Embody Evaluations

We evaluate a trio of SMU football prospects inside!

DeAndre McNeal- 2015 ATH, Mesquite Poteet

Strength: While some recruiting services have McNeal listed as a receiver, he very well could outgrow being a receiver and morph into a tight end, H-back or running back. With his strength and lack of breakaway speed, I think McNeal will likely wind up at running back if he doesn't attend SMU. SMU though is recruiting him at linebacker and safety, which has also been mentioned by other services. McNeal has the strength to shake off defenders and leave them behind. Once he is in a college weight room, watch out because McNeal is certainly a diamond in the rough.

Technique: It is tough to say how McNeal would do on defense, but on offense he displays solid technique and burst on the field, but not elite speed by any means. McNeal could be a terror at inside linebacker with his strength and if he can learn the position and calls. Being such a good athlete, McNeal shouldn't have a problem picking this up.

Big Play Ability: McNeal on defense will have the opportunity to show his ball skills if he ever gets a fumble or interception. McNeal can really make big plays after contact and it's no secret that he will get a few more offers this Spring as schools start to see his potential on the offensive side on the ball.

Side Note: 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.

Offers: SMU


HT: 6-3

WT: 215



Darrion Daniels- 2015 NT, Bishop Dunne

Technique: Daniels' Junior year film is not out yet, but from what I have read, his game has truly elevated from his sophomore year film. Daniels plays high in the highlights he has and even with his long arms and size, didn't really dominate opponents. His strength is his first step, where he gets nice initial push, but nothing more than that. Assuming he develops the ability to play lower and get stronger at the next level, he has the potential to be dominant.

Versus the Pass: Daniels doesn't posses the ability to be a true threat at getting to the quarterback yet, but he does have the quick feet to be able to develop some pass rushing skills with coaching. Adding more strength will allow him to collapse the pocket more often and if he puts on even more weight, he will likely be better suited as a 3-4 NT instead of a 4-3 defensive tackle.

Versus the Run: Daniels is a true run stuffer that moves well laterally for his size, which allows him to clog holes and disrupt running plays well. With a nice spin move, he is able to work off of blocks well, but you'd like to see him develop more push into the backfield. Daniels gets stoned way too often at the line of scrimmage for a player of his size, but again, his game has apparently developed nicely since transferring.

Side Note: Daniels is a best friend of SMU receiver Jeremiah Gaines from his days at Red Oak High School, where he went before transferring to Bishop Dunne before his Junior year.

Offers: Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, Louisville, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU and Texas Tech.


HT: 6-4

WT: 275


Cade Erwin- 2015 WR, Flower Mound Marcus

Route Running: When you watch Erwin, it looks a lot like former SMU receiver Cole Beasley out there. His routes are smooth and he does the little things right to get open. Erwin uses his head to draw defenders in when he breaks off his route, only to run an out-and-up route for a touchdown for example. He uses his whole body to sell his routes and does a good job of keeping defenders from pressing him. One of the better route runners I have seen.

Hands and Technique: Erwin has great hands and constantly lays out for balls and comes up with them. He also catches the ball away from his body well and not letting it getting into his pads or body, which is an issue for a lot of young receivers. Erwin isn't going to be a jumpball target, but his hands make him a reliable receiver just like Beasley is.

Big Play Ability: Erwin doesn't have incredible speed and won't be one to out jump many defenders, but he has the shiftiness to be able to make some big plays. Along with his route running ability, his quickness allows him to shake defenders to gain extra yards. If Erwin can develop his speed more, he could be deadly in the slot.

Side Note: During Erwin's sophomore year, his brother, Cole, the team's starting quarterback tore his ACL, which led to Cade stepping at quarterback, only to tear his ACL that season too unfortunately.

Offers: SMU


HT: 5-11

WT: 175



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