Southern Miss names Wiles starting QB

Published 2:57 pm Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Billy Wiles, a redshirt sophomore transfer from Clemson, was tabbed as the starter at Southern Miss on Tuesday by head football coach Will Hall.

Wiles joined Clemson as a walk-on before earning a scholarship in 2022. A native of Ashburn, Virginia, he played in 11 combined snaps during his two years with the Tigers.

During pre-season camp, Wiles has been competing with redshirt junior Holman Edwards, a transfer from Houston by way of East Central Community College.

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“Two things have been evident to me throughout this fall camp,” said Hall in a release by the school. “One, Holman and Billy both are really good players and good leaders, and we can win with both of them; two, Billy’s been just a little bit better in practice.”

Wiles will be the fourth different signal caller to start the season for the Golden Eagles over the last four seasons.

Quarterback is a position where Southern Miss has struggled the most to build consistency during Hall’s tenure at the school.

Injuries have factored into that instability as the 2021 team had Jake Lange, Ty Keyes, Trey Lowe, Tee Webb and Jake Smithhart all try their hand at the position along with Chandler Pittman, a state championship quarterback during his prep career at Magee High.

Last season, the Golden Eagles finished 7-6 and ended the season with a Lending Tree Bowl win over Rice.

Zach Wilcke ended up being the player who attempted the most passes as a freshman out of Desoto Central High. Lowe, Keyes and Lange all also got snaps last season at the quarterback position.

It’s been star running back Frank Gore Jr. who’s had to carry the largest load over the last two years as Southern Miss has searched for a quarterback.

Gore Jr. has an offensive package where he plays quarterback and last season, he was an efficient 8-of-15 passing on the year for four touchdowns. He’ll likely still see time in that wildcat formation again in 2023, but having an established starter before the season opener has been one of the main focuses of camp.

With Wiles as the starting quarterback and Gore entrenched at running back, the focus now turns to preparing for Alcorn State in the season opener on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 6 p.m. in Hattiesburg.