Another Bowl Season is wrapping up – and plenty of Niceville High School Alumni have made their mark on their teams this year – on the field or as members of college football teams’ staff.
Thomas Morton and the Troy Trojans had another excellent showing in the Sun Belt Conference in 2023. The team had an 11-3 record, which ended with a 17-10 loss in the Birmingham Bowl against a solid Duke Team.
The season included a 10-game winning streak after a 16-14 loss to the eventual conference champions, James Madison.
The first ride with the Warhawks had tough results for Sean Moorer. The Warhawks went 2-10, and the season ended with Head Coach Terry Bowden’s firing.
According to ESPN, the team did not win a conference game this year for the second time in four years.
The new man in the driver’s seat for ULM is former New Mexico Offensive Coordinator Bryant Vincent.
Khalil Jacobs had a banner year for the South Alabama Jaguars.
The Sophomore Linebacker totaled 56 tackles on the year, three forced fumbles, and an interception.
The Niceville graduate helped the team get to a winning record with a win over Eastern Michigan in the 68 Ventures Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.
The Jags had a 4-4 record in Sun Belt Conference play, good enough for a tie for second place in the Sun Belt’s Western Division.
Azareye’h Thomas saw increased playing time on the field in this year – as the Seminoles cruised to an undefeated regular season.
The ‘Noles, weakened by players declaring for the NFL draft and sitting out their bowl game, or transferring, took a 63-3 drubbing from the Georgia Bulldogs in the Orange Bowl in Miami on December 30th.
Thomas had four solo tackles, an assist and a pass defense in the rout. Those numbers are the more he had in a single game in 2023.
In the regular season, the Sophomore Defensive Back tallied up 29 total tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, half a sack, and 10 pass defenses.
Firestone started his college career after Niceville with the Northwestern Wildcats, but traded Chicago for Columbia, Missouri and the Mizzou Tigers.
The #9 Tigers found success this year with a 14-3 win over the #7 Ohio State Buckeyes at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
Firestone did not have a significant role in the stats book for the Tigers this year. He did record a single tackle against The University of Memphis and tacked up a sack against Vanderbilt.
In total, Firestone saw the field in nine of the team’s 13 games in 2023.
JP Mikhael redshirted his freshman season with the Golden Eagles, but got to play in two snaps at the Myrtle Beach Bowl against the Ohio Wildcats, who won in a 41-21 game.
The Eagles ended the season at the bottom of the Sun Belt Western Division but stayed just under .500 for the year in a very even conference.
Kimo Makane’ole is still waiting to break out onto the field regularly at Death Valley in Baton Rouge.
Makane’ole did get snaps on the field in four games this year.
#13 LSU, emerged with a win against a 7-5 Wisconsin in the Reliaquest Bowl and ended the season with a 10-3 record overall and a 6-2 record in the SEC. The Badgers kept the game close, putting up 31 points to LSU’s 35.
Former Niceville Eagle Xavier Graham made news this past year when he decided to transfer from The University of Massachusetts to Western Carolina University. The Catamounts play in the FCS, a lower subdivision of Division I that includes teams like North Dakota, The Citadel and Florida A&M.
We’re still building out our lists and rosters over here at Mid Bay News.
That means we might have missed your favorite Eagle Alum who’s playing on Saturdays.
Help us out by putting their name, school, and class in the comments section.