On Davon Moreland:
We see Davon as a pass rusher at outside linebacker, similar to Ja'Gared Davis. We did have to beat some BCS schools to sign him and I think Adrian (Klemm) did a great job with him. I think he's the highest-rated recruit SMU has signed in decades, so I know our fans – and our coaches - will be excited to see him on the Hilltop.
Were you worried about possible last-minute defections?
Not really. We don't beg kids to come and play for us. They see what we do and there are plenty that want to be a part of it. Because of that, we know that the kids that commit really want to be here and that reduces the number of kids you might lose. I do think it says a lot about how far we've come though, that BCS-level schools were trying to get in on some of the kids coming to SMU.
Was there a conscious effort to make more of a recruiting footprint in Louisiana and California, perhaps to lay the foundation for the future in those states?
We'll go where we need to go to get quality players. We did get several good players from Louisiana and California this year – but we also got great players from right here in Texas. I just think that as we grow this program, you'll see more geographic diversity because more kids will be aware of and have interest in SMU.
How much of recruiting strategy this year was to fill specific positions of need, and how much was the "best player available" approach?
Like I said earlier, we did address some needs, but we also still needed to get those "best players available" for depth. I think that's really where we struggled last year was having that quality depth developed so kids could step in when others were injured.
Why was it important to get Conner Preston enrolled in January?
Conner is a player we identified early on in the process and offered. He has the traits that we like in a quarterback, but he has to learn our system. Getting here early will help him for not just 2011, but the future as well.
How many players do you expect to get on the field next year? Are you getting closer to the day when you can redshirt the whole class (as some coaches would like to do)?
Several of these guys will play. We're going to play the best players that we have and some of those guys will be freshmen. We are gaining some flexibility (with redshirting), but we still need more depth.
Caldwell Flores – Caldwell is a tall athletic player who we could use in a variety of spots. We'll probably start him at receiver, similar to the way we use Brad Haynes.
Arrius Holleman – Arrius is a big and fast receiver and, in this offense, you can always use guys like that.
Maurice Hood – We needed help in the secondary and having getting a junior college All-American that late in the game was amazing. We think Maurice will come in and compete for a spot right away.
Rodney Hubert – Rodney's a young, athletic defensive back that can help us down the road.
Nyle Johnson – Nyle is a tremendous athlete who we see as a wide receiver. His dad played in the NFL and the USFL so he's grown up around the game.
Darius Joseph – Darius is very athletic and has great hands. We think his best football is ahead of him. Daren Kitchen – Daren is a physical corner. He's got solid skills and once he adds some size, we think he'll be a big player for us.
Taylor Lasecki – Taylor is strong and physical. As I've stated before, we focus on good lineman in our offense and we think Taylor can be a good one.
Dontae Levingston – Dontae turned down some big offers to come to SMU. With his size and footwork, we think he could play early.
Derek Longoria – We think Derek will play linebacker in our system. He's got good size and coverage skills, which is what we want at that spot.
K.C. Nlemchi – K.C. is strong and fast and can catch the ball out of the backfield. We need our backs to block as well, but after he learns our system, we think he can make an impact.
Taylor Reich – His measurements show you how big he is, and he's strong as well. You can never have enough big, string guys like this.
James Richardson – He's only 5-9, but he plays bigger than that. At 175 and that height, he's physical and we like that in the secondary.
Jermaine Sams – Jermaine is a playmaker and we were pleased to sign him. We see him as a receiver for us and we think he has a bright future.
Stephon Sanders – Stephon's a big, athletic kid who has a lot of upside. We'll need help on the defensive line in the next couple of years and Stephon should be able to step into that role.
Robert Seals – Like I just mentioned, we needed to address the defensive line and getting an athlete like Robert is great. Once he adds some size, we think he'll be a big player.
Ronnell Sims – Ronnell was a quarterback in high school, but you could see his skills. We think he'll be a nice wideout in our system.
Cameron Smith – Cameron is a big kid that we see at linebacker. We're not sure if he'll play inside or outside, but either way, he'll be in that group.
Mike Sparling – Mike has a knack for making plays. He may not be the biggest or fastest, but he's a playmaker. Sterling Moore was another guy who may not have had the measurables, but he just made play after play. We hope Mike can do that as well.
Jarrett Spencer – Jarrett played for Braden's (Smith) dad at Rockwall. He's a hard worker who plays to the whistle and we like that in our linemen.
Kris Weeks – Kris is a big kid with a lot of potential. We think that we can mold him into a solid lineman at this level.
Rishaad Wimbley – Rishaad is a very powerful player. He's a big weightlifter and we think that power will translate into a great push on the defensive line.
Zach Wood – Zach is a quick player and he shows a burst on the line. We liked his skills and were happy to sign him.
Darrian Wright – He's a tackle with nice size and a great motor. In our 3-4, he could become a major player.
Jonathan Yenga – Having coached his brother, I know he comes from a great family. He'll work hard from day one and should make us a better team.
***Courtesy of the SMU SID***