Print and Go Back ESPN.com: On The Trail: Midlands Region [Print without images]

Thursday, January 10, 2013
SMU adds home-state 2014 LB

By Damon Sayles

SMU quietly has put together a decent 2013 class of 26 commitments. On Thursday, the Mustangs scored their first commitment of the 2014 class -- a player who many feel could shape the direction of the Mustangs in the future.

Outside linebacker Lance Cottrell (Plano, Texas/Plano West) gave SMU his verbal pledge Thursday morning. A 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker, Cottrell is the younger brother of Bryce Cottrell, who just finished his freshman year at Texas.

Cottrell, recruited by defensive coordinator Tom Mason, chose SMU over interest from Texas, UCLA and LSU. SMU was his only offer.

“They’ve always been there. I’ve had an offer from them since freshman year,” Cottrell said. “I love that, with me living in Plano, it’s down to street from me. My family and I discussed everything about it over dinner [Wednesday], and we decided it was a great opportunity for me.”

Cottrell said SMU’s educational advantages also aided in his decision. He is considering majoring in business or finance. Another factor is in his decision was his big brother, who knows firsthand about how the recruiting process can be during junior year.

“He was the main one to support me, to be honest,” Lance said. “We’d be in my room, and he’d say, ‘Hey, you should go to SMU.’ He told me that education is important, and you can get a great education there.”

Cottrell helped Plano West advance to the Texas Class 5A Division II state quarterfinals this season.