Red Oak tight end Jeremiah Gaines is regarded as one of the top recruits in SMU's incoming Class of 2013. However, there has been a great deal of speculation circling around how the 6-foot-3 235-pound playmaker will fit into head coach June Jones' Run N' Shoot offense.
Gaines, who has visited the Hilltop to speak to Jones about his role in the offense specifically, says that he will most likely be used as a wide receiver lined up in the slot.
"I've gone to SMU just to talk to Coach Jones about it," Gaines said. "He said that I'd probably be a number two receiver; kind of like a slot receiver type. I'll probably be standing up most of the time."
Gaines says that he is more comfortable standing up at the line of scrimmage versus lining up in the three point stance like a conventional tight end. But he says that wherever the team needs him, that's where he'll be.
"I prefer standing up over the three point stance," Gaines said. "But whatever the team needs me to do. I'll do."
This past year SMU had a bit of trouble getting consistent production from the outside receiver position opposite of Der'Rikk Thompson. The Mustangs tested out a number of different options there from initial starter Keenan Holman, to freshman Gehrig Dieter and finally Virginia Tech transfer Austin Fuller.
With Dieter now gone to Bowling Green and Fuller graduating, it seems that SMU will have to either stick with Holman on the outside or find someone else who can fill the void. Gaines says that he has discussed playing on the outside with his recruiter defensive line coach Bert Hill and is not opposed to the idea.
"I know one time Coach Hill called me and told me that maybe in some packages I could go out there and play number one against some corners, smaller corners," Gaines said.
With the number of losses SMU has sustained at the receiver position going into next year, Gaines does not think that his chances of seeing playing time as a true freshman are impossible.
"If I come in and take care of my business over the summer and come in prepared, anything could happen," Gaines said.
Gaines' Red Oak team made a decent run into the playoffs this year- winning two playoff games before losing in the third round to Frisco Centennial. Individually, Gaines played extremely well as caught 29 passes for 636 yards, rushed for 673 yards, scored 21 total touchdowns and played a little linebacker.
"This year was probably the best team atmosphere I've ever been around," Gaines said. "We were just a family. "It's indescribable how good it felt winning those games because of how hard we worked especially because we didn't make the playoffs the two years prior to this."
Gaines, who has been suiting up for the Red Oak basketball team, says he's averaging around fourteen points a game this year even though he sees himself more as a facilitator. Gaines has been hooping for as long as he's been catching the pigskin.
"I've been playing basketball since I was four or five, same time that I started playing football," Gaines said. "My dad used to tell me back when I was focused on basketball that he thought I was better in basketball than I was in football."
But in a few months, Gaines will turn his attention back to the gridiron- this time as an SMU Mustang.
Gaines Updates Status
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