SMU has rounded up 22 commits in its 2012 recruiting class, with eight coming in the last month, six in the last week.
The Mustangs looked to be heading into this year with the most impressive class the program has had since the Death Penalty, majorly in part to (former) recruiting coordinator and offensive line coach, Adrian Klemm.
At the start of December, the Mustangs had 20 commits and counting, seven of which where Klemm recruits. SMU hosted an important recruiting weekend at the beginning of that month, when a handful of prospects from the state of California headed to Dallas for their official visits.
However, that weekend, word got out that June Jones met with Arizona State officials in Dallas to discuss their head coaching vacancy. Two days later, Jones all but took the job, as an eleventh hour stunt by ASU prevented him from moving to Tempe.
Though most were relieved Jones was staying with the Mustangs, it ruffled some feathers and a sense of uncertainty formed inside some of SMU's most important recruits.
But what really broke down this class was the after shock, which was Klemm leaving for UCLA soon thereafter.
Following Klemm's departure, SMU lost five recruits in its 2012 class, one from its 2013 class and a whole lot of interest from other prospects that now wouldn't even give SMU a chance.
But the Mustangs headed into the Compass Bowl with their heads held high and beat Pitt 28-6, showing the nation it could compete—and win—in the Big East. After that, Jones made a crucial hire in Houston recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach, Jason Phillips.
Then things started to smooth out on Jan. 3 at the Semper Fi Bowl, when national-record breaking receiver Gehrig Dieter chose SMU over Kansas on TV. After that, JUCO safety Daniel Roundtree got his things in order and signed with SMU and things began to fall into place to finish the recruiting season strong.
Despite this class coming in at No. 65 in Scout's rankings (was a Top 40 class before all the de-commitments), the final surge from Jones' staff is admirable and has addressed the team's needs—offensive linemen and defensive backs, positions that lose its veteran status.
Pony Stampede has a position-by-position breakdown of the 2012 class:
Three-star Colin LaGasse (Lake Travis High School, Austin, Texas)
Three-star Gehrig Dieter (Washington HS, South Bend, Ind.)
Two-star Daijuan Stewart (West Saint Mary, Baldwin, La.)
This is a pretty strong group overall. Lagasse is dangerous with the ball in his hands and makes a lot of plays, Dieter is the national record holder in receiving yards in a single game and receiving yards per catch, and Stewart is one of the top receivers in the state of Louisiana. Overall, this trio should mesh well with the talent SMU already has at this position (Darius Johnson, Der'rikk Thompson, Jeremy Johnson, etc.).
Three-star Prescott Line (Oxford Area Senior High, Oxford, Mich.)
On the football field, Line was named Michigan's 2011 Mr. Football as he ran for a league-record 2,454 rushing yards and tallied 138 tackles as a linebacker. Also a wrestler, Line, who ranked 12th nationally in his weight class, won his bracket at the Detroit Catholic Central Invitational this year.
Said Zach of his best friend and little brother: "I'm excited to teach him the ways and how the big boys play."
Two-star Neal Burcham (Greenbrier HS, Greenbrier, Ark.)
Burcham, who was co-MVP of the 2011 Elite 11, caught the eye of former NFL quarterback and current ESPN Analyst, Trent Dilfer, who called the Arkansas-native a "sleeper" prospect.
With J.J. McDermott graduating and Kyle Padron opting to transfer, the quarterback competition won't be as crowded, but he'll have to battle former Longhorn Garrett Gilbert, plus Conner Preston and Stephen Kaiser, who will get in some work this spring as the only quarterbacks on campus.
Three-star Seaver Myers (Friendswood HS, Friendswood, Texas)
Two-star Christian Chamagua (Manvel HS, Manvel, Texas)
Two-star Chauncey Briggs (West Bloomfield HS, West Bloomfield, Mich.)
Two-star Chase Walling (Lake Highlands, Dallas, Texas)
Three-star Sam Rice (Coppell HS, Coppell, Texas)
With its entire starting five graduating, the offensive line was definitely an area SMU needed to address in this class. And it did, reeling in five guys who weigh an average of 291 lbs. and all but the 6-foot-4 Rice are 6-6. There's quite a bit of older talent at SMU, but by snagging these prospects, the Mustangs have added a great deal of depth.
Three-star Lincoln Richard (Everman HS, Everman, Texas)
Three-star Brian Cramer (Stony Point HS, Round Rock,
Three-star Elie Nabushosi (Heritage HS, Frisco, Texas)
Two-star Nick Reed (Pleasant Grove HS, Texarkana, Texas)
With the bulk of its defense coming back, SMU didn't need to overload on defensive linemen in this class, but the ones they got will provide solid depth.
Two-star Jarvis Pruitt (Stratford HS, Houston, Texas)
Three-star Damien Neroes (Garland HS, Garland, Texas)
Linebacker is probably the strongest position that the Mustangs return this season, with Ja'Gared Davis, Taylor Reed and Stephon Sanders leading the way, so SMU really didn't need to add many from this year's class. Pruitt played defensive end in high school, but was recruited to play outside linebacker.
Two-star JUCO Daniel Roundtree (Cerritos Community College, Norwalk, Calif.)
Two-star Ajee Montes (Bishop Amat HS, La Puente, Calif.)
Two-star Horace Richardson (Everman HS, Everman, Texas)
Three-star Shakiel Randolph (Waco Midway, Waco, Texas)
Three-star A.J. Justice (Stratford HS, Houston, Texas)
Three-star Ty Law (Lake Highland Prep, Orlando, Fla.)
Just like the offensive line, the secondary was an area SMU needed to address in this class after losing seniors like Richard Crawford, Chris Banjo and Justin Sorrell. You can never have too many defensive backs and the Mustangs will have more than enough depth once these guys enroll.
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