PERKINSTON -- Southern Miss had success last season hitting the junior college recruiting circuit.
It appears third-year head coach Todd Monken is going back to the JUCO ranks to help round out his 2016 class. The Golden Eagles currently have four JUCO verbal commits, including Itawamba C.C. quarterback Kwadra Griggs, Coffeeyville (Kan) C.C. linebacker Sherrod Ruff, Hinds C.C. receiver Marquez McNair and Pearl River C.C. defensive back Tavarious Moore.
The latest commit, Moore, said Thursday he's excited about the opportunity to play for the Golden Eagles, a team he hoped to join out of high school.
"It's like a family to me. They've stuck with me during my whole career at PRCC and we kept in good touch," said Moore, a Quitman High graduate. "I wanted to be close to home and wanted to go there out of high school. It felt like home, so that's where I wanted to go."
Moore has been a key defender on the Bobcats, totaling 50 total tackles with an interception, six pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He is also averaging 36 yards per return on kickoffs and has a 97-yard touchdown return on his resume this season.
Each of the last two weeks against Copiah-Lincoln and Gulf Coast, Moore has recorded 11 tackles.
Having watched USM closely, Moore said he likes what he's seen from the improved defense.
"The defense is looking real good," he said. "It's a bounce back from last year. They're looking a lot better. I like the tempo and atmosphere they have there, The defensive scheme, they like to use the DBs a lot and move them around to try and confuse the offense, basically what we try to do here so I think I fit in well with that."
Moore, who committed to USM over UAB and Houston in late September, said the Golden Eagles plan to use him at safety or as a nickle back.
"They want to get me down in the box to try and make a lot of open field tackles like I do here," he said. "They want to use my versatility."
PRCC returns to action Saturday, playing host to Northeast at 2 p.m. for homecoming.
Bulldogs getting interest
A trio of Gulf Coast Bulldogs have been picking up interest as of late.
Freshman Isaiah Buggs is still a year away from being able to sign with a D1 program, but that hasn't stopped the imposing defensive end from garnering interest.
The 6-foot-4, 270-pound Buggs said after Thursday's win he picked up an offer from Kansas State last week. The Ruston, La., native said LSU and Oklahoma State also showed interest when he was coming out of high school. He said LSU assistant Bradley Dale Peveto keeps in touch.
With plenty of time until the 2017 signing day, Buggs, who has 41 tackles and four sacks, said he's just focused on the Bulldogs.
"I'm just focused on this team right now. I don't look ahead," he said. "I just play for this team right now. If I do what I say (offers) are going to come."
According to Gulf Coast, two Bulldog sophomores are gaining momentum with recruiters.
Linebacker James Graves (6-foot, 235 pounds) is tied for the team lead with 57 tackles and recently picked up an offer from Buffalo. Defensive end Chris Johnson, a former Gulfport standout, has been receiving interest from Boise State. He has 27 tackles, one sack and returned a fumble for a touchdown against Hinds earlier in the year.