WR Marvin Young

2003 Statistics

Coach: Jeff Bower
89-62-1, 14 years
2003 Record: 9-4
at California LOST 2-34
at UAB WON 17-12


LOST 14-38
at Cincinnati WON 22-20
at Alabama LOST 3-17
at Houston WON 31-10
TCU WON 40-28
at East Carolina WON 38-21
Utah LOST 0-17

2003 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2004 Outlook

Jeff Bower is the Golden Eagles head coach with ten winning seasons in a row, the second longest such streak in school history. Jeff is a helmet-to-helmet kind of planner who relies on his teams' fundamentals to outshine the opponents' for blood-and-guts victories. He wins the same way he loses, with a grinding scheme never pretty to watch, and always remembered by bruised and bloodied opposing players. All the while, Bower's squads always demonstrate the consistency that wears on most for the kind of football our fathers played.

The two sides of the USM team switch roles this time - the offense is going to have to carry a gutted secondary until it can regain its swagger. Once the DBs feel it again, this defense will pick up where 2003's 14th-rated scoring scrooges left off (allowed only 21 opponent TDs). But Dustin Almond will have to hope his OL mastered its leaning curve from a season ago, or he risks having five unproven bigmen again make his efforts marginalized. Quick-release slants and play-action passes have to slow down the scheming back-sevens they face. And if Harris gets hurt, it will be all over for any Golden Eagle hopes of conference superiority.

Ironically, the teams that spawned three of their four losses from '03 are again USM's most pivotal match ups. Opening against Cal and Nebraska is ambitious and will pay dividends as trial-by-fire initiations of real-game scenarios pay off against 'bama. But going to Fort Worth will be payback this time for a revenge-minded TCU squad that had its BCS dream-bubble burst by USM's oft-overlooked 2003 squad. Expect many of the same results, especially as the offense doesn't click as promised and the defense is made human by most, regardless of their awesome LB unit. We will all know real quickly if this Golden Eagle squad is for real - the losses have to be closer games, and the offense has to be consistent. There are just too many if/then contingencies to make us think USM can be as dominant as we all know they have been.

Projected 2004 record: 7-4
QB - 3 DL - 3
RB - 3 LB - 3.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 3
OL - 3 ..

Passing: Dustin Almond, 251-121-7, 1877 yds., 13 TD

Rushing: Anthony Harris, 158 att., 671 yds., 7 TD

Receiving: Marvin Young, 42 rec., 703 yds., 7 TD

Scoring: Darren McCaleb, 14-17 FG, 31-32 PAT, 73 pts.

Punting: Luke Johnson, 79 punts, 42.1 avg.

Kicking: Darren McCaleb, 14-17 FG, 31-32 PAT, 47 long

Tackles: Michael Boley, 151 tot., 101 solo, 23 TFL

Sacks: Michael Boley, 11 sacks

Interceptions: Trevis Coley, 3 for 18 yds.

Kickoff Returns: John Eubanks, 17 ret., 29.4 avg.

Punt Returns: Marvin Young, 33 ret., 13.6 avg.


KR John Eubanks
OFFENSE: Kenneth Johnson-WR, Jim Hicks-C, Terrell Browden-TE, James Walley-RB
DEFENSE: Ronald Jones-DE, Terrell Paul-BAN, Rod Davis-MLB, Greg Brooks-CB, Alex Ray-ROV, Etric Pruitt-FS, Corey Yates-CB

Junior Dustin Almond is a rapidly improving QB Southern Miss can ride to a conference crown. Almond has the size and footwork to see what he wants and either run or pass to get it. Sacks were a problem and signal that Dustin may not have the pocket presence needed for consistently productive improvising, but his two-to-one TD-to-INT ratio show he avoids mistakes. Damion Carter provides a sharp backup capable of possibly more than Almond, if ever given the nod to do such. Mickey D'Angelo also is good enough to allow the offense to never skip a beat when he enters. None is a Bret Favre, but either was Brett at such a young age. Almond was rated as the 65th best NCAA QB in '03, and we expect him to be a top 50 guy, at least, by campaign's end.

Running Back
Anthony Harris is the lone bright spot here. Depth is hurting in this one-back approach, with few on Harris' par. James Walley has disappointed, with a mere 2.2 yard per carry average last time, and only 3.5 before that. We expect him to be displaced by summer, or this squad will be in trouble. The rarely-run FB position is well manned with Bobby Weekly, but his game time is marginal. There is little reason to believe this unit would improve without the line returning (essentially) in tact.

Wide Receiver
The three top WRs for USM from '03 return to make this unit the offenses' strongest. Lawrence, Courington, and Young are all sizeable targets Almond would have to try to (southern) miss. Out of any of them, Marvin Young seems to have the go-to designation - his seven TDs make him Almond's bread-and-butter. Reserves are not nearly as experienced, but all will contribute well. In the three- and four-receiver sets USM likes so much, the depth is essential for fresh legs to tax marginal pass defenses. It will be on Almond to get the ball to these snarlers - another pass ranking in the 70s wouldn't be their fault.

Tight End
Otto Graves is who we see taking over for two departees. He, along with Pat Corbett, will be rather (a) huge presence here. Run plays are that much more likely to achieve with both, but passing catching is a 50-50 for the unit. This area is under construction for the one lone question mark as to how this offense will click.

Offensive Line
Well, it's a mixed blessing with a line that returns mostly all its starters, but marginally failed with them. The two seniors on the outsides were the ones primarily responsible for the 32 sacks allowed. The two sophomore guards must take deep battle scars and somehow turn them into quality experiences of learning. Maybe the new senior center can bolster this interior, but something has to be done so 2003's 3.0 average yards per carry isn't repeated. We won't say this is a weakness, but the line's play will again go a long way towards translating what this entire team can accomplish in '04. Expect an iffy start to graduate to a quality second half for the unit's performance.

Anyone who follows Southern Miss can tell you of how ball movement can be a (teeth) grinding experience. For whatever reasons, USM was seemingly castrated at the half in most '03 games - how else do we explain the way they scored 181 in first halves, but only 114 in second halves? The line seems to hold the cards for most of the offenses fates - depending on how long it takes them to shake off their dismal efforts previously. Expect the efficiency of the offense to increase, with more creative plays to allow the big, quick hands guys to do damage in the open spaces provided. Nine of the last eleven are back, so it won't be inexperience to blame again if things go south. If their third-down conversion rate stays in the low 30s, their offensive results stagger to the same benign levels as last time.


OT Jeremy Parquet


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Dustin Almond-Jr (6-2, 212) Damion Carter-So (6-3, 185)
Jeremy Young-Fr (6-4, 202)
FB Wayne Hardy-So (6-0, 223) Bobby Weakley-So (5-10, 235)
RB Anthony Harris-Jr (5-11, 222) Tim Blackwell-Sr (6-0, 195)
WR Marvin Young-Sr (6-0, 165) DaRon Lawrence-Sr (6-3, 204)
Anthony Perine-So (6-0, 175)
WR Antwon Courington-Jr (6-3, 210) Chris Rhoden-Fr (6-5, 185)
TE Otho Graves-Sr (6-5, 250) Patrick Corbett-Sr (6-6, 264)
OT Chris White-Sr (6-3, 280) Neal Mead-Jr (6-4, 310)
OG Travis Cooley-So Bradley Worthington-Jr (6-4, 302)
C Addaryl Edwards-Sr (6-3, 280) Robby D'Angelo-So (6-3, 268)
OG George Batiste-So (6-5, 282) Kendel Wheeler-Jr (6-3, 290)
OT Jeremy Parquet-Sr (6-7, 312) Myron Powe-Sr (6-4, 298)
K Darren McCaleb-So (5-11, 175) ..



Defensive Line
Eric Ruffin and Chad Scott return the bulk of this line with their constant penetration. Both, along with Terrence Ford, provide constantly churning legs that make this unit strong for a full sixty minutes. The depth here is capable and proven. But we must question, like we do their offensive brethren, what a marginal unit from last time will do this time to make things differ. They were an un-USM-like 61st in run stopping, while they only gave up a respectable 3.6 per carry and 12 ground scores. This shows promise that will further surface and make '04 the year this line again is of the best in both CUSA and the nation.

This crew is even stronger as they enter spring ball. Senior Mike Boley is a first team NC.net all-American who can cover the field, a receiver, or a ball carrier at will. He is sized well to cover WRs and can run down RBs from behind that are running full stride. We can go on (three forced fumbles, 22 tackles for loss, 11 sacks)…but the supporting cast of fellow-seniors Antoine Cash and LeVon Pears will surely be worthy of praise once their efforts are tallied, too. Senior MLB Dillon Cleckler is the weakest link, but his production will pickup as he gets the preseason starting nod for his first time. This unit of glue is why the pass defense was so stellar last year, taking the underneath out of most opponents' game plans. USM gave it hard to TCU this way for their big upset, making the plays meant to be intermediate pickups disastrous. Expect more as the wrecking just won't end until the gun sounds and January rolls around.

Defensive Back
This area will drop off, and just how much will go a long way toward revealing the Golden Eagle's final fate. Junior Trevis Coley and John Eubanks are the lone returning guys with knowledge of what it will take to again rank 5th in pass defense. But there are question marks galore beyond them, so we know of little to tell you here. Just know that this facet is all-important with conference foes who recruit offense (and especially passing offenses) as a past-time. Boley is sure to be a fifth roamer back there, but his run-support abilities will force stunts and blitz packages so creative formulas can apply and work.


LB Michael Boley


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Akeem Lockett-Jr (6-2, 235) Tom Johnson-Jr (6-4, 290)
NT Chad Ruffin-Sr (6-0, 285) Terrance Ford-Jr (6-4, 280)
DT Eric Scott-Sr (6-0, 295) Greg Casnave-So (6-3, 281)
BAN DeMarcus Barner-Sr (6-0, 234) LeVon Pears-Sr (6-0, 248)
SLB Michael Boley-Sr (6-3, 218) Terry Anderson-Sr (6-2, 220)
MLB Dillon Cleckler-Sr (6-2, 230) Kevis Coley-Jr (6-1, 218)
WLB Antoine Cash-Sr (6-1, 208) Naton Stewart-So (6-4, 232)
CB John Eubanks-Jr (5-11, 175) Jasper Faulk-So (5-10, 182)
CB Seth Cumbie-Sr (5-11, 181) Howard Overby-Jr (6-0, 200)
ROV Pierre Hutchins-Sr (5-9, 180) Darrell Bennett-Jr (6-0, 212)
FS Trevis Coley-Jr (6-1, 220) John Archie-So (6-2, 208)
P Luke Johnson-Jr (6-0, 250) ..




Soph Darren McCaleb is pretty automatic from inside the 40. He missed two 47-yarders but made one, and his biggest 2003 faux-pas was having two tries blocked. His production will be up, and USM can sleep better going into defensive battles.

Luke Johnson has been another mixed blessing. His 42 yard average speaks volumes, but so does his FOUR tries that were blocked. Johnson can drop it where needed, so expect a better blocking approach to make this area better, too. Coverage will pick up, too, as defensive depth will cause opponents to start further back, both on punts and KOs.

Return Game
This is an area USM will again find to its advantage. Eubanks and Young were nationally ranked fourth and tenth, respectively, in KO and punt returns. This will make life soooo much easier for Almond & Co.


Backup QB Damion Carter proved to be the most productive player this spring, turning in solid performances throwing, running with, and even catching the ball. Expect to see Carter at both wideout and under center. While Dustin Almond won't have to worry about Mickey D'Angelo anymore, Carter and Jeremy Young (the better scramblers) have been giving him quite the push. Don't be surprised to see all three take relevant snaps this season. D'Angelo, unfortunately, was forced to give up football due to a string of threatening concussions. He'll stay on scholarship, but will be working with the coaching staff. Tim Blackwell has paced the run game, leading the way in nearly every scrimmage this spring. This offense carries big-play potential, but it comes in spurts with no real consistency from the run game. To balance the aerial assault, the committee of running backs needs to provide a more well-rounded attack.

Defense usually rules supreme in spring games, but the Golden Eagles pride themselves on stellar defense. This new batch of defenders finally came around after a sluggish, time-exhausting early learning experience. OLB Michael Boley continued to dominate, as he has been the past three years in Hattiesburg. The front seven steadily rose their level of play, but will need continued improvement from the new batch of DBs. ROV Darnell Bennett was impressive in terms of getting to the ball and making tackles. Special teams play has been impressive this spring. John Eubanks will (again) be one of the most dangerous return men in Conference USA.

K/P Britt Barefoot (fr)
DT Thomas Johnson (jr)
RB C.J. Barrows (fr)