Southern Miss left spring practice and through most of the summer with two starters at quarterback but will break fall camp without either of them.
On Saturday the program announced that the likely No. 1 signal-caller in 2018, senior Kwadra Griggs, was suspended indefinitely following what the school described as “pending the resolution of a “student conduct matter.”
That significant bit of news out of Hattiesburg comes just over a week after sophomore Keon Howard — who started six times for USM in 2017 — announced he was leaving the program and transferring to Tulane. The two had been locked into a close battle to be the team’s starter again this season but now it appears that neither will suit up in the opener unless Griggs can get his matter resolved in the next few weeks before the team plays Jackson State in the opener.
Griggs threw for 1,879 yards, 16 touchdowns and two interceptions last year while battling through several injuries but emerged as the top option under center down the stretch.
The suspension appears to hand the job off to sophomore Jack Abraham, who transferred in himself after spending last season at Northwest Mississippi Community College. Redshirt freshman Marcelo Rodriguez is also listed on the depth chart and could make a push as well.
The Golden Eagles are coming off a solid 8-5 campaign in Jay Hopson’s second season but were picked to finish fourth in the division in the preseason CUSA poll, a result that will be much harder to achieve this year with a fresh-faced starter at quarterback.