Billy: Aphonso Thomas
That's right. I said it, but I don't see how Thomas was once committed to Nebraska. His film looks good, but when I really look closely at the little things like footwork, explosiveness, etc. I just don't think Thomas will end up being an answer at running back for SMU. He doesn't have that explosiveness off the cut like Xavier Jones and Braeden West did on their film last year. Thomas didn't display incredible pass catching skills and will certainly have to bulk up a bit to be helpful in pass protection. With SMU needing a big back badly, Thomas is a consolation prize for me even as the team signed Jordan Carmouche to fit that big back mold. Who knows if he actually ends up at running back? There's just something about Thomas' game that I don't think will translate well to the next level.
Scott: Michael Badejo
By no means is Michael Badejo a bad linebacker, but I do think his recruitment got extra attention once he reported his offer from Notre Dame, among other P5 offers. The linebacker has the potential to be a good overall linebacker for the Mustangs, but considering the Scott brothers both needed a redshirt year, I think that’s a real possibility for Badejo as well.
Demo: Blake Carlisle
Blake Carlisle is simply not fast enough for someone his size. He and Michael Clark are the same size, yet Clark runs a 40 in 4.65 while Carlisle clocks in at 4.90. Demerick Gary, who has nearly 70 pounds on Carlisle runs a 40 in 4.80. I still think Carlisle can contribute, but until he gets his speed up, I’m not sure how much that’ll be.
Patrick: Braxton Webb
This is always my least favorite one to answer, especially with this class that is the deepest and most talented SMU has signed in a while. Webb has the frame of an offensive tackle, but he doesn’t have a lot of athleticism and is a little too deliberate. Without the quickness and athleticism, he can struggle against speed rushers. He’s plenty strong already and can still fill out, but I think a top-85 ranking at his position was a little generous.
Hatts: Ryan Becker
Becker is a good athlete but to make it as an offensive lineman, he is going to have to put on some weight in a hurry. We know Becker is a tough player, as evidenced by playing through a broken leg for most of his senior season, but he is just simply not going to be able to hold up against the bigger defensive lineman he will face. While Becker is still raw, and this can be a good thing coming into college, he’s going to need to work on his technique and strength to make it and would probably benefit from taking a redshirt year to get this process started.