HATTIESBURG, MS (WLOX) - Southern Miss head coach Todd Monken had his Golden Eagles concentrate on a number of individual, 7-on-7 and team periods on Tuesday. It was the last day of preseason camp before the team will resume the in-season practices on Thursday. Southern Miss players will take Wednesday off for the first day of classes.
"We ended last week on a real high, "stated Monken. "We have started this week and there are a lot of distractions. The scrimmage is over and you get complemented. Everyone likes to get their ego stroked; then all of a sudden everything is a little bit different. There is school. There are student. I have to get my books and we are eating in a different spot. It's just, 'How do I handle everything around me and still stay focused?' It's only going to get more difficult for guys that don't do a great job of managing their time. When we are around them all day it's one thing for every minute to say hydrate, eat, sleep and do it the right way. You're not around them all day long now so it falls back on them to manage their time and be able to come out and still be at their best every day."
Monken said the transfers have adjusted well to the Southern Miss lifestyle. We stressed that the coaches have to make sure the players attend practice to become great football players, great student-athletes and great students.
Quarterback Tyler Matthews, who transferred to Southern Miss last season after leaving TCU, believes the new transfer players have come in and have helped the offense.
"As far as maturity, leadership standpoint and athletic ability, Justice Hayes, Taylor Marini, and Julian Allen have done a great job, "said Matthews. "Defensively, D'Nerius Antoine and some of the guys up front on the d-line have been working their tails off. The mindset is just great."
He added that coach Zac Woofin and his staff have done a great job of changing the mindset.
Southern Miss continues preparations for the season opener on September 5 hosting the Mississippi State Bulldogs at M-M Roberts Stadium. The game is scheduled to kick off at 9 p.m. and will be televised on Fox Sports 1.