For Ricky Lloyd to go all the way from Concord, Calif., to Southern Mississippi to play college football, the pro-style quarterback had to feel comfortable and had to get a sense of family when he met with the coaches and players.
This past weekend, he got those exact feelings and Lloyd, a 6-foot-2, 182-pound three-star quarterback, couldn't be happier with his decision.
"It was hard to say only one thing stood out," Lloyd said. "The hospitality by everybody there was great and coach (Larry) Fedora and the staff really stood out in my mind the most. It really is one big family setting. The place in general is amazing. A kid coming from Northern California where not everything is about football going to a big football town is amazing.
"It's very important to me to have that family setting. I want to go to a place where I'm going to be happy for the next four or five years. I don't want it to feel like a job. I want it to be like a privilege. I want it to feel like me and my friends are playing."
Lloyd committed to Southern Miss in late July over offers from Iowa State, Louisiana Tech, San Jose State, Tulsa and Sacramento State. Since then, many other programs have asked around but Lloyd said he hasn't shown any interest. He's confident in his commitment to Southern Miss and is sticking by it.
This weekend's visit only helped reinforce his choice.
"I've had a couple more schools come in and talk to me but it's too late," Lloyd said. "I made my decision and I'm happy with my decision. I feel like I don't need to go anywhere else."
One of the biggest reasons for his commitment to Southern Miss was the coaching staff. Lloyd has hit it off with Fedora and has built maybe an even better relationship with offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Blake Anderson.
"Coach Fedora is a very passionate coach," Lloyd said. "He's very loud and he shows his emotions in a good way. That's what I like about him.
"Coach Anderson is like one of my best friends. I feel like I can trust him with anything and I've built a great relationship with him over the last year. That's very important to me."
In his senior season, Lloyd threw for 4,451 yards with 52 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He had 2,728 passing yards with 36 touchdowns and 14 picks in his junior year.