The Southern Miss football staff has received at least three verbal commitments this morning to close an important weekend of official visits.
The Sun Herald has confirmed three USM verbal commitments: Tampa, Fla., running back Patrick Brooks; Cantonment, Fla., defensive end Chris Terrell and Arizona Western Community College linebacker Ryan Tyler.
Brooks, a Plant High School standout, told Todd Monken of the news in a meeting with the head coach, choosing the Golden Eagles over Utah.
“I was always leaning toward Southern Miss,” Brooks said. “I just had to ask questions (on his official visit). It just felt like home.”
Tyler, a native of Indianapolis, commits from the same school that produced former USM offensive tackle Jason Weaver.
“It's family oriented,” Tyler said of USM. “I know the coaches are doing a great job on defense.”
Tyler is listed at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds and coaches see him fitting in at strongside linebacker.
USM has been recruiting Tyler since November, hoping he can provided badly needed depth at linebacker.
“I'm excited,” Tyler said. “I'm ready to get on campus and be a leader.”
Terrell committed to Southern Miss this morning and has canceled his originally planned trip to Minnesota, according to Tate High School coach David Tanner.
Terrell was named the Pensacola News-Journal Defensive Player of the year following a strong senior season at Tate, which is located in Cantonment, Fla. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Terrell had 14 sacks this season.
Terrell also received offers from Central Arkansas and Florida A&M. A transfer from the state of Texas, Terrell has mostly flown under the radar in his recruitment.
Brooks ran 140 times for 1,404 yards and 12 touchdowns this season at Plant High School, which went 10-3. He also caught 22 passes for 274 yards and five scores.
The 5-foot-9, 173-pound Brooks said he expects to play running back at USM and could get time at slot receiver as well. He could also could make a big impact as a return man.
Brooks expects to be given a chance to compete for early playing time.
Brooks said that he enjoyed his visit to the Hattiesburg campus this weekend.
“It's been awesome,” he said. “I got to see the history of Southern Miss and just did a little tour around the city.
“It's a great community. It's not too big, not too small. It's got a lot of history. The main thing is they're family here. They look out for each other. I have a great bond with the coaches.”
Running backs coach John Simon has been Brooks' recruiter.