HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Football season is just around the corner and a couple of Southern Miss players have had an interesting off-season so far.
Quarterback, Nick Mullens had a breakout season last year as he threw for nearly 4500 yards, had 38 touchdowns, and also lead his team to a conference championship.
And Mullens of course, is trying to have better success.
Mullens said "same thing I say, every team sets out the same goals pretty much, your conference, your division championships, a bowl game. But we really try to focus on getting better day-by-day, game-by-game. We're going to take it one step at a time and really try to be better than we were last year."
Mullens was selected as one of the nation’s top quarterbacks to attend this year’s Manning Passing Academy.
"It was an incredible experience. Just being able to compete with the big name guys out there in college football and also hear from the best in the whole Manning family. Got to teach some younger guys as well and being around Peyton and Eli, listening to them talk about football was a really good experience I'm thankful for," said Mullens.
After talking with Peyton Manning, Mullens is probably not going to be saying the word “Omaha” while on the field.
"I learned a lot about the call, but I don't think we're going to be putting that call to our offense," said Mullens.
Wide receiver, D.J. Thompson had a breakout season. And now that Casey Martin and Mike Thomas are gone, Thompson thinks he is ready to be the number one target.
"I mean, I think I'm ready. I'm pretty sure I'm ready. I'm preparing myself. I think it's more about what Coach Hop said 'you get what you deserve.’ And I feel like if I can keep coming out here and putting in work every day, it'll be blessed on to me anyway," said Thompson.
With a new coaching staff and some new teammates, the team feels the chemistry is pretty solid.
"I think our chemistry hasn't really broke too many strides. And I feel as far as the adjustment coaching-wise, I think we trust the new coaching staff. I think they're just as good as the coaching staff we had before. He's one of those coaches that just keeps it real with you and tells you exactly how it should be," said Thompson.
The first game of the season is against Kentucky on September 3, at Commonwealth Stadium.