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SMU Daily Campus

SMU lost to TCU in Saturdays Iron Skillet game 34-17. Next years matchup is the last scheduled game in the longstanding rivalry.
SMU falls short at TCU
September 26, 2023

Preston feeling refreshed after missing the 2013 season, ready to compete

SMU quarterback Conner Preston wasn’t able to suit up in 2013 for the Mustangs because of a circulatory problem in his shoulder.

After sitting out a year, not only is he ready to return, but being away from the game has made him cherish each practice, rep and game that much more.

“When you’ve been playing football for a long time, you can kind of get down and burned out a bit, but it’s been refreshing because in a small sense I had it taken away a little bit,” Preston said.

“Just being able to come out here and when your alarm goes off at 5:45 and you’re like ‘God I have to go to football,’ but it’s been different for me because I can kind of appreciate it more.”

During his redshirt first year, Preston felt his arm going numb and he knew something was wrong during offseason, and that’s when he knew he had to take a year off.

“It felt like someone was squeezing my arm all the time and it would go numb, but I did a lot of stuff with Coach Mel in the weight room,” Preston said.

This past year, Preston stood next to passing coordinator Hal Mumme, who is now the head coach at Belhaven University, watching the game from a coach’s perspective and that has allowed him to think differently as a player again.

Preston’s decision to not undergo surgery has allowed him to come back stronger instead of starting over.

After the year off, Preston is 204 pounds and the strongest he has been on the Hilltop.

Preston is back in the quarterback competition and hasn’t felt better about his arm.

“It has been refreshing to have that year off,” Preston said. “I feel like I have a lot of pop in my arm and it’s not hurting.”

It’s back to business though and at the end of the day, Preston is gunning for the starting job along with Neal Burcham, who started the last few games when Garrett Gilbert was hurt.

It’s still early, but if Preston is feeling great about his arm, there’s no doubt he’ll be neck and neck for the starting job with Burcham.

That’s got to be refreshing for him to hear.

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