Southern Miss breaks in new turf with practice at The Rock

Published 7:14 pm Saturday, August 5, 2023

HATTIESBURG — Southern Miss broke in the new turf at M.M. Roberts Stadium on Saturday by moving its fourth practice of preseason camp to the big venue on campus.

It’s the first time the Golden Eagles have been on the new game field since it was replaced over the summer and capped the first week of workouts. Head coach Will Hall praised his team’s progress so far.

“It was a good fourth day,” Hall said. “It was good to be in pads again today and we got some great punt work in. We started to introduce some punt return competition drills and it will be great to watch that. I saw some good back-and-forth today — that’s what we talked about with the players after practice. Day four, baby, we’re full fledge into camp now.”

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One player Hall focused on after practice was senior safety Jay Stanley, who returns for his third year in the program.
Stanley was the team’s top tackler last season with 60, and also led the squad in interceptions with five and pass break ups with seven. He has started in all 25 games that he has played for the Golden Eagles.

He’ll be looked upon as one of the team’s defensive leaders.

“I’m proud of him and how he’s grown,” Hall said. “He’s on schedule to graduate in December. He’s become more vocal and has learned communication. Communication that is not understood is not communication, that’s just sounds. He’s taken that approach and has become very much a communicator on the backend. He organizes structure and makes calls.

“That’s going to aid him better in life. When football ends for him he’s going to be successful at whatever comes next with the way he’s grown as a human being.”

The Golden Eagles will take Sunday off, before returning to the practice field on Monday morning.

“We get an off day tomorrow to relax and hopefully go to church service,” Hall said. “It will be a good day to rehydrate and get our legs back underneath us before we go three more days in a row.”