Nathaniel Gaines didn't expect to make a decision so soon. After all, his recruitment was just starting to heat. On Monday he hit double digit offers when Colorado State and ULM extended scholarships.
But shortly after, the Mesquite Poteet safety received an e-mail from SMU defensive coordinator Tom Mason and their online conversation eventually led to a verbal commitment.
"Coach Mason e-mailed me and asked me when I was going to make a decision, and I told him I was planning on waiting to make a decision at the end of the summer," Gaines said. "But he told me they didn't have time because spots were filling up so I emailed him back and told him I was ready to be a Mustang."
Before pulling the trigger and sending back a response, Gaines had a long conversation with his family, and they lal determined SMU was the best fit from both an academic and an athletic standpoint.
"I just discussed it with my parents, and we thought SMU would be the best place for me," Gaines said. "At first it took me a little while to embrace that I was committed to a school, but I'm just excited. If I had to choose any school, it would be SMU. At this point, my commitment is pretty solid."
Gaines has been on the Hilltop numerous times and ‘loves' the atmosphere. He plans on visiting SMU again this summer and hopes to see the Mustangs take on Texas Tech in the season opener.
"SMU just has a nice environment with a lot of history," he said. "I've just embraced everything down there, and I'm happy to be a part of it now."
Last season, Gaines was a stud on both offense and defense for Mesquite Poteet as he recorded 29 receptions for 296 yards and six touchdowns and also racked up 48 tackles and nine interceptions.
The 6-foot-3, 180-pounder is expected to play safety at the next level and says he can't wait to play under Mason.
"I think I would like to redshirt my freshman year, but I think I can fit in well at free safety," he said. "Playing for Coach Mason is going to be great. He has great character and is a great guy. I'm happy with my decision to play for him at SMU. It just feels like home."
FREE: Nate Gaines Commits To SMU
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