Jason Phillips has already built a strong pipeline in the Houston-area. Now it's time for another SMU coach to step up and do the same in the D-FW Metroplex.
Mesquite Poteet would be a good place to start. The Mustangs landed a commitment from Nate Gaines in the Class of 2014, and Mesquite Poteet's 2015 class is loaded with an abundance of talent. Earlier this week, SMU defensive coordinator Tom Mason stopped by to offer three-star athlete DeAndre McNeal.
"It was actually a surprise. I was running down to the field house for my athletics period when Coach (Kody) Groves stopped me," McNeal said. "He told me SMU's defensive coordinator stopped by and told him that they offered me. I was really excited since it's my first offer. I wanted to cry, but I couldn't do that in front of my teammates."
McNeal says he has not personally heard from Mason but plans on calling him later this week. At 6-foot-3, 215-pounds with 4.5 speed, McNeal is an athletic freak. This season, he caught 40 passes for 582 yards and 11 touchdowns and also rushed for 406 yards and nine touchdowns while playing both wide receiver and running back.
But SMU apparently wants McNeal on the defensive side of the ball.
"Coach Groves said (Mason) told him he wants me as a linebacker or safety. It's kind of weird because I didn't play defense at all this year," McNeal said. "I did play some defensive end as a sophomore, but that's about it. I'm pretty athletic though so I think I can make the transition."
Since he has had no contact with the SMU staff yet, McNeal turned to Gaines for more information.
"I talked to Nate about it, and he told me it's a great school," McNeal said. "He told me they have a nice program and that I should look into it. Obviously, he is committed there, and I would love to play with him again at the next level."
Expect McNeal to pick up plenty of other offers this spring. Major programs such as California, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Texas, which stopped by to speak to him on Tuesday afternoon, are all showing early interest.
Still, McNeal says he will never count out SMU.
"They were my first offer so it means a lot to me. I think it's important when a school offers first because it shows that they really want you," McNeal said. "I'm really interested in SMU right now. I just need to do some more research on it because I don't know a lot about them."
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