The quarterback battle in Hattiesburg has come to an end with Southern Miss head coach Will Hall handing the reins to Clemson transfer Billy Wiles on Tuesday morning.
Wiles, a Washburn, Va. native, assumes the position after a fierce spring and fall competition with Houston transfer and French Camp, Miss. native Holman Edwards — a battle in which Hall noted that neither quarterback seemed to have had a bad day.
“Two things have been evident throughout this whole camp. One, Holman and Billy are really good players and we can win with both of them,” Hall said. “Two, Billy’s been better. He’s just been a little bit better.”
Despite dealing with a quadriceps lateral injury in the spring — which impaired Wiles’ ability to throw at maximum efficiency and caused him to lose ground to Edwards — the Clemson transfer stormed back into the competition during fall camp and solidified himself as the Golden Eagles’ starter.
Meanwhile, sophomore quarterback Zach Wilcke, who appeared in eight games for the Golden Eagles last season and led the team in passing with 1,151 yards and eight touchdowns, has missed recent practices due to an unspecified family matter. Freshman Ethan Crawford has since taken over Wilcke’s spot as third on the depth chart.
Southern Miss will kick off the 2023 season against Alcorn State on September 2. It is anticipated that both Wiles and Edwards will get playing time in their debuts as Golden Eagles.