Nate Gaines didn't arrive on the Hilltop early enough to enjoy all the festivities on the boulevard or speak to the coaching staff. But the SMU commit was on hand to watch the Mustangs in the season opener against Texas Tech.
Although SMU fell to the Red Raiders, Gaines still enjoyed his time at Ford Stadium and can't wait to suit up for the Ponies.
"I got there later than I expected, but my dad and I had a great experience. The first thing my dad told me is I'll be at all your home games. It was crazy with all the people there so it was really exciting," he said. "My dad was upset with the offense and so was I. If Garrett Gilbert would have had a better game, and they didn't have all those injuries, they could have won.
"It was actually a really good game. A lot of my friends were kind of poking fun and saying SMU got blown out. But the score doesn't really show how close it was heading into the fourth quarter so I was still impressed."
Throughout the game, Gaines focused on the defensive backs. At 6-foot-3, 180-pounds, Gaines is projected to play safety at the next level and feels he would be a good fit in Tom Mason' scheme.
A long and rangy safety, Gaines is comparable to Shakiel Randolph, but he says his game also mirrors Hayden Greenbauer.
"I thought the defensive back did pretty good. I enjoyed keeping an eye on Greenbauer because he was technically sound and did the little things right, and that's what I try to do," Gaines said. "I think once I get back there, I can add length and athleticism."
While Gaines didn't get a chance to speak to Mason in person, he has kept in contact with him over the phone and through e-mail. His relationship with the SMU defensive coordinator is a big reason why his commitment is still solid.
"I'm not really looking around, and other schools aren't showing as much interest so I'm pretty solid," he said. "I really like Coach Mason, and he's been letting me know about upcoming events and stuff like that."
Gaines plans to return for his official visit on October 5 when the Mustangs take on Rutgers in the American Athletic Conference opener.
But before he starts looking ahead to that, Gaines has business to take care of on the field for Mesquite Poteet. On Zero Week, he recorded an interception and help lead the Pirates to a 49-20 win over Frisco Liberty.
"My first game went well. We got out to a great start, and our defense really got after it. We have to work on penalties and little things, but I though we played great," he said. "Our defense is better than ever. I really think we have a great chance of going to state."
Gaines Recaps SMU Visit
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