• John Macon Gillespie

Conner Back To Lead The Tigers

Hattiesburg could prove to be one of Mississippi’s most talented teams in 2016 with the likes of Jordan Murphy and Fabian Franklin returning. Plus, it appears a host of other rising juniors are ready to impact the Tigers in a major way.

In 2015 they finished 8-5, with a first round exit at the hands of Laurel. Throughout 2015, they tried a host of players out at quarterback. None were more effective than rising senior Julian Conner, an all-around athlete who is a member of the varsity basketball and baseball teams, as well.

“Last season we had our ups and downs. We started off 4-0 and then we kind of got the big head. We were hurt towards the end of the season because we couldn’t finish the job,” Conner told SES Mississippi. “But this year will be a total different look for the Tigers.”

In addition to the talent returning for Hattiesburg, experience at the quarterback position could change everything. And one would have to believe mental focus will be there each and every game, as well, as Conner mentioned that as something that plagued the team last fall.

After tallying 1,445 yards and 13 touchdowns through the air, while rushing for another 341 yards and four scores, in 2015, Conner is poised to make an even bigger splash this fall.

“Me being a senior this year, I’ve really got to step up and be a leader. I’m going to make sure my team keeps their heads on the main goal that we are trying to achieve this season. We’ve just got to turn it around and take it week by week,” Conner explained. “My expectations are to hopefully get further in the playoffs and win a ring.”

Being the man in the middle of so much talent is something that gives Conner confidence.

“I feel great about the guys around me,” He said. “I have some great competitors on my team. I feel like I could take them anywhere and play anybody.”

Though, Conner has worked on his ground game and his accuracy so far this offseason, he’s had to carve time out to work on football. Baseball and basketball have taken up most of his time. And when he’s not working on improving his game, he’s hanging with his friends and family. His time is consumed with friends, family and athletics, but he doesn’t mind. Those are his favorite things.

**Photo by Mark Magee.

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