If the 2010 recruiting class is any indication, Coach June Jones and staff are not afraid to recruit high school athletes. Players who might be playing a new position in college.
One player that follows this suit in the 2011 recruiting class is Irving Nimitz's J.J. Gaines. The athlete plays quarterback in high school, but will likely play defense at the next level. Gaines threw for over 1,300 yards this season, while picking up 600 yards on the ground.
"Schools are recruiting me as an athlete. I started off in high school playing quarterback, knowing that I would play somewhere else in college. But, I kind of like it," said the junior. "If I could play quarterback I will, but I prefer that I play defense. It doesn't really matter. I will play anywhere, as long as I can play."
"It makes me feel good that schools are showing me some love, but I'm not satisfied yet. There is still work to be done. I need to keep pushing harder and harder," stated Gaines to PonyStampede.com. "I improved a lot from last year. I really improved from my experiences and worked on my game all summer. Actually, as soon as football was over, I kept playing. There was really no off-season for me. I play football everyday."
A move to the defensive side of the football wouldn't be completely out of Gaines comfort zone. The 2011 prospect played a few times on defense for the 7-4 Vikings.
"I didn't get a lot of opportunities to play there, but when I did, I did pretty good," said Gaines. "I'm explosive! I have quick feet and I'm very fast. I can change directions pretty fast. I think I will do pretty good on defense."
So how hard is SMU recruiting the athlete?
"They have sent me a few letters. have read about their success a little bit this season. Their turnaround is pretty cool," said Gaines. "I need to find a place where I fit in and can be a missing part of the puzzle. I'm also wanting a good coaching staff."
One position that Gaines might be open to playing in college is the wildcat. An opportunity for the athlete to get he ball in his hands.
"I would really like the wildcat. It would give me a chance to do what I have been known to do over the past couple of seasons," said Gaines.
PonyStampede.com will check in with Gaines later in the off-season.