In my latest dark horse pick, Kevin Thomas will really shine this year. When you watch him move around the field, you can really tell he’s going to be special. He’s picking up the offense well enough to have an impact right away. With Sutton and Gaines grabbing a lot of attention, SMU
will need Thomas to step up and I think he will. Thomas can block and make the tough catches, but just needs to refine his routes and not make as many mental mistakes. Physically, Thomas is ready. He just has to bring it every play. By the end of non-conference play, Thomas will be heavily relied upon by Matt Davis
to be one of the guys to go to when he needs a big play.
Scott: Matt Davis
If this offense is going to be successful at all this season, Matt Davis must step up as a leader for this unit. Ben Hicks
might be the quarterback of the future, but Davis, the offensive captain, is the quarterback of the present. And with an improved offensive line, Davis is going to prove to onlookers that he can be successful in Chad Morris’ system. The former Aggies quarterback might be playing in his fourth system since graduating from high school, but Davis knew when Morris took the job on the Hilltop that he was going to be playing in a system that he can thrive in. Last year was a disaster for the offense, but with all of the changes that have gone on, and with a new set of playmakers, Davis will have the opportunity to actually make plays. Davis is my pick for offensive most valuable player because guys like Courtland Sutton
, Kevin Thomas and Jeremiah Gaines
are unproven talents right now. Yes, Davis has yet to prove he can be a winning collegiate quarterback, but I fully expect the junior transfer to step up as the leader of this team and make the talent around him better.
My offensive MVP prediction is Prescott Line, because why shouldn't he have a break out year. He is one of the few backs on SMU's roster who hasn't been given a good look as the feature back yet. And when he did get a shot he made the best of it. Remember when SMU beat Connecticut
last season--of course you do. How couldn't you? Anyway, Prescott ran for 90 yards on 20 carries with two touchdowns in that win. He finished the season with 256 yards on 78 carries and four touchdowns. This year, the coaches are going to move him all over the field. Give the man the rock and let him take it to the house.
Hatts: Courtland Sutton
Courtland Sutton only made two catches last season for 27 yards before having to
receive a medical redshirt. Make no mistake about it; however, Sutton is going to be
the MVP of this team at the end of the year. At 6-4, 215-pounds, Sutton’s size and his
solid speed will be a tough matchup for every cornerback this season. He already
showed how tough he is going to be to cover for cornerbacks during the spring game
when he led the team with 6 receptions for 124 yards and 2 touchdowns. No other
receiver has had that good of a fall camp, which makes it even more likely that
during the season; Sutton is going to be frequently targeted by Davis. The bonus to
Sutton as well, is he will make catches that will have you wondering how he
managed to catch the ball. This ability to go up and get the ball will ensure that even
when opposing teams focus their attention on Sutton, he is still going to get his
yards game after game. No doubt, Matt Davis is going to have a big year this year as
well in the new offense, but he is going to enjoy having a deep threat like Sutton that
he sorely missed last season.
Patrick: Jeremiah Gaines
I think we all know that Courtland Sutton is the team's best pass-catching threat, and he's going to be a tough cover for any defense. But I'm picking Jeremiah Gaines as my offensive MVP. For one, he's a great talent who was immensely underused and out-of-position in his first two seasons. He's going to have a huge year now that he's back at tight end (which SMU calls three-back). But more importantly, it's huge for the offense to have another experienced and viable pass-catching threat, especially with a young receiving corps that has had freshman struggles in fall camp (and probably will have some growing pains during the season). Defenses won't be able to turn all their attention to Sutton, or Gaines will roast them. With both of them out there, double-teaming one of them (or anyone other receiver) comes with a greater risk. Even if both Gaines and Sutton see a lot of attention from defenses, it theoretically should open things up for the freshmen, who are still big-play threats even if they may be inconsistent at times. Bottom line, Gaines' presence and production will be valuable to the team.
Senior wide receiver Darius Joseph will be the most valuable player for the Mustangs' offense this year. Joseph clearly had the most impressive 2014 season by playing in 11 games and leading the team in catches. He finished last year on a high note with a 108-yard performance at Connecticut, the most yards he had in a game last year. If Joseph can put up those kind of numbers under the former coaching staff, just think of what he can do under the new staff. Joseph's summer was not as impressive as his spring, but he shouldn't be too concerned about that. While there have been more impressive offensive players during offseason workouts, Joseph has been reliable for the Mustangs for much longer, and he will continue to do so.