2017 Southern Miss Football Early Period Signee Bios
Player Pos Hgt. Wgt. Hometown/Last School
Jack Abraham QB 6-1 210 Oxford, Miss./Northwest Mississippi CC
Curry Benn DB 6-0 170 New Orleans, La./Landry-Walker HS
Trace Clopton OL 6-2 292 Brookhaven, Miss./Brookhaven HS
Ethan Edmondson DE 6-3 255 Scottsboro, Ala./Scottsboro, HS
Ty’Ree Evans LB 6-2 210 Waynesboro, Miss./East Mississippi CC
Von’Darius Freeman DL 6-2 331 Ville Platte, La./Southwest Mississippi CC
Freddie Hartz LB 6-1 237 Morton, Miss./Morton HS
DeMichael Harris WR 5-10 175 Vicksburg, Miss./Hinds CC
Nicario Harper DB 6-1 180 Atlanta, Ga./Carver HS
Tairek Johnson OL 6-4 295 Corinth, Miss./Northwest Mississippi CC
Jemaurian “J.J.” Jones DB 6-1 190 Brookhaven, Miss./Brookhaven HS
Kameron King OL 6-2 275 Marshall, Texas/Marshall HS
Hayes Maples LB 6-2 235 Hattiesburg, Miss./Oak Grove HS
Neil McLaurin WR 6-2 195 Laurel, Miss./Southwest Mississippi CC
Ty Williams DB 5-11 175 Charleston, Miss./East Mississippi CC
QB | 6-1 | 210
Oxford, Miss./Northwest Mississippi CC
Northwest Mississippi CC: Threw for 2,949 yards 214-of-337 throws with 23 touchdown passes and only eight interceptions … Led team to 8-3 record, including the MACJC title contest in which they lost 67-66 to East Mississippi CC … Posted a season-high 487 yards passing in that contest with five touchdown passes and one interception … Collected 300-yard passing games four times during the year and tallied a overall efficiency rating of 154.8.
Louisiana Tech: Redshirted during initial year at Louisiana Tech.
High School: Played for legendary head coach Johnny Hill at Oxford High School ... Named 2015 Mississippi Gatorade Player of the Year, USA Today High School Sports Mississippi Offensive Player of the Year and Mississippi Dandy Dozen honoree ... A three-star recruit according to ESPN and 247Sports ... Lettered in football and basketball ... Threw for 5,037 yards in a 331-for-507 senior year performance with 57 touchdowns with just six interceptions ... Tossed for 12,021 yards in his high school career in an 834-for-1,335 performance with 130 touchdowns and 28 interceptions ... Paced team to three consecutive state championship games and became the first player in school history to throw over 100 touchdowns and for over 10,000 yards ... Finished his high school career as the leading passer in school history and was undefeated in district games (21-0) over three seasons ... A National Select 7-on-7 Regional MVP and Southern Elite Sports Mr. Elite.
Personal: Son of Michael and Ashley Abraham...has a younger sister, Kate...studying biology (pre-medicine)...born October 25, 1997.
DB | 6-0 | 170
New Orleans, La./Landry-Walker HS
High School: Played for Emanuel Powell at Landry-Walker High School and his team went 8-4 last season, making it to the second-round of the Class 5A state playoffs … A three-star defensive back by both Scout.com and Rivals.com … Won the 5A state championship as a junior … Expected to graduate and join the program during the Spring 2018 semester.
OL | 6-2 | 292
Brookhaven, Miss./Brookhaven HS
High School: Played at Brookhaven High School for coach and dad, Tommy Clopton, which finished 11-2 this season, reaching the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs … A three-star offensive lineman by both Rivals.com and Scout.com … Participated in the 2017 Mississippi-Alabama All-Star game in Hattiesburg in which his team won 42-7 … Dad served as an equipment at Southern Miss from 1995-97 … Named Class 5A first-team all-state by the Mississippi Association of Coaches … Awarded Region 3-5A Most Outstanding Lineman, posting 35 pancake blocks this season … Earned first-team All-State honors as a junior by the MAC, after posting 42 pancake blocks and leading the way for two 1,000-yard rushers … Registered Daily Leader first-team All-Area accolades as a junior … Participates in the shot put for the track team and a member of the power lifting team.
DE | 6-3 | 255
Scottsboro, Ala./Scottsboro HS
High School: Three-star recruit who averaged 5.4 tackles per game, including 13 for loss and 10 sacks as a senior ... Broke the school record for career and single-season sacks ... Ranked the No. 59 strong-side defensive end nationally and the No. 28 overall player in Alabama by Rivals.com ... Has ability to play tight end as well ... Played in Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game that was played in Hattiesburg … A three-star player by both Rivals.com and Scout.com … Named to the Class 5A All-Region 7 football squad.
LB | 6-2 | 210
Waynesboro, Miss./East Mississippi CC
East Mississippi CC: Helped lead Coach Buddy Stephens’ East Mississippi Community College Lions to a two-year composite record of 22-2, including this year’s NJCAA national championship (EMCC's fourth national title in seven years) and back-to-back MACJC state titles (EMCC now has six state titles in nine years) … Registered 140 career tackles at EMCC, including 11 stops behind the line of scrimmage … Leading tackler on EMCC’s national championship team this past season with 101 stops on the year from his weak-side linebacker spot, including seven tackles for loss … Also had three pass breakups, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble as a sophomore to earn MACJC first-team all-state honors … Recorded four games with double-digit tackles in 2017… Named EMCC’s Defensive MVP in the Lions’ 31-28 win over No. 2 Arizona Western during the NJCAA championship game (Mississippi Bowl X) with 10 tackles and a pass breakup … Top tackle outings of sophomore season came during regular-season wins over Mississippi Gulf Coast (13), Jones County (11) and Mississippi Delta (11) … Credited with 39 total tackles as an EMCC freshman, including four stops behind the line of scrimmage… Had a season-most 11 tackles at Jones County in his collegiate debut… Recorded nine stops, including two tackles for loss, at Coahoma in 2016.
High School: Chosen to 2015 Bernard Blackwell All-Star Game (South team member) … Named 2015 Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) Class 5A First Team selection … Played on Wayne County High School’s 2015 Class 5A state championship team.
DL | 6-2 | 331
Ville Platte, La./Southwest Mississippi CC
Southwest Mississippi CC: A two-star prospect ... Recorded 37 tackles (two for loss) in eight games ... Played in one game as a sophomore, registering an eight-yard sack among his two tackles, with a fumble recovery.
High School: Graduated from Ville Platte High School … Named All-Parish most valuable player and first-team all-State as a senior … Tallied all-Parish most valuable player honors and first-team all-District as a junior …. Tabbed first-team all-District as a sophomore … Garnered first-team all-District as a freshman.
LB | 6-1 | 237
Morton, Miss./Morton HS
High School: Named to 2016 Class 3A All-State second-team by the MAC at long snapper … Collected 61 tackles (36 solo) as a senior with a pair of interceptions, three blocked punts, one blocked field goal and one fumble recovery … Tallied 61 carries for 317 yards and seven touchdowns also durin his senior campaign, with seven catches for 185 yards and two touchdowns … Had 61 tackles (27 solo) on defense as a junior with 71 carries for 531 yards and four touchdowns at fullback … Played baseball as well for the school … Was rated a three-star recruit by Scout and Rivals.
WR | 5-10 | 175
Vicksburg, Miss./Hinds CC
Hinds CC: Was the team leader in all-purpose yards in each of his two seasons (97, then 105 ypg) as the squad improved from 2-7 to 6-3 ... Caught 29 passes for 259 yards, including one for 40, as a sophomore ... Was also the team's top kick returner (20 attempts, 612 yards) with its only special teams touchdown of the year ... Also had 23 rushes for 71 yards ... As a freshman, ranked second on the team with 18 catches and had 218 yards ... Again, was the team's main kick returner (23 attempts) with a touchdown as well.
High School: Had a celebrated track career at St. Aloysius, winning the MAIS state title in the 100 (10.55), 200 (20.8) and 400-meter (47.96) … In 46 career games, he rushed 362 times for 3,649 yards and 47 touchdowns … Added 30 catches for 377 yards and five touchdowns … Notched 5,368 all-purpose yards … Named first-team all-state by the Mississippi Association of Coaches as a junior.
DB | 6-1 | 180
Atlanta, Ga./Carver HS
High School: Tabbed first-team All-Region 6-5A as a safety, as well as earning honorable mention honors at tight end ... Had 58 solo stops among his 94 tackles, as well as two interceptions ... Also deflected 29 passes ... On offense, boasted 20 catches for 386 yards and a touchdown … A two-star prospect by Rivals.com.
OL | 6-4 | 295
Corinth, Miss./Northwest Mississippi CC
Northwest Mississippi CC: Earned first-team All-MACJC as well as NJCAA Region 23 honors as he helped to pave the way for the nation's seventh-ranked offense … Team posted an 8-3 record this season, including the MACJC title contest in which they lost 67-66 to East Mississippi CC … Helped quarterback Jack Abraham near 3,000 yards passing and three Ranger running backs combined for 29 rushing touchdowns … Played in 11 games as a freshman, earning three starts at left tackle against Northeast and in both East Central contests ... Has a great combination of foot speed and power.
High School: Played for head coach Doug Jones at Corinth...spent time on the offensive and defensive line...a two-time all-division selection...helped the Warriors to the first round of the 4A playoffs in three consecutive seasons...also played basketball, winning the 4A state championship last season, and competed in shot put and discus on the track and field team...named one of the top performers of the week by The Clarion Ledger for a 52-7 foot throw in the shot put and a 148-10 foot throw in the discus...recruited by Alcorn State and several other junior colleges.
Personal: Son of Amelya and Irvin Johnson...has two sisters, J.J. and Nana...likes to listen to music and play PlayStation in his free time...nickname is “Big Reek”...studying pre-engineering...born April 21, 1998.
Jemaurian “J.J.” Jones
DB | 6-1 | 190
Brookhaven, Miss./Brookhaven HS
High School: Played at Brookhaven High School for coach Tommy Clopton, which finished 11-2 this season, reaching the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs … A three-star defensive back by both Rivals.com and Scout.com … Clarion-Ledger Dandy Dozen member … Participated in the 2017 Mississippi-Alabama All-Star game in Hattiesburg in which his team won 42-7 … Collected first-team Class 5A all-state honors by the Mississippi Association of Coaches … Registered 39 tackles (28 solos) with a quarterback hurry, two interceptions, six pass breakups, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a blocked field goal … Named All-Area Defensive First Team as a junior by finishing with 38 total tackles, five pass breakups and four interceptions on the season.
OL | 6-2 | 275
Marshall, Texas/Marshall HS
High School: Reports a 6-foot-9 wingspan ... First-Team All-District 16-5A selection as a junior and senior, with his squad winning the 2016 district title ... Earned a Player of the Week honor as a sophomore with four pancake blocks and no sacks allowed ... Was a second-team All-District honoree as a sophomore, helping his quarterback to MVP accolades.
LB | 6-2 | 235
Hattiesburg, Miss./Oak Grove HS
High School: Played for Drew Causey at Oak Grove High School … Participated in the 2017 Mississippi-Alabama All-Star game in Hattiesburg in which his team won 42-7, collecting 3 ½ tackles, a tackle for loss and a fumble recovery … Named to Hattiesburg American All-Area first team … Notched 118 tackles with 13 tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions and two rushing touchdowns … Batted .317 with a pair of home runs and 32 RBIs for the Warrior baseball team in the spring of 2017 … Racked up 97 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions during his junior campaign.
WR | 6-2 | 195
Laurel, Miss./Southwest Mississippi CC
Southwest Mississippi CC: Named first team NJCAA Region 23, first team all-South by the MACJC and second-team returner (South) … Led the Bears with 36 receptions for 688 yards and five touchdowns …Returned 18 kickoffs for 513 yards (28.5 yards per return) … Was No. 2 in the NJCAA with 181.9 all-purpose yards per game and was No. 5 in receiving with 86 yards per game … Played quarterback as a freshman where he completed 85 passes for 964 yards and eight touchdowns … Carried the ball 80 times for 440 yards and 6 touchdowns.
HIGH SCHOOL: Graduate of West Jones High School… Completed 211 passes for 2,982 yards and 31 touchdowns, while rushing 234 times for 1,387 yards and 26 touchdowns.
DB | 5-11 | 175
Charleston, Miss./East Mississippi CC
East Mississippi CC: Helped lead Coach Buddy Stephens’ East Mississippi Community College Lions to a two-year composite record of 22-2, including this year’s NJCAA national championship (EMCC's fourth national title in seven years) and back-to-back MACJC state titles (EMCC now has six state titles in nine years) … Had 66 career tackles from his cornerback position … Tied for the team lead with three interceptions in addition to recording a club-high 11 pass breakups this past season … Also totaled 41 tackles, including two stops behind the line of scrimmage, along with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery on the year … Had a key 49-yard pick six in the Lions’ 31-28 win over No. 2 Arizona Western in the NJCAA championship game (Mississippi Bowl X) … Also picked off passes in the Mississippi Gulf Coast and Holmes games this past year … Credited with 25 total tackles as an EMCC freshman … Had season-most five stops in collegiate debut at Jones County and four tackles in regular-season win over Northwest … Recovered a fumble against Gulf Coast in the 2016 MACJC state semifinals
High School: A 2015 Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Game selection … Named 2015 Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) Class 3A Defensive Player of the Year and All-USA Mississippi Second Team selection … A two-way standout at Charleston High School … Compiled 1,485 all-purpose yards (289 rushing, 701 receiving, 200 kickoff returns, 230 punt returns and 65 interception returns) as a senior … Also totaled 35 tackles and four interceptions (for 65 yards) as a defensive back … Charleston’s leading receiver during senior year with 30 catches for 701 yards and eight touchdowns.