Northeastern Oklahoma defensive end Tyeson Neals had a feeling he'd commit going into his SMU visit if he was offered. On Saturday, the offer came in and on Sunday, Neals committed to playing for Chad Morris and SMU.
"It was actually great. It was great down here in Dallas. I didn't think it'd be this beautiful here," "The campus is really beautiful. The atmosphere was great and my host, Demerick Gary, was really cool. Everyone on the team was really cool. It was like a family really."
His player host, defensive end Demerick Gary continued to sell Neals on joining the family along the defensive line.
"He was telling me coach Wyatt is a great coach to play for and a cool guy. The whole defensive line are really cool guys," the 6-3, 235-pound defensive end said. "He's from Dallas and he said the whole experience when he lived in Dallas and going to SMU are two totally different things."
After going to Moore High School on an 0-10 team and needing to get his academics in order, Neals went to Northeastern Oklahoma, where he put on 35 pounds and was Junior College All-American. After picking up early interest from schools, Neals said SMU is the one that remained on him.
"I knew for sure I was going to commit because I was talking to my coach at NEO and we were talking about the best fit for me academically and football wise and we came to the conclusion that SMU was probably the best fit for me."
Defensive backs coach Jess Loepp and Wyatt recruited Neals and Morris closed the deal with the family atmosphere at SMU.
"Coach Morris is a really, really cool guy. When we went over to his house, we just played games. His family seems like they'd be there for you and you can really trust them," Neals said.
At SMU, Neals will play the Leo defensive end, where the staff wants him to get after opposing quarterbacks.
"I feel I'm a really good pass rusher. I had 12 sacks last year and that's what they recruited me to do. They need someone to rush the passer and I'm looking forward to playing that role really well for them. I just want to be the best I can I be and get after the quarterback. Be a leader too."
For someone who wasn't highly recruited, Neals said it still hasn't set in just yet.
"I don't think it'll really set in. I wasn't recruited heavily or have chances so it hasn't set in that I'm signing with a Division I program," Neals said. "SMU academically, at NEO, I worked my butt off to get accepted to SMU, it's surreal right now and a degree from SMU is just really, really good. My main goal is to get my degree."
Neals joins Toby Ndukwe, Harrison Loveless, Turner Coxe and Jordan Gipson in the SMU defensive line class for 2017. The Mustangs now have 17 commitments in the 2017 class.