A Look at Longoria

Derek Longoria of Brownwood High School is the most recent commit for the SMU Mustangs. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder with terrific speed and tremendous punting skills to boot - spoke with PonyStampede.com Friday night about his verbal to SMU.

Brownwood safety/punter Derek Longoria became the 10th commitment for SMU late this week when he gave the Mustangs a verbal and PonyStampede.com discussed that pledge with Longoria yesterday evening.

"At first, I thought that the SMU coaches were kidding when they offered me," said Longoria (6-foot-3, 205, 4.55). "I was originally going to wait to make a decision, but I like the SMU coaches better than the staff at any other school. I was excited. I just want to play football in college."

Longoria, who was finishing up a hard day of volunteer work when PonyStampede.com spoke with him, mentioned a couple of other factors that stood out to him about SMU.

"Actually, I really like the stadium," he said. "The college is compact, with small classes. It's an atmosphere that I like.

"I just finished helping a buddy of mine tear down a fence on his property today. I've been working all day in the sun, since about 8:30 this morning. It's been hot with little wind."

In 2009, Longoria and the Lions went 10-3, advancing to the Class 3A Division II quarterfinals. The Brownwood defense, helped in large part by Longoria's 105 tackles, was especially stingy -- allowing 14-or-fewer points in six games.

"If we don't win state this year," said Longoria, "then we shouldn't be playing football. This is our year. Last year, we made it three rounds deep in the playoffs, despite going through two quarterbacks and other injuries."

The SMU commitment is not only a talented defensive back, but also an accomplished punter.

"I hope that I get the chance to punt at SMU," he said. "I averaged 41.8 yards per punt last year with a long of 55 yards. I ran for 500 yards at running back, but I was mostly a blocker on offense. I had three picks, including a 67-yard interception return for a touchdown versus Liberty Hill. I also returned a fumble 77 yards for a TD in that game (34-17 Brownwood victory)."

Longoria, who attended SMU, Houston, and TCU camps this summer, says that the Cougars have been recruiting him fairly hard.

"I think Houston wants me pretty badly," he said, "but I don't think that I want to play down there in that heat and humidity. I like the SMU coaches and they like me."

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