Through nine weeks, junior wide receiver Dylan Cantrell of Whitehouse High school (Whitehouse, Texas) has 68 receptions for 1,020 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Cantrell has played receiver all his life, but last season his coaches had him at safety since there were so many seniors on the team. Having played receiver since seventh grade, the secondary was new for him, but he led the team with four interceptions.
He feels that experience on defense has made him a better receiver this year.
"I like receiver a lot better, but now I know most coverages so I can look at DBs and know what they're going to do by the way they're lined up," Cantrell said.
He's visited SMU three times and loves the program June Jones has resurrected.
"SMU has good education and I like the football for one," he said. "I like June Jones. He is a very successful coach and knows how to turn teams around. I like the campus, education and everything about it."
Cantrell's most recent visit was for the Northwestern State game. It was not an official visit.
Whitehouse is about two hours from Dallas and going to a school close to home is important to Cantrell.
"That's a big thing for me," he said. "If I had to, I would go further from home, but I'd like to keep as close to home as possible."
It's important for him that his family gets to come to all of or the majority of his games.
Being a receiver, Cantrell likes Jones' Run and Shoot offense.
"I want to go to a school that throws the ball a lot," he said. "I could see myself paying for SMU."
Going to Whitehouse, Cantrell knows current SMU receivers Der'rikk Thompson and Jeremy Johnson who went to nearby high schools in Troup and John Tyler, respectively.
Cantrell said he used to run summer track with Thompson and played against Johnson because their schools were in the same district.
With all the interest from some big-time programs, Cantrell says SMU is attractive because it's a program on the rise.
"I want to go to a school that wants me and that I feel I'll have the best opportunity," he said. "SMU is a good school and I like June Jones and how he is showing he can build teams and have big seasons."
Even though SMU is likely pledging its conference allegiance to the Big East in a matter of days, Cantrell says playing for a BCS school doesn't matter to him.
"Football is football anywhere you play it is the way I look at it," Cantrell said. "I don't think about that stuff. I just want to play football."
SMU has dropped its last two games to tough conference opponents on the road, but those performances have not put a bad taste in Cantrell's mouth.
"They played some tough competition," he said. "I think they're still a good team, they just need to keep their heads up and keep playing."
Playoffs start next Friday for Cantrell and Whitehouse.
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