SMU's strongest and deepest spot on offense has always been wide receiver, and DeAndre McNeal (Mesquite, TX/Poteet) is one of the biggest high school stars in the DFW area. Not surprisingly, the Mustangs are heavily interested in the Class of 2015 wideout. SMU defensive coordinator Tom Mason offered McNeal in January.
"One day Coach Groves, my head coach, stopped me and told me that SMU had offered me a scholarship," McNeal said. "I felt great, it was one of (my first offers)."
"It felt amazing, I was privileged, I was honored."
Not only was McNeal happy to get an SMU offer, he has a lot of interest in the school as well.
"I like it academic-wise." McNeal said. "You can't be a dummy to go to SMU. I think that's one of the amazing things and it's something I'm going to base my decision off of. I love it, it's beautiful there. I've been there twice. I was there last week or two weeks ago. I love going to Highland Park."
McNeal says that he has been to SMU more than any other school, and he may go back for a camp during the summer.
Mason has put extra effort into recruiting McNeal. The two have talked regularly for the last few months.
"Me and Coach Mason, we talk weekly. He knows me, he knows my mother, he knows my grandpa. They're all going to help me out with my decision, so I think that's a heads-up for him, being ahead of everybody else, since he's the only one who's met my family."
Mason has a leg up on the other competing schools, but they have a lot of time to catch up to him. McNeal said he will not make a decision until December at the earliest.
Plenty of other schools are interested in McNeal. He has 17 offers, including ones from Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas Tech, TCU, UCLA, Oregon State, Miami (Fla.), and Iowa. McNeal says that one more school should offer soon.
"California, they came out and it pretty much seemed like they were going to offer me."
McNeal said he does not have a favorite and is treating all schools equally.
"I'm just giving everybody a chance. You only get this once in a lifetime. Next time you can't pick a team; you're hoping you get the phone call somebody else is (drafting) you. You don't get to choose, so I'm just taking it all in right now."
Poteet usually has strong teams, and the 2013 season was no exception. McNeal said he was pleased with the team's performance.
"We did pretty good, went four rounds in the (Class 4A) playoffs and lost to Ennis. As a team, we did all that we could that game and throughout the season too. I think if we played (Ennis) in better conditions we would have won, and I think we would have won state. We're feeling really confident about this season, we want revenge."
McNeal said he had a good individual season as well. It was his first season playing wide receiver.
"It was great for me. I came from playing defensive lineman, like third-string defensive lineman, and (played) wide receiver, so I think I did pretty well."
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound wide receiver said he caught about 25 touchdowns and had over 1,200 combined rushing and receiving yards. He has run a 4.43 40-yard dash.