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Hot Button: Best SMU Defensive Lineman Signee

The Pony Stampede staff debates who is SMU's best defensive line signee in this premium discussion.

Billy: Tyeson Neals

Pretty happy that no one else picked Neals, who comes in from the JUCO ranks and is a JUCO All-American. The 6-3, 235-pound defensive end is one of the last commits for SMU and he has a chance to play right away. Neals is one that's committed to working hard and rushing the passer. He had 12 sacks at Northeastern Oklahoma and will be looking to add that to SMU, which lost Michael Scott over the break. Neals addresses a key need for the Mustangs on the pass rushing front as he expects to push for playing time right away, allowing guys like Toby Ndukwe to redshirt potentially.

Patrick: Toby Ndukwe

I think Ndukwe is the best defensive player in the class, even after he tore his ACL and MCL early in his senior season. As long as he regains the speed he had, he’s going to be scary coming off the edge as a stand-up LEO rusher, the same spot where SMU plays the similarly speedy Michael Badejo. Ndukwe isn’t completely refined technically as a pass-rusher, but he looks natural even without fully developed technique. He has the frame, bend, motor and closing speed that coaches want in a pass rusher. He’s a tough run defender too, thought he would benefit from adding some size and strength. I'm a fan of Harrison Loveless and think Turner Coxe can be sneaky good too, but Ndukwe showed the most complete skill set and highest ceiling before he got hurt.

Hatts: Toby Ndukwe

SMU continued to add to its defensive line talent with the likes of Harrison Loveless and Toby Ndukwe. Chad Morris and the defensive staff have done a nice job building a solid defensive line, but that is only going to get better with a pass rusher like Toby Ndukwe. His speed and ability to play both the run and the pass will be a welcome addition to this defensive line group. SMU plans to play utilize Ndukwe as a stand-up rushing lineman. Ndukwe also has been known as a very high-motor player something that will fit in very well this high energy coaching staff. The key for the George Ranch defensive end is to get healthy and after that good things should happen for SMU and Ndukwe. 

Demo: Turner Coxe

Turner will graduate already at a good weight so it is pretty exciting to think how he might develop in a collegiate weight program. He is a smart kid and a smart football player and I think SMU got an under-the-radar steal. He was the Defensive MVP in the 5A State Championship game this past season. He’s a beast and can provide some serious pressure up the middle.


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