Billy's Offensive MVP: Jeremiah Gaines
SMU's offense is at its best when the ground game is clicking, but also with a great tight end in the mix too. Gaines has been sitting on potential for much of his time at SMU, but now more than ever, Gaines needs to take a step forward. On Saturday, Gaines had over 100 yards receiving, a touchdown and displayed improved blocking while getting almost all the reps. Gaines has been a fixture making plays in SMU's scrimmages and practices as well throughout spring so it's no surprise to the coaches that Gaines had a solid day. With a whole summer to improve his speed and strength even more, Gaines is poised for a big senior year. The spring game was just the first step.
Patrick's Offensive MVP: Aphonso Thomas
Gabe Brooks / SCOUT
This is no slight to Jeremiah Gaines, James Proche, Alex Honey and Joseph Paden, who all had impressive games. After Prescott Line’s transfer, running back had little depth behind Xavier Jones and Braeden West. Thomas, stronger than but not as fast as Jones or West, had an immediate opportunity to be a part of the rotation. His big spring game highlights his steady improvement since enrolling in January. He’s a nice compliment to West and Jones, who like to cut and get upfield faster but don’t run up the middle as much. As long as Thomas can be patient and wait for blocks, he should have a role next year.
Patrick's Defensive MVP: Darrion Millines
Millines is one of the defense’s leaders and had a good day in coverage Saturday, making one interception and nearly getting another. No defender stuck out for the entire game, but Millines made two of the more impressive plays of anyone in coverage. He will be counted on in the secondary, but the large number of snaps played by walk-ons says that the incoming freshmen have an opportunity to earn a lot of snaps right away.
Billy's Defensive MVP: Jarvis PruittMatt Visinsky
SMU needs big-time improvement from the defensive line and Jarvis Pruitt was one of the leaders in that area this spring. The team desperately needs playmakers on the edge opposite of likely starter Justin Lawler. Lawler was held out of the spring game, but Pruitt played plenty of snaps and notched two tackles and a tackle for loss. During the spring, Pruitt was singled out as a player that grew tremendously and it showed Saturday. With a heavy rotation along the defensive line, Pruitt made some plays when he got in there. Delontae Scott played well there too, but it was Pruitt's well-rounded game that stood out to me.