The next week is a big one on the recruiting trail for some of the top high school football players in South Mississippi.
On Jan. 20, three of the Coast's best high senior football prospects plan to make their official visit to Southern Miss — Biloxi senior receiver Tim Jones, D'Iberville senior defensive back Tyler Barnes and Gautier senior offensive lineman Paul Gainer.
Barnes and Jones have already verbally committed to USM. Gainer is a free agent after dropping his commitment to Mississippi State on Jan. 5.
Gainer said Friday that he planned to make an official visit to Tulane this weekend. The Green Wave have offered Gainer and have been actively pursuing him recently.
Gainer, who was twice named to the Sun Herald All-South Mississippi Team, will be a top target for USM headed into signing day on Feb. 1.
Barnes has long been a solid verbal commitment for USM and it appears as if Jones is also safely on board for the Golden Eagles. Jones said that he hasn't heard anything from colleges who have recruited him the past.
"I don't have a problem with it because I'm happy with where I'm going," Jones said Friday.
Memphis, Tulane, Troy, Louisiana-Lafayette, South Alabama, Texas-San Antonio and Nicholls State all offered Jones.
The 6-foot-2, 204-pound Jones caught 45 passes for 744 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior.
He is set to become the first Biloxi football player to sign with Southern Miss since former running back Damion Fletcher did so in 2006.
Fletcher turned out to be a pretty good addition for the Golden Eagles, becoming the school's all-time rushing leader with 1,009 carries for 5,302 yards and 44 touchdowns.
George County senior receiver Tyrese Fryfogle was set to leave for his visit to Indiana on Saturday morning.
Fryfogle may be a recruit who leaves fans hanging headed into signing day. He doesn't plan to make a decision until after he makes his official visit to Ole Miss on Jan. 28.
South Alabama is also trying to talk Fryfogle into making a visit next weekend, but he's not sure if he will make the trip to Mobile. The USA staff has yet to offer a scholarship to Fryfogle.
At the moment, it's down to Ole Miss and Indiana.
St. Stanislaus senior tight end Chase Rogers is still looking for the right offer after dropping his commitment to Tennessee in November.
Rogers posted on his Twitter account this week: "I am still searching for the right school. Any programs looking for a play making TE.. Let me know!"
A couple of his SSC teammates were set to make visits this weekend to schools where they are currently committed. Senior receiver Corbin Blanchard was headed to Air Force and senior tight end Darius Pittman was on his way to Purdue.
New USM commit
Southern Miss added its second quarterback verbal commitment on Thursday when Steven Anderson of Live Oak, Fla., flipped from Georgia Southern.
Anderson is rated a three-star prospect by 247sports.com. He didn't throw the ball much in his senior year, but he tossed for 707 yards and nine touchdowns. He ran 131 times for 906 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Anderson, who is listed at 6-foot-3, 236 pounds, was a four-year starter in high school, leading his team to a 35-12 record.
Anderson joins Miami, Fla., quarterback Marcelo Rodriguez as a Southern Miss commit for 2017.