Position: Defensive Line
Size: 6-2, 320
High School: Ryan HS
Hometown: Aubrey, Texas
SMU had to fight off a number of Power 5 programs late in the recruiting processes, but in the end they won Ken McLaurin's services thanks in large part to the coaching staff’s relationship with the Ryan product. The Mustangs beat out a late push from Missouri, plus offers from Iowa State, Illinois and Boise State, among others.
Where he fits
McLaurin fits in nicely at either inside defensive tackle spot for this SMU defense. Especially considering the team’s lack of depth there, the North Texas native fills an immediate need for stronger, larger, and more athletic defensive tackles.
At his size, McLaurin was an immoveable force in high school, and that’s how it should be once he gets used to the college game. He also does a good job of maintaining a low center of gravity, which is extremely important when it comes to clogging up the middle for a defense.
Expectations must be tempered when it comes to a freshman making a significant impact at the collegiate level, but McLaurin is one player that could exceed hopes simply because of his size and strength. You can’t teach someone to be 6-foot-2 and 320-pounds, so McLaurin should have no problem seeing early playing time this season.
The biggest challenge for SMU’s lineman will be staying in his lane while also maintaining his drive and effectiveness even as he gets tired. It’s not easy task staying in shape at McLaurin’s size, so that will likely be his biggest obstacle heading into the 2016 season.