Player Profile: Jeremiah Gaines

Billy profiles SMU receiver Jeremiah Gaines, who is expected to see a bigger role with the departure of Keenan Holman.

Jeremiah Gaines Player Profile

Position: Wide Receiver

Size: 6-2, 218

Year: Sophomore (1 year letterman)

High School: Red Oak High School (Tex.)

Hometown: Red Oak, TX

Recruitment: 3-star prospect that chose SMU over offers from Arizona State, Cal, Iowa, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Purdue, Syracuse, TCU, Texas Tech, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and Washington State among others. Gaines was a big get as the state’s No. 3 receiver by Dave Campbell’s. Named first-team All-District 15-4A and the District Co-MVP as a senior. Gaines totaled 30 receptions for 641 yards and seven TDs in 2012 while adding 63 carries for 649 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns.

2013 Recap: Coming to SMU, Gaines was expected to be a big redzone target as well as a versatile player in Hal Mumme’s and June Jone’s offense. That wasn’t the case as Gaines saw inconsistent, limited time throughout the year. Gaines saw all of his six catches on SMU’s side of the 50, totaling 57 yards and zero touchdowns. Keenan Holman stepped up big time for SMU, totaling over 1,000 yards, while Der’rikk Thompson had an up-and-down season and even missed a few games with injury, but with JaBryce Taylor also in the rotation, those reps went to the other freshman.

Gaines did start against UCF at the end of the year after not playing for two games. That could be a sign of things to come for Gaines in 2014, even though he didn’t record a catch against UCF. Gaines just didn’t get enough opportunities last season, but committed himself in the spring to dropping some weight and lost about 20 pounds to get ready for 2014.

Grade: Incomplete, didn’t see enough time.

Outlook in 2014: With Gaines new look and improved speed with his drop in weight, he’s even more ready for more time on the field this year. Replacing Holman will prove difficult for the Mustangs without JaBryce Taylor to compete for playing time. It does give Gaines the opportunity to step up and take those reps and start in June Jones’ offense.

With Jones’ renewed desire to get the ball vertically, Gaines can be used as an option underneath. Without gamebreaking speed, Gaines may be rotated in and out, but there’s no doubt that Gaines has the talent to provide SMU’s new quarterback with a big target on third downs and in the redzone. If Gaines does break into the starting lineup as expected, SMU fans should be happy that SMU’s offense will have a big target on the field that can create matchup problems for opponents.

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