Quarterbacks are committing earlier than ever now. Not to be left out, SMU got its first quarterback pledge for 2017 when League City (Texas) Clear Springs’ Will McBride committed Saturday morning, he told PonyStampede before announcing via his Twitter Saturday night. The commitment came a few hours before taking in SMU’s spring game. McBride previously told PonyStampede that SMU was his leader.
“I was planning on it from the start and I’ve always liked SMU,” McBride said. “I planned on meeting and sitting down with the coaches, and once we did that, we talked and I felt that was the best place for me.”
McBride visited SMU for a junior day in February and got the offer in early April. When he talked with the coaches before committing, Chad Morris sold him on helping turn around a program and a strong education.
“He was saying that a lot of people don’t commit because of the record, people are too scared to come in and make a change because they want to go to the school that’s already established,” McBride said. “If I see beyond the (record), I have a chance to be a part of something great.”
SMU’s strong educational reputation helped SMU stick out to McBride all along, and Morris has repeatedly said he wants players who are focused on getting a college degree as well as succeeding on the field. Between the education and the coaching staff, SMU offered McBride the perfect mix.
“No other school (that’s interested in me) has the educational opportunity that SMU has,” McBride said. “And the coaching staff also, coach Morris is a great coach.”
The spring game allowed McBride to see the coaches in action and a taste of the game day atmosphere. Several of SMU’s young offensive players had impressive showings in the game, especially freshmen wide receivers Alex Honey and James Proche.
“The offense was really explosive and they have a lot of playmakers on the team,” McBride said. “I definitely saw myself fitting into that offensive scheme. They threw the ball quite a few times and I was picturing myself making the throws. They have playmakers out there I know I could throw the ball to.”
McBride is a mobile quarterback with a strong arm, but he prides himself on mastering the mental part of the position over the physical demands.
“I know what to do in what situation and it’s more than just a physical part of the game. I think that’s my strength, the mental part,” McBride said. “You’ll hear a lot that as you go to the next level, everyone has the physical tools, but the mental part is what separates yourself.”
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound McBride picked SMU over offers from Bowling Green and Utah State and interest from Boise State, Louisiana-Lafayette and UTSA. He joins wide receiver Tyquez Hampton and offensive tackle Alan Ali in the 2017 class. Even with McBride’s commitment, SMU had a net of zero additions to its class on Saturday because of tackle Carson Green's flip from SMU to Texas A&M.