On Monday night, Pope John Paul II (FL) athlete William Jeanlys became the 14th player in the Class of 2014 to commit to SMU.
"It feels good. I can relax now," Jeanlys said. "I know which school I'm going to play football at so all the stress is off. I'm just happy right now."
The versatile playmaker made the call to SMU defensive backs coach Derrick Odum after discussing his decision with his family and pulled the trigger. Jeanlys – whose only other offer was from Tulane– felt SMU was the right fit because the Mustangs stuck to their guns and remained loyal.
"Even though they knew I was hurt, they still stuck by their offer and kept in contact with me," Jeanlys said. "They have a good program, and I feel like I'd be a good fit there."
After suffering a torn ACL in the spring, many programs were reluctant to take a chance on the speedy athlete. But Odum saw something special in Jeanlys and knew that once healthy, he could be a serious threat in the back end of the Mustang defense.
"They (SMU) truly believe in me," Jeanlys said. "They truly believe that no matter what state I'm in, I'll recover and come back as if I never got injured. It makes me feel like they know what I can do and they're sticking by me no matter what because they know what I'm bringing to the table.
"I felt like I impressed him and showed him what I can do when he came to practice to scout me. From then on, he would send me letters and talk to me to make sure that I was doing alright with the knee and everything so he just really stuck by me which is a good thing."
At Pope John Paul II, Jeanlys is featured on both sides of the ball and has shown the ability to use his 4.4 speed to be an all-around playmaker. Although he is listed as a wide receiver, Jeanlys has also seen time in the secondary and will play defensive back for the Mustangs.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound ball hawk has hopes that with a full recovery he can get back to playing his style of defense.
"He (Odum) told me he would have me on defense playing DB and stuff and once it comes to defense, I'm an aggressive type of person," Jeanlys said. "I don't mess around, that's when I start head-hunting."
Kick return is another area Jeanlys specializes in and looks forward to doing at SMU. In his junior year, Jeanlys accumulated 24 catches for 668 yards with 15 of those snags going for six points. He was named to the all-county team and was one of the top-14 players to watch for in Palm Beach County prior to the injury.
Jeanlys has spent a great deal of his offseason rehabbing his knee and trying to gain strength. At this point, the rising senior says he is right on track.
"I'm pretty far along in therapy," Jeanlys said. "The knee is feeling great. I'm getting it stronger now so we can get further along in the process."
Although the senior may see other programs send offers after he fully recovers, SMU is the only school he has his sights set on right now.
"At this moment it's definitely solid," Jeanlys said. "I don't see why I would change my mind right now."
FREE: William Jeanlys Commits To SMU
Pony Stampede Top Stories
The Hilltop Review 4/28Come inside the Pony Stampede Hilltop Review for the latest on SMU football recruiting targets.
Pony Stampede12:30 AM
Watson and Morris' bond bigger than footballClemson's national championship winning quarterback and NFL Draft hopeful Deshaun Watson was recruited by Chad Morris. The two share a bond that is bigger than football.
Pony StampedeYesterday at 6:20 AM
Q&A: SMU WR Kevin Thomas ready to break outPony Stampede spoke with SMU rising junior wide receiver Kevin Thomas, who is ready for a breakout season this fall.
Pony StampedeYesterday at 5:09 AM
Pony Stampede Podcast 4/26Come inside the Pony Stampede Podcast for the latest on SMU hoops recruiting news and a few football storylines.
Pony StampedeWednesday at 6:35 AM
JUCO OT breaks down SMU visitVentura (Calif.) offensive tackle Maisen Knight recaps his SMU visit and where his recruitment stands.
Pony StampedeWednesday at 5:30 AM