Something SMU prides itself on is recruiting kids that want to find success on and off the football field.
The athletes the Mustangs' staff rounds up have aspirations not only to win a conference championship or bowl game, but to own a business or be a chemist or go to law school. There are no limits.
When choosing a school, Travis Fister, a 6-foot-3, 275-pound offensive tackle out of Salpointe Catholic High School (Tucson, Ariz.), says his education comes first.
"I'm looking for a place where academically, I can have the best future possible," he said. "I want to do something in finance. Be a financial advisor or something like that."
That's the point in time where SMU smiles and brings up the Cox School of Business, ranked in the nation's Top 20 business schools.
"A school's business program for me is major," Fister said. "That will help me decide which school I'll go to."
Fister, who is good friends and teammates with SMU linebacker prospect Carlos Carroll, is being recruited by the Mustangs. He doesn't have an offer yet (Carroll does, though), but wants to visit soon.
"[SMU] is coming in May or June to look at me," Fister said. "I've been talking to Carlos about it and he's really excited about what's happened with them."
Fister doesn't know too much about SMU, being from Arizona, but wants to learn more. He said, "With the way Carlos has been talking about it, I want to do research on it because I think that would be a school I'd be seriously interested in."
He's always been a Cal fan and is planning a visit there on April 20. He's already taken junior day visits to ASU and Vanderbilt and said he really enjoyed his unofficial with the Sun Devils.
"They made a really good impression on me," Fister said. "I really liked the coaching staff, which is really big for me."
Of course, the ASU coaching staff has been completely revamped after the hiring of new head coach Todd Graham, who took the job after June Jones was all but set to take it.
Speaking of coaching staffs, Fister said that aside from academics, that's a crucial part of his checklist when deciding on a school.
"I like to see how coaches coach their own players [when I go on visits] because that gives you an idea of how they'll coach you and how they'll react to you doing things," he said. "I always pay attention to their coaching styles and how they interact with their players."
As his recruitment picks up, Fister will be working hard in the weight room this offseason.
He works out with a strength coach for two-and-half hours, fives times a week and twice a day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He says they do a lot of Olympic type of lifting like power clings and snatches. Fister says he'd like to put on five or 10 more pounds before he heads to college.
They also spend time working on running and footwork.
Fister said that his greatest strength on the field is his knowledge.
"I'd say my ability to pick up what defenses are trying to do," he said. "Just knowing the line and the scheme and stuff and just being able to see what I need to do and do it. I'm a really good downfield blocker, too."
With his size, strength and intelligence, Fister is a player to keep an eye on.
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