2016 Plano East wide receiver Adewale Omotosho has blown up this spring with a slew of offers and his receivers coach David Jones says it’s partly due to his athleticism, but also the work he has put in.
“I didn’t truly understand how truly great of an athlete he was until we started getting into spring football last year,” Jones said. “What I’ve seen even though he’s blowing up and getting all these offers, he’s an extremely hard-worker. I think he understands what type of opportunity he has in front of him, he takes pride in his craft — it’s awesome.”
Jones has been coach for over a year now and saw Omotosho’s recruitment skyrocket this spring even after a less than off the charts statistical year because of East’s run-heavy offense.
This spring, “Audie” has turned his attention to mentoring the younger players on their stance and routes and logging more hours perfecting his craft, which will pay dividends in the fall.
“He’s awesome. He’s a leader by example. The way his work ethic is in practice, he goes through every drill 100 percent,” Jones said. “He stays after, he gets extra practice on the weekend with our quarterback so the kids look up to him that way, but he’s also not afraid to be vocal. He understands the opportunity we have this year to be really special.”
Omotosho has recorded a 39-inch vertical and an 11-foot broad jump, which would have been one of the top jumps in the NFL Combine this year. Even though Omotosho will, “test off the charts,” Jones says Omotosho understands that at the next level it’s much more about the little things.
“He’s going to overmatch a lot of guys on the field, but the cool thing about him is he’s looking beyond next season,” Jones said. “He’s starting to understand that when you get to the next level, everybody is going to be just as talented. You see it in the little things. He’s in and out of his breaks. He can probably one hand everything that’s thrown to him, but I’m always telling him to get two hands on the ball, looking it in and ball security.”
Plano East is loaded with talent including 2017 stud linebacker Anthony Hines, but the offense has a chance to be special Jones believes.
“We’ve got extremely high expectations for him and our team. Our offense is going to be so explosive. We’re trying to work on our tempo a little bit, which I know is a huge thing at SMU,” Jones said. “We expect him to be more of a vocal leader, he’s very involved in our special teams and he wants to do whatever it takes to win.”
As for Omotosho’s recruitment and SMU, Jones is staying out of it for the most part, but did say they’ll help Omotosho make the best decision for himself.
“I don’t think he has any true favorites at this point. He’s very open in his recruitment. I kind of let him do his own thing. It’s his life and his decision,” Jones said. “It’ll come to a point next year when he’ll have to make a decision and at that point, me and coach (Joey) McCullough, who has a lot more experience in recruiting, he’ll start guiding Audie to a few schools, but ultimately it’s Audie’s decision.”
The SMU staff and specifically SMU receivers coach Justin Stepp has been out to practice plenty of times to watch East practice.
“They’re a new staff just like we were last year, but what I think is great is we’ve seen coach Stepp come out to practice three times at least to watch the guys and come to talk to us,” Jones said. “Coach Craddock, the offensive coordinator, came out and watched and talked to our head coach.”
SMU’s staff is all over Omotosho and even with his recruitment continuing to pick up, Jones says SMU will always be in it.
“Audie is getting tons of offers and he’s going to keep getting more. The thing about SMU is they were one of the early schools and he’s got a connection with them with Austin Corbett,” Jones said. “He wants to major in business and that’s really important to him. SMU has one of the best business schools in the country.”
The SMU staff has been making a great impression on the entire Plano East staff and although Jones, who has three young kids, hasn’t been able to make it for a visit, says the outreach is appreciated.
“They understand that the state of Texas has phenomenal football players and the coaches at the high school level here are very knowledgeable,” Jones said. “They want to be visible and stay connected with everybody to build that SMU program back up to where it can be.”
Omotosho plans to decide sometime during or before his senior season, but one Plano East product that is signed and sealed to SMU is Corbett, who will play linebacker at SMU.
Jones said the Scout three-star, who started on defense and contribute on offense for East, will surprise SMU fans and make an immediate impact due to his athleticism and football IQ.
“One of our best players last year. You can’t ask for a better kid. He did anything we asked of him and is a true leader,” Jones said. “He’s incredibly athletic. He came and high-jumped for me this spring. He still high-jumped over 6-feet. I think he has the chance to make an immediate impact. I think SMU will be surprised by how awesome he is. He’s one that they’ll love in the locker room.”
Plano East is holding their spring game this Friday at Tom Kimbrough Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Omotosho has had a big spring, having four touchdowns in the Panthers’ recent scrimmage.