The Southern Miss Golden Eagles put out a new depth chart for week two versus Austin Peay following their season opening loss to Mississippi State. Let's take a look at the biggest changes.
Offensively, the Golden Eagles have a pair of tight ends on top of the depth chart that were mere afterthoughts heading into fall camp. As recently as two weeks ago, projected starter Ricky Parks (3/32/0TD) was practicing with the defensive line. Parks has experience at the position after starting his college career at Auburn as a tight end. Redshirt freshman Jay’Shawn Washington (2/50/1TD) was a revelation versus Mississippi State and despite the terrible looking knee injury, he seems to be healthy heading into week two.
Running back is a bit of a surprise as Ito Smith (8/69/0TD) looked very good versus Mississippi State but is listed behind Jalen Richard (16/48/0TD) and Justice Hayes (6/13/0TD). Smith should see more than eight carries versus Austin Peay but it is a surprise that he is behind two players on the depth chart.
The biggest changes for the Golden Eagles on defense are on the front seven. Michael Smith (1 tkl) moves back to defensive tackle with Quincy Russell (2 tkl, 1 tfl) slotted in as the backup. Kansas transfer Andrew Bolton (1 tkl) should get his first start at nose with Dylan Bradley (1 tkl, 1 tfl) and Naim Mustafaa (2 tkl, 1 tfl) seeing playing time at the Bandit role. After making two tackles in limited action versus Mississippi State, Anthony Swain (2 tkl) moves to the weakside linebacker starting role alongside middle linebacker Brian Anderson (4 tkl, 0.5 tfl). At the third linebacker spot, junior Elijah Parker (3 tkl) has risen to the top of the depth chart after Sherrod Ruff's (2 tkl) injury sustained in week one. Ruff is listed as the backup and should see playing time as he recovers.
While little changes in the secondary, the Golden Eagles have proven that all four safeties, D’Nerius Antoine (5 tkl, 1 ff), Picasso Nelson Jr. (5 tkl), Devonta Foster (4 tkl, 1 fr), and Deshadrick Truly (5 tkl) will all see significant playing time.