- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - New Southern Mississippi coach Jay Hopson had just four days to secure his first recruiting class for the Golden Eagles.

Hopson was hired on Saturday night, replacing Todd Monken, who left less than two weeks ago to become the offensive coordinator for the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

It wasn’t great timing for the Golden Eagles, who are coming off a 9-5 season that included a Conference USA Western Division title, but Hopson’s familiarity with Mississippi was part of the reason the program was still able to convince 17 players to sign.

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Other things to know:

Top 25 Class: No.

Best in class: Keon Howard, QB, Laurel, Mississippi.

Best of the rest: Jacques Turner, DL, D’Iberville, Mississippi.

Late addition: Demarrio Smith, DL, Canton, Mississippi.

One that got away: Ka’Derrion Mason, DL, McComb, Mississippi. Mason went to Louisiana Tech.

How they’ll fit in: Southern Miss returns a fairly experienced next season, but this class will be the initial building block as Hopson tries to continue the program’s momentum.

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For the full list: https://www.southernmiss.com/

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