Neroes Gets First Offer

Garland High linebacker Damien Neroes expected schools to start recruiting him harder this spring. He even expected some offers to come forward.

But Neroes didn't think that the first of those offers would come from SMU. That's precisely what happened when Mustang defensive coordinator Tom Mason extended an offer to the talented linebacker a week ago.

"It was really unexpected," Neroes said. "I knew they had some interest. But he just walked up and told me I had an offer. I was like 'that's good.'

"For him to come up and say that at practice like that, it meant they didn't have any question," Neroes said. "I wasn't expecting them to be the best ones."

So how did Neroes feel about his first offer?

"I like it," Neroes said. "I just want to get to know more about (SMU). I know some people there, so they can tell me more about them and give me more details."

SMU may have been the first offer, but plenty of other teams have rolled through spring practice to take a look at the senior-to-be. Oregon State, Missouri and North Texas have attended Garland practices, while Texas A&M and Oklahoma have also made it past. The latter two schools are of significant importance: they make up Neroes' top two.

"Those two schools are really my priority schools," Neroes said. "That's who I really want to offer me. Other than that, I just want to see what happens.

"I can't really say that I have a list," Neroes said. "Other than those two schools, any school has an opportunity with me so long as I have an opportunity with them."

That offer helps to put another notch on Neroes' belt in an already positive spring. Projected as a college linebacker, Neroes played defensive end a year ago. This spring, he's started the transition to linebacker, and said he's been playing better than expected.

"The hardest part is just learning to read it and go," Neroes said. "You have to be able to anticipate. At defensive end, or playing outside, you can jump around a bit. But as a (stand-up) linebacker, you have to make a decision and go. That was really the only transition I had to make."

Neroes said he doesn't have any real statistical goals for the upcoming season, though he did cite one number as a team goal.

"We're going 16 games this year," Neroes said. "For me, personally, I just need to get better every day."

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