SMU Fall Camp Notebook: Day 11

The Pony Stampede staff will be at every SMU fall camp practice this month and will provide exclusive stories, videos, and observations. Today we reflect on Day 11.

Lowe Training Hard As Week One Looms

By EJ Holland

After being away from the game for a year and a half, getting back into shape has been by far the most difficult part of playing football again for new SMU offensive tackle Stavion Lowe.

Shortly after graduating from high school, Lowe endure a tumultuous ride. He originally signed with one of the nation's top programs in LSU but after a year, wound up at Tyler Junior College, where he played another year but then took a break and just focused on earning his Associate Degree.

"I left LSU just to get a different fit, things didn't really work out how I planned there so I went to a JUCO at Tyler," Lowe said. "I played a year there and got recruited by a couple teams like Purdue, and I didn't really see a fit there so I finished up my degree. That allowed me to finish sitting out the next year and about that time, SMU came along so I jumped on it."

Lowe arrived on the Hilltop with high expectations but came in weighing close to 360 pounds. The coaching staff deemed this unacceptable and Lowe has been forced to do extra conditioning to get down to an ideal weight of 320.

"I just see a whole different perspective after missing a year and a half I've got to get back into it and get my instincts back and stuff like that," Lowe said. "It's been taking double or triple the work on my end so I'm just trying to commit myself to getting it done. I've got about nine more pounds to go but me personally, I want to be about 315 or 310."

There is no question Lowe has the talent to excel but has limited in practice due to exhaustion and fatigue. However, Lowe has been practicing with the first team line and is showing positive signs thanks to support he's been receiving from his new teammates.

"Day by day I feel better. I get less tired at the end of every practice so the conditioning is coming along," Lowe explained. "It's harder to train by yourself. When you come together with some guys, it's easier to push through. You get that adrenaline going, and that's a big help compared to doing it by myself."

Whipping Lowe into shape isn't the only thing veterans such as Blake McJunkin and Bryan Collins have been helping him with.

"They've been a big help helping me to understand the offense," Lowe said. "It's something different that I'm not accustomed to. It's a different type of offense so they've been helping me in the classroom part of it with the plays and out on the field with the different techniques so they've been vital in my progression here."

Lowe has also been learning from offensive line coach Bob Palcic. The two have butted heads a bit throughout fall camp, and Palcic has even sent Lowe off the field in anger. But despite their differences, Lowe appreciates Palcic's interest in making him the best player possible.

"That's what you need, a coach that's willing to get you back into where you need to be," Lowe said. "He understand where I came from, and I'm just coming out here and working every day so I can get back to where I need to be."

And if Lowe does in fact get where he needs to be, he can surely be a dominant force in the trenches but for now, the newest member of the hogs up front is solely focused on improving in time for week one's contest against Baylor.

"The will to work out and to contribute any way I can and be accountable, that's all I'm looking forward to doing right now. I just want to be the best player I can be."

Video: K Chase Hover Talks About His Fall Camp Experience

Myers Showing Early Intensity

By EJ Holland

It's not often you see true freshmen start on the Hilltop, but offensive tackle Seaver Myers could very well find himself in that position early this season. There is no question SMU's offensive line has struggled this fall camp, and Myers has taken advantage by showing his abilities.

"Fall camp has been an awesome experience. It's been really fun practicing at SMU, and I feel like I will be able to get into the rotation this year," Myers said. "I've been learning a lot, and it's just been great."

The 6-foot-6, 305-pounder has already been taking first team reps and is proving he can handle the job on the right side of the line if Stavion Lowe does not continue to improve. Myers has a rare combination of tremendous power, size and explosion, making him the complete package.

"This summer, I really worked on my strength, but I feel the big advantage I have over most of the offensive lineman is my footwork and quickness," Myers said. "I feel if I can keep working in those areas, I'll have a great season."

But Myers is still taking everything one step at a time. Coming out of high school, he was rated as one of the top offensive lineman in the state of Texas and chose SMU despite having offers from more alluring football programs such as Texas A&M.

Myers has certainly lived up to the rating and just looks like one of the most polished lineman SMU has had in some time. Still, Myers has been absorbing everything new offensive line coach Bob Palcic has been teaching during camp.

"Coach Palcic is not a laid back," Myers said. "He's actually very stern and pushes us to do well. I feel like I've learned a lot from him. I think I'm going to enjoy playing for him."

There is no doubt Myers will anchor this line in the near future, but Mustang fans could see him on the field sooner than expected.

Day 11 Observations:

- Darius Johnson is still not participating in 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 drills after hurting his wrist this past Saturday

- Der'rikk Thompson once again did not practice

- Christian Holloway made an appearance at practice but did not dress out

- Taylor Reed left practice early due to a sore hamstring, but it did not look serious

- Others who sat out practice include Colin LaGasse, Cameron Smith, and Elie Nabushosi

- With Jeremy Gray getting moved to corner, walk-on Brett Haness is now working with Daniel Roundtree as the second team safeties

- Gray is the first team nickleback with Derek Longoria also getting some reps

- Keenan Holman went down shortly after 7-on-7's and had his hamstring and shoulder stretched out by a trainer

- Chris Parks dropped an easy interception and was told by defensive coordinator Tom Mason to be more hungry

- Conner Preston threw an early interception as Kevin Pope made a nice play on the ball.Randall Joyner congratulated him on the sideline saying, "What up three! Theres plays to be and we just got to make em! Let's eat!"

- Preston was later picked off again, this time by Brandon Henderson

- Gehrig Dieter looked good in practice today and absolutely burned Rodney Hubert, who has been having a tough camp

- Dieter made easily the play of the day as he made an insane catch over Kenneth Acker on a deep ball thrown by Garrett Gilbert. This sento the entire team into a frenzy

- Jeremy Johnson made an excellent catch on a pass from Preston from 50 yards out on Rountree after stumbling half way through the route

- Stephen Nelson and Gilbert appear to be developing some nice chemistry and connected for a couple of touchdowns today

- KC Nlemechi continues to catch passes out of the backfield and has ben showing a nice burst of speed

- Freshmen Sam Rice and Seaver Myers got some first team offensive line reps

- Pope showed his speed at practice today hawking down AJ Buffini in kick return drills.

- Special teams coach Frank Gansz Jr. yelled at the entire team as practice was coming to a close. He expressed that everybody needs to take practicing field goals more seriously

- A scout from the Dallas Cowboys was in attendance today

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