Southern Miss

Southern Miss football hires former NFL player, Mississippi prep star to staff

Southern Miss football coach Jay Hopson has filled a key spot on his coaching staff following the departure of cornerbacks coach Eddie Hicks to Charlotte.

Hopson didn’t have to look far for his replacement with Laurel native Akeem Davis, who worked as a graduate assistant at USM last year, filling Hicks’ role for the Golden Eagles.

Hopson confirmed the personnel move to the Sun Herald on Friday.

Hicks left USM earlier this year to join Will Healy’s new staff at Charlotte. The move serves as somewhat of a reunion for Hicks, who worked for two years under Healy at Austin Peay before being hired by Hopson prior to the 2018 campaign.

Hicks, a Clarksdale native, was a standout defensive back at USM from 2006-09.

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Davis was a star quarterback and defensive back at Laurel High School, leading to the Tornadoes to a Class 4A state championship in 2007. He was a defensive back and linebacker for the University of Memphis and played under Hopson, who was the defensive coordinator for the Tigers in 2010 and 2011.

Davis went unselected in the 2013 NFL Draft, but still managed to see action with five different teams in the NFL — Jacksonville, Indianapolis, Seattle, New Orleans and Washington. His most productive season was in 2014 when he registered 11 tackles in 13 games for the Redskins.

USM is scheduled to begin spring practice on March 19.

Patrick Magee is a sports writer who has covered South Mississippi for much of the last two decades. From Southern Miss to high schools, he stays on top of it all.