MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Nick Dennis graduated from Lee High School with zero Div. I offers. But after 2 seasons at Navarro Junior College, he racked up nearly 20 opportunities to play at the top college level. On Wednesday, he signed with Southern Methodist University. During his senior year, Dennis didn't stand out to the scouts.
"I don't know. I would say I was just an average O-lineman. I was just bigger than everyone else. I didn't really put in that much effort," said Dennis.
While at Midland Lee, he struggled with eligibility and his best option to continue playing football was to head to Navarro Junior College. After one season with the Bulldogs, he made big enough strides to impress big programs including Troy and North Texas.
"I had a better mindset going into junior college. I wanted to get out of there so I made the most of it," said Dennis.
By the end of his second year at Navarro, he had plenty of options to pursue. He'd committed to Eastern Carolina but after visiting SMU, he signed to be a Mustang. Dennis will play under newly hired head coach Sonny Dykes, the son of former Lee coach Spike Dykes.
"I wanna go into college coaching. So Sonny Dykes, his dad was a head coach at Midland Lee and I just feel like he will help get me to where I wanna be in the coaching era," said Dennis.
Dennis has a message to any seniors who feel they have that D-I potential but aren't getting the looks.
"Go to junior college. I'm telling you, you're gonna grow as a man and they're gonna work on your technique and you're gonna be such a better player. JUCO is definitely the route if you don't have offers out of high school," said Dennis.