The Hilltop Review

Every Saturday morning, the Pony Stampede staff will provide exclusive stories and information on SMU basketball, football, and recruiting that you can't find anywhere else!

Roberson Schedules Official Visits

By Billy Embody

2013 four-star forward Tyler Roberson has scheduled his official visit to SMU for September 27 and will be looking forward to seeing what Dallas has to offer even though it is far from his New Jersey home.

"I am just looking forward to going down and just seeing the coaches and the campus. I want to learn a lot of things about the campus," Roberson said.

Roberson said his parents have been supportive in helping him navigate the complicated recruiting process.

"They have been helping me find out everything about all the schools and telling me little things about them," he said.

Roberson also has visits lined up to Kansas and Syracuse after SMU and is looking forward to getting a better feel for the schools and what they have to offer. When asked about a top school, Roberson shied away.

"I wouldn't say I have a top school or even a top five. It's so early," Roberson said.

Roberson has yet to make a decision on when he will commit.

Other Confirmed Basketball Visitors:

PG Isaiah Taylor, The Village- September 21

PF Ben Moore, Bollingbrook- September 21

PF Jordan Mickey, Prime Prep- September 27

SG Aaron Harrison, FB Travis- September 27

PG Andrew Harrison, FB Travis- September 27

SF Wesley Iwundu, Houston Westfield- September 27

Mercer Losing Interest In SMU

By EJ Holland

In a 35-12 win over Galveston Ball in Week Zero, La Marque quarterback Demun Mercer racked up 375 yards and scored five touchdowns.

While things are going great on the gridiron, Mercer is still trying to figure out where the recruiting process will lead him. But one school is the clear-cut favorite.

"Texas State is currently sitting at number one," Mercer said. "I really like the environment, and it would be cool to play with my brother. He's playing kick returner, and he likes it. I was really impressed with the way they beat Houston, and I can't wait to go back for another visit this weekend."

Mercer picked up an offer from the Bobcats this past Saturday and also holds offers from Rice and SMU. The two-star athlete says Rice is right behind Texas State on his short list.

"Rice is close to home and they offer a good education," he said. "I'll be visiting them this month. They are number two behind Texas State right now."

As of today, Mercer is not considering SMU due to his lack of communication with wide receivers coach Jason Phillips.

"SMU is kind of out of the picture because I haven't heard from Coach Phillips since May so that was disappointing," he said. "I'll try to plan a visit I guess but for now it's down to Texas State and Rice and Oregon State if they offer."

Moore Lists SMU In Top Four

By Russell Palmer

Denton Ryan athlete Craig Moore is one of the more versatile high school players in the country. The speedster has clocked a 4.43 40-yard dash and has played all over the field in his high school career.

Because of this, Moore has bee attracting some serious consideration from some of the top schools in the country, and even has some favorites.

"My top schools are Oregon, USC, SMU and Oklahoma State," he said.

When seeing the schools that SMU is fighting against to obtain Moore's services Mustang fans might feel a bit outmatched, however it is even more amazing that SMU is still a top contender, even without pursuing Moore very hard.

SMU's recruitment of Craig Moore has been a bit disappointing, as Moore said he has not been in contact with the SMU staff in a while, and couldn't even remember the name of his recruiter when asked what coach he has been in contact with.

"To be honest with you I haven't really talked to him in a while, not since about March," he said.

Despite this, Moore maintains interest in the Mustangs, and hopes to make his decision sometime during his high school season.

In addition, Moore does expect to take a few more visits, and said he could be on the Hilltop sometime this winter.

"I will probably visit in late November or December," he said.

Thomas Making Decision Soon

By EJ Holland

Detroit Country Day School (MI) offensive lineman Poet Thomas is inching closer to a decision. The three-star prospect hopes to make his choice by the end of the month and has narrowed it down to Florida, Michigan State, Old Dominion, SMU and Texas Tech.

Thomas will visit all of those schools this month minus Michigan State, which he visited unofficially last weekend. Thomas will instead see Kansas, but the Jayhawks are on the outside looking in. SMU, however, is very much in the picture.

"SMU was immediately in my top five when I got the offer and they still are," Thomas said. "Coach (Bert) Hill said I'm at the top of their board so I just need to see it before I make my final decision."

Thomas has contacted Hill about visiting in the next couple of weeks. He is also close to picking up an offer from Texas Tech and would like to travel from Lubbock to Dallas on the same weekend.

"I don't have an exact visit date planned yet, but I will be taking one soon," Thomas said. "I called Coach Hill last week and hopefully, he'll get back to me. I want to see both SMU and Texas Tech when I go down there. I think they are both really good schools and playing football in Texas would be great."

Dieter Could See More Playing Time

By EJ Holland

Freshman wide receiver Gehrig Dieter had an impressive first game against Baylor as he caught three passes for 64 yards and a touchdown.

"It was good to get in the game and get some experience," Dieter said. "I felt comfortable out there. It kind of felt like high school all over again. I loved playing against a big opponent like that on a big stage. It was a lot of fun but I was disappointed we didn't come out with the win."

Dieter is a big target and would be a great compliment opposite of speedy receiver Der'rikk Thompson. Whether Dieter can overtake Keenan Holman or maybe even Thompson has yet to be seen but June Jones stated that his young wide out would see more playing time.

But if you ask Dieter about the situation, he remains humble and says his work ethic will ultimately determine playing time.

"I just had to do my responsibilities on the field. I just tried to do my best," Dieter said. "I haven't really earned anything yet. I have to keep working in practice and then that should translate over to Saturdays."

Mustang fans should definitely expect to see more of No. 4 this weekend when SMU faces Stephen F. Austin. Dieter expects his team to come back with more fire after a tough opening loss.

"Coach Jones has said they're similar to Baylor," he said. "We just have to come out and play a better game. We need more energy and hopefully we'll come out with a win. "

VIDEO: OL Ashton Duhe Talks SFA

SMU Commit Visiting Soon

By Beionny Mickles

Red Oak (TX) tight end Jeremiah Gaines is looking forward to watching SMU host Texas A&M later on this month. Gaines says that he won't be expecting anything in particular from the Mustangs only good competition.

"I'm planning on being at the A&M game," Gaines said. "I'll just be looking for a great environment. I don't know exactly what I'll be looking for but I just want to see people compete. I love the game of football."

Gaines, who played against Wylie East last week, was the only player on his team to reach the end zone. Gaines had four catches for 171 and two touchdowns as well as three rushes for 23 yards and another score.

Gaines followed that up with 132 yards rushing and three touchdowns in a 34-31 win over Corsicana.

"I'm just trying to help my team win some ball games," Gaines said.

Gaines has been in regular contact with his recruiter SMU defensive line coach Bert Hill. Gaines said that Hill called him last Saturday to check in and make sure that everything was going well.

Gaines said that he got the chance to see a little bit of the Mustangs in their first outing against Baylor. Gaines, who only watched the first half, is sure SMU will have better outings in the future.

"I only got to see the first half but it's the first game of the year so I know they'll get better as the season goes on," Gaines said.

Looking forward to Texas A&M, Gaines believes SMU can make the game more than just competitive- he thinks the Mustangs can pull out a victory.

"I think we have a chance to beat them," he said.

Coaches Corner

By EJ Holland

Boyd Anderson Head Coach Wayne Blair on WR Eddie Jackson:

"I am trying to keep him focused on his academics and growth on the field but Eddie has the potential to be a superstar at the next level. He's a really great player for us, and I hope to help him reach his full potential this season."

Temple Head Coach Mike Spradlin on OL Freddie Johnson:

"I think Freddie has great potential and will succeed at SMU. He's already committed there and really likes it. He had a great game for us in the first week. Like I said, his future is very bright and SMU saw that. His future there will definitely be as an offensive lineman."

Gilmer Head Coach Jeff Traylor on DB Trey Washington:

"Trey is as smart of a player as I have ever coached. He plays all positions in the secondary and is also a wide receiver for us on offense. He's a very physical player and a great leader."

Tyler John Tyler Assistant Coach Justin Powell on ATH Greg Ward:

"Everybody is recruiting him as a slot receiver but he can also play cornerback or even quarterback. Greg is a very special talent and will definitely be a big time player in college. Jeremy Johnson was a special player for us but Greg might be better."

DFW Defensive Back Targeted

By Russell Palmer

Duncanville (TX) cornerback Cordray Love may not have any offerw as of now but the 5-foot-10, 160-pound ball hawk, still maintains high interest in some top tier programs.

Love says his favorite is TCU but has been in contact with the SMU coaching staff and hopes to visit sometime during the season.

"I've talked to the defensive backs coach (Derrick Odum). He told me to come sometime during the season so I can see a game," Love said. "I don't know when I'm going yet, whatever day we have off, because I have a very busy season."

Love also had a very busy offseason, attending numerous camps all throughout the state of Texas.

"I went to Houston, Texas State and North Texas," he said.

Love believes attending these camps improved his game mightily, and hopes his hard work in the offseason can lead to a successful high school season, and has high hopes for himself and his team.

"I want to lead the team and have the best defense in the state," he said.

Scouting Report: Tyler John Tyler vs. Lancaster

By EJ Holland

ATH Greg Ward, John Tyler- Ward just picked up an SMU offer last week and would be a great addition as a slot receiver. Ward currently plays quarterback but is a clone of former John Tyler quarterback and current SMU wide receiver Jeremy Johnson. Although he didn't have his best game, Ward displayed how shifty he can be and was very elusive. Ward is a natural born leader and has tremendous swagger.

ATH Demarcus Ayers, Lancaster- Ayers had a great game, scoring three touchdowns and willing his team to an upset win over the state's top team in 4A. Like Ward, Ayers is a high school quarterback but he definitely has the athleticism to make the move to slot. Ayers is a flat out playmaker, and it's clear why Lancaster wants him touching the ball every play. On Friday night, he also saw time at wide receiver and slot back.

WR Darion Flowers, John Tyler- Flowers doesn't hold an SMU offer yet be he definitely should get consideration. He starts at both wide receiver and corner and could play either at the next level. Flowers isn't shifty and elusive be he's a smart player and has great technique. As a corner, he has great footwork and matches up well against bigger receivers. He basically blanketed our next prospect.

WR Nick Alexander, Lancaster- Alexander also holds an offer from Oklahoma but the 2014 prospect was extremely unimpressive. Flowers held him without a catch and he was a non-factor in the contest.

WR Justice Liggins, John Tyler- Like Flowers, Liggins does not have an offer but is being recruited by Bert Hill. Liggins played a little bit of running back and also made a few plays in the receiving game on the outside. He is a really raw prospect but has tons of upside. His only offer at the moment is Wyoming but SMU would be smart to stay on him and possibly offer him late.

A look at how the commits performed:

- Jarvis Baxter had two catches for 58 yards and a touchdown and also picked up 15 yards on the ground in a 58-7 win over Bryan Adams

- Jeremiah Gaines spent most of his time in the backfield and rushed for 132 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught a pass for six yards in a 34-31 win over Corsicana

- Dee Paul rushed for 66 yards, passed for 53 yards and scored two touchdowns in a 34-27 win over Stamford

- Kolney Cassel passed for over 400 yards and an eye-popping seven touchdowns in a 50-49 loss to Moses Lake

- Nate Halverson caught 12 passes for 244 yards and three touchdowns but fumbled twice in a 49-42 loss to Centennial

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