Southern Miss’s quarterback position posed a question for the team after it lost its first and second string options from 2020, but returning redshirt sophomore quarterback Trey Lowe III has since emerged as the team’s next starting quarterback.
Lowe is the most experienced quarterback on the team’s roster, only a year removed from transferring from West Virginia University. He saw action almost immediately in his first season as a Golden Eagle when former quarterback Jack Abraham suffered an injury against Rice.
Lowe struggled in his first two starts after being thrust into the role but showed promise in the season finale. He threw for 209 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a 45-31 win against Florida Atlantic University.
Head Coach Will Hall noticed Lowe’s consistent improvement since coming onto campus earlier this year.
“He had a phenomenal spring, not just in the 15 practices of spring ball, but also with the way he’s attacked the off-season program in lifting and conditioning,” Hall said. “He’s developed into a leader.”
COVID freshman Frank Gore Jr. said that Lowe sets the example of hard work for the team. Since coming onto campus at six-foot-two and 218 pounds, Lowe bulked up to almost 235 pounds at the start of fall camp.
“He’s a warrior,” Gore said. “He’s the first in the weight room and last one out. He’s a hard worker, so he’s going to get better every day.”
Hall said Lowe has built on his strengths but has also used the offseason to improve his offensive knowledge. Hall has expressed that his offensive scheme this season is complex, paralleling professional schemes.
Lowe participated in the Manning Passing Academy in July, where he learned how to become a better quarterback from football greats Eli and Peyton Manning.
“Just working with Eli and Peyton was a good opportunity[,] and working with other quarterbacks to see where you are made it a great experience,” Lowe said.
Lowe has also spent time practicing with his receiving corps, including individual practices with emerging lead receiver Jason Brownlee.
“He understands that every night is an opportunity to do better or worse. There’s no such thing as no change,” Hall said. “He [Brownlee] and Trey were throwing together the other day in the rain[. They] are putting in work all the time.”
While Lowe is the clear starter going into the season, newcomers Tee Webb and Ty Keyes have competed for the backup spot and have the potential to step up if needed.
Webb, a transfer from Louisville, was ranked as the No. 16 pro-style quarterback in his class coming from Cartersville High School in Georgia, where he posted a 52-3 record as starter.
Keyes is a true freshman and highly touted four-star recruit from Taylorsville, Mississippi. He won three state championships and threw for 115 touchdowns and 14,525 yards. His talents as a runner helped land him a No. 7 national ranking for dual-threat quarterbacks.
With fall camp at an end and the season just beginning, Hall expresses no doubt in his faith at putting Lowe as the starter.
“I’m the most blessed human in the world. I’ve got my dream job, a beautiful wife and I’ve got a great quarterback who loves football and lives life as a winner,” Hall said.
Lowe and the offense struggled in the opening game against South Alabama, with Hall taking the blame for the offense’s play and Lowe deferring it to himself.
Lowe threw for 13 of 29 for 133 yards and two interceptions. He rushed for one touchdown.
“We were doing uncharacteristic things but we can fix it,” Lowe said. “It’s game one. We’ll get it fixed.”