DL Ken McLaurin
It's not a secret that I've been high on the Denton Ryan product being able to come in right away and contribute. McLaurin has a great motor and is physically ready to come in and play. Along the defensive line, SMU has plenty of opportunities for those who are ready to play and McLaurin is one of them. The 6-2, 285-pound McLaurin will be on campus early enough to get in even better shape for his freshman season. SMU only signed defensive tackle Chris Biggurs in the 2015 class and that's one of McLaurin's only roadblocks to getting early playing time. He's still got that talent to come in and earn that playing time.
Williams is a solid land for SMU as he's physically ready as well to come in and play with two years at Trinty Valley under his belt. SMU needed to shore up its defensive line in a big way and with Williams tipping the scales at almost 300 pounds, he's in position to get early playing time right away with his former high school teammate Ken McLaurin. With Williams being college-ready from a strength perspective, SMU will be able to work on his technique a little bit, but that shouldn't stop him from getting a chance to play right away.
Todora and Kadarius Smith are likely to have the best shot at playing early along the offensive line right away, but I like Todora's versatility compared to Smith to be able to earn time right away. With the gradaution of Kris Weeks, Chad Pursley's up-and-down play, and Chauncey Briggs moving inside, Todora and redshirt freshmen Bryce Wilds could find themselves as bookend tackles much quicker than expected. Todora's long arms and physical play allow him to start out on the right side and he could develop into a nice 4-year starter for SMU. The staff doesn't love to play freshmen linemen, but the staff's hand may be forced with Todora.
DB Mikial Onu
The state champion brings a winning mentality and physical play to the secondary. Onu can be moved around from cornerback to safety, but I think he finds himself at cornerback to start as SMU just needs someone to step up at that position. Onu is physically ready to play at 6-foot, 195 pounds and that will help him right away. If Van Malone and Jess Loepp can get his technique refined, Onu will find himself getting time right away at the nickel and could move into a starter role as a freshman eventually.
SMU's linebacking corps just has to be better than it was last year. Enter Noah Spears, who is one of the few true linebackers in the class and at 6-2, 205 pounds, could earn that playing time if he bulks up a little bit in the weight room over the summer. Spears has the ability to shoot gaps well and was moved around a fair amount at Nimitz. If he can pick up the scheme well, he can get early playing time at a linebacking corps that played plenty of players last year, but with mixed results.