MVP: Zach Line
Runner Up: Taylor Thompson
Hidden Gem: Cole Beasley
Biggest Bust: Robert Parker
Review: June Jones took over at SMU just as this class was rounding out. Most these players are Phil Bennett's but helped played an integral role in helping revive the SMU program. The highlight of this class is without a doubt Zach Line, who held no other offers despite being one of the top backs statistically in the state of Michigan. Line greyshirted his freshman year but then his career took off as he became the school's second leading rusher behind NFL Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson. This class also produced Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley and Tennessee Titans tight end Taylor Thomson. Beasley, a do-it all athlete out of near by Little Elm was deemed to small for major colleges but finished his career with over 250 receptions. Thompson held offers from schools such as Nebraska, Oklahoma State and South Carolina but the Prosper product chose to stay close to home and became one of top defensive ends in Conference USA. Other notable SMU players in this class include offensive lineman Blake McJunkin and safeties Chris Banjo and Ryan Smith.
MVP: Ja'Gared Davis
Runner Up: Taylor Reed
Hidden Gem: Sterling Moore
Biggest Bust: Ryan Clark
Review: Jones' first true class produced two defensive stalwarts in Davis and Reed. Davis was named first-team All-Conference USA and was selected to the Texas vs. the Nation Bowl after leading SMU after racking up 77 tackles including 11 for loss and two interceptions. Reed was named second –team All-Conference USA and was selected to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl after leading the Ponies with 101 tackles. Both Davis and Reed earned All-Conference USA honors for three straight years. Another gem in this class was Dallas Cowboys defensive back Sterling Moore, who made a couple of key plays during the Patriots' Super Bowl run last year. The only other FBS school to offer the JUCO corner was Eastern Michigan. Other notable SMU players in this class include wide receiver Darius Johnson and Kyle Padron, who transferred to Eastern Washington.
Current grade: B-
MVP: Richard Crawford
Runner Up: Kenneth Acker
Hidden Gem: Randall Joyner
Biggest Bust: Stephen Kaiser
Review: This class will anchor the team as seniors this year, but there weren't any stars in this class, at least none that have broken out yet. Highly touted guys like Darryl Fields, Ricky Collins, Michael O'Guin and Stephen Kaiser, who Jones said he would have taken in the first round of the NFL Draft, completely flamed out and are no longer on the team. Richard Crawford is also no on the team anymore, but that's because he came to SMU from Saddleback Community College and is now playing for the Washington Redskins. Crawford struggled in his first year on the Hilltop but became the team's lockdown corner as senior. Randall Joyner wasn't even offered until about a week before National Signing Day. But the two-way Carrollton Newman Star developed into a true leader for the defense this season and finished the year with 89 tackles, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and three interceptions. Jeremy Johnson and Der'rikk Thompson will once again be starting wide receivers and are due for breakout seasons while corner Kenneth Acker will be the team's lockdown corner.
Current grade: C
MVP: Stephon Sanders
Runner Up: James Richardson
Hidden Gem: Robert Seals
Biggest Bust: Davon Moreland
Review: SMU saw a significant jump in team rankings thanks to the help of ace recruiter Adrian Klemm, who helped bring some top talent from California to the Hilltop. Unfortunately for SMU, none of those players really panned out. Davon Moreland and Dontae Levingston are no longer on the team while Conner Preston and Christian Holloway have yet to make any kind of impact. Even local prospects with BCS offers such as Arrius Holleman and K.C. Nlemchi, who were supposed to be key parts of the offense by now, have not seen significant playing time. In fact hardly any players in this class were key contributors for SMU this past season. Stephon Sanders, however, broke out as a freshman and solidified himself as a starter this season. Taylor Lasecki anchored a young offensive line while James Richardson was supposed to be a starter at corner before tearing his ACL. Finding a gem in this class was difficult, but Robert Seals has received quite a bit of praise form the coaching staff and is expected to take over for Ja'Gared Davis and be a feared pass rusher.
Current grade: C-
MVP: Shakiel Randolph
Runner Up: Gehrig Dieter
Hidden Gem: Elie Nabushosi
Biggest Bust: Gehrig Dieter
Review: This class was hit hard when a number of top California prospects decommitted due to Klemm bolting for UCLA. All-American Gehrig Dieter did stick around despite his recruiter, Jeff Reinebold, leaving for the CFL. Dieter was one of only two players in this class to make any kind of impact as a true freshman last season as he caught 10 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown. But Dieter had a fall through with wide receivers coach Jason Phillips and has transferred to Bowling Green, which makes him the runner up and bust. It would have been a little spiteful to give the MVP to Dieter so Randolph gets it because he started a couple of games and has the ability to be a ball hawk in the secondary for the next three years. It's too early to really judge this class but Elie Nabushosi is a player to keep an eye on. With the departure of starting defensive ends Margus Hunt and Kevin Grenier, Nabushosi could start as soon as this season. The Frisco Heritage prospect held no other offers but is extremely athletic and was impressive in practice. Neal Burcham appears to be the quarterback of the future and will take over for Garrett Gilbert in 2014. Others to keep an eye on include offensive lineman Seaver Myers, linebacker Lincoln Richard and cornerback Ajee Montes.
Current grade: C
A Look Back At SMU's Last 5 Classes
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