"As a player, Neil McLaurin has all the tools you want in a quarterback," Southwest Mississippi coach Cameron Achord said to GopherIllustrated. "He has the ability to make the tough throws with his arm and create plays with his legs. Also, he's a mature player that improved each week. Off the field he's proven how mentally tough he is by the way he responded from his injury and the work he did in the classroom this semester to make sure he graduated in December. He is a truly a great kid to coach and to be around. We are really going to miss him on and off the field next season."
"The coaches at Minnesota did a great job in recruiting McLaurin," Achord told GopherIllustrated. "They came in and asked about Neil and did a thorough job making sure he was the guy they wanted for their program. I respect the job they did with being so thorough and not just seeing a great athlete. They wanted to know who Neil was as a person on and off the field, which was very big to them, and he passed their test. Neil made the decision himself as do all our athletes when choosing where to go. We guide and answer their questions, but we leave the college choice up to them, and family."
Achord knows how great of an athlete McLaurin is.
"His strengths are his arm strength and his ability to make plays with his legs, and I am not sure there's a stronger arm I've been around," Achord explained to GopherIllustrated. "Most people see Neil as an athlete, but Neil wants to be in the pocket and go through his progressions, which is not normal for most athletic quarterback's. The area that he needs to work on would be his footwork, but that will come with better teaching. He is great at improving each day. His biggest improvements came in trusting his ability after the knee injury he came back from. He came back to form after about game four and the last five games he took off. He was what made our offense go down the stretch, and really put stress on defenses. I think Gopher fans can expect a lot of excitement from Neil. He has the ability to make things happen and he will also be a class act on and off the field."