USM quarterback sets big goals for the upcoming season

Nick Mullens threw for five touchdowns in the first Southern Miss win since 2011. (USATSI)

Southern Miss quarterback Nick Mullens talks about the upcoming season as a part of the Football Player Series.

After setting passing records as well as single season records at Spain Park High School in Hoover, Ala., Mullens finally got his chance to start as the Golden Eagles quarterback in the final six games of last season, throwing for over 1,700 yards, 13 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

“I wasn’t heavily recruited and I took a lot of visits to Sun Belt and Conference USA schools, but I never got the offers I was hoping for,” explained Mullens in the interview.

“I stayed patient and when I came to Southern Miss, it was really everything I could ask for.”

Despite only going 1-11 in his first year, Mullens brought a new spark to the team, leading the team to its only win last season in a blowout against the University of Alabama-Birmingham, 62-27 and throwing a career high five touchdowns.

Now, with the season beginning in less than 60 days, the Hoover, Ala., native is excited about the upcoming season and plans to build on his success from last season.

“ I look forward to just being back out there, making plays collecting more wins and playing as a team,” Mullens said. “Obviously we had a rough year last year, but the only way we can improve is to get better and make plays out there.”

Mullens values competitiveness and leadership on and off the football field.

“I think of myself a real true competitor,” Mullens said. “The big thing about it is you have to get your teammates to compete as well. I think leadership and accuracy are the two biggest parts of being a quarterback.”

In addition to establishing success from a team perspective, the sophomore quarterback has some personal aspirations he would like to achieve this season.

“I have a goal to throw under 10 interceptions this season and establish myself as a leader on the field,” Mullens stated. “That means really doing a good job bonding with teammates.”

In less than 60 days, the 6-foot-1 inch, 188 pound quarterback from small town Alabama will get his opportunity to prove to Southern Miss fans his leadership ability and willingness to compete as the Golden Eagles travel to Starkville, Miss., to take on in-state rival Mississippi State on Aug. 30.

Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.

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