of the program’s first bowl-eligible squad since 2011.
1. Running back Jalen Richard: There’s never been a question of Richard’s talent. It’s just been a matter of staying healthy. Richard has been in the program since 2012 and he’s witnessed the team go from 0-12 in 2012 to 7-3 this season. Richard has a good chance to reach 1,000 yards with 146 carries for 886 yards and eight touchdowns so far.
2 Offensive tackle Rashod Hill: The offensive line was a major issue for USM from 2012-14, but Hill has been mostly reliable at left tackle. The 6-foot-6, 309-pound Hill has been outstanding this season and should be in line for an All-Conference USA selection.
3 Cornerback Kalan Reed: Another four-year player, Reed has three interceptions, 15 pass breakups and 38 tackles this season. Reed is also in good shape for postseason honors.
4. Linebacker Brian Anderson: No play may be more improved from last season than the middle linebacker. Anderson has been the physical presence in the middle with 57 tackles, including nine for lost yardage.
5. Receiver Mike Thomas: A junior college transfer like Anderson, Thomas has been one of the best big-play threats in C-USA. If it wasn’t for an injury in the season opener, Thomas would probably be over the 1,000-yard mark already. He has 45 catches for 863 yards and nine touchdowns.