Billy: David Johnson comes out with a starting jobI'm not sold on Missouri transfer David Johnson just yet. He appeared in 19 games for the Tigers and didn't have an interception. He moves to the AAC where maybe he'll be able to find his groove. Johnson slipped from the second team to third by the end of spring, but has experience against SEC receivers and four years of college experience. That experience and hopefully, some newfound playmaking, will allow Johnson to grab a starting spot opposite of Ajee Montes. When healthy, Montes has been one of SMU's better defensive backs, but with Horace Richardson, Will Jeanlys and others relatively unproven, there's no reason why Johnson won't be able to go and grab a starting spot if he can get Van Malone's defense down.
Scott: Line earns starting RB jobBeing the brother of former star SMU running back, and current NFL player, Zach Line, it's no surprise Prescott Line came to SMU with high expectations. The younger Line brother rushed for nearly 2,500 yards and 40 touchdowns as a senior in high school, numbers that smashed Zach's 1,700 yards and 17 touchdowns.
And because it took Zach a few seasons to reach the level of play he played at his final two seasons as a Mustang, I'm predicting that this season will be Prescott's breakthrough season.We saw it a little with Prescott's 90 yards and 2 touchdowns against Connecticut last season, and I think we will continue to see huge strides from last season. The rising junior, weighing in at 234 pounds, is a load to handle, but his lack of quickness has held him back at times. With the proper off-season training thanks to new strength & conditioning coach Trumain Carroll, and with Coach Morris' revamped offense, I believe Prescott is poised for a much-improved season.
Patrick: Gaines, Sutton and Minor make first-team All-AACYeah I know, this sounds a stretch, especially for a team that landed zero offensive or defensive players on an all-conference team last season. But that's why this is called a bold prediction, right? These guys are some of SMU's most talented players, but they didn't make the impact they were capable of under the old staff for a variety of reasons. Chad Morris and his staff will get the most out of their abilities, and I believe all-conference-type seasons are in store for all. Gaines was a highly touted tight end recruit when he came to SMU in 2013. But in June Jones' offense, tight ends didn't exist, so he was playing out of position and didn't looked comfortable. Morris' offense is very tight end friendly and Gaines looked much more comfortable in spring practices back at his natural position. I think he has as much natural ability as any tight end in the AAC and will have a huge season.
Sutton redshirted last year but is an imposing target on the outside. He was the most impressive player in the spring game and looks like the starter at the X receiver, a position that always put up big numbers in Morris' offense. He'll be Davis' number one weapon and another dangerous target alongside Gaines. Minor was also a highly touted recruit, but didn't deliver a splash in his first two years like many expected him to and didn't crack the starting lineup consistently. He'll be playing defensive tackle now (he played end his first two years), which I think suits him best in a four-man front. He's explosive, strong and a good athlete for his position. He has the ability to bring interior pressure, shoot gaps and play the run well. Minor has put in a lot of work and I think he's motivated to burst onto the scene this year. If he does, he will be one of SMU's best defensive players.