John Robert Gilley has never started a game for Highland Park. In fact, he didn't even attempt a pass last season as he spent the entire year observing starting quarterback Jet Tuma.
But that hasn't stopped SMU from showing interest in the 2014 signal caller, and Gilley is eager to show why.
"I'm excited about being the starter now. It's going to be tough to replace a legend like Jet Tuma, but I'm ready," he said before taking part in Schuman's National Underclassmen Combine in Duncanville last weekend. "I want to show everybody what I can do and hopefully pick up some offers."
Unlike Tuma, Gilley is a pure pocket passer. At 6-foot-3, 185-pounds, he has a big arm and a quick release, which is why playing in the Run N' Shoot offense would be ideal.
Gilley has already been in contact with Mustangs' quarterbacks coach Dan Morrison and hopes an offer is extended when he attends SMU's summer camp in June.
"I've been talking to Coach Morrison a lot. He said he would be keeping in contact with me and that they are interested," Gilley said. "I think he's really nice, and I can't wait to go to the camp."
Gilley has also been receiving interest from Baylor and Texas Tech but staying at home and playing for the Ponies is ‘definitely an option.'
"SMU is a really good school and obviously, it's close to home," he said. "I really like SMU and everything they have to offer. They are one of my top schools right now."
Another reason Gilley could side with SMU if he's offered is his close relationship with 2013 signee William Barns.
"William is my cousin, and he's been telling me a lot about SMU. He really loves the school," Gilley said. "It would be great to go to SMU with him and his sister. He told me SMU would be a great place to play, and I agree."
SMU Targeting Dallas-Area Quarterback
Pony Stampede Top Stories
adidas Uprising Atlanta Live UpdatesCome inside Pony Stampede's forum for live updates on SMU targets and who the coaches are watching at the adidas Uprising in Atlanta this weekend.
Pony Stampede10:11 AM
The Hilltop Review 4/28Come inside the Pony Stampede Hilltop Review for the latest on SMU football recruiting targets.
Pony StampedeYesterday at 12:30 AM
Watson and Morris' bond bigger than footballClemson's national championship winning quarterback and NFL Draft hopeful Deshaun Watson was recruited by Chad Morris. The two share a bond that is bigger than football.
Pony StampedeThursday at 6:20 AM
Q&A: SMU WR Kevin Thomas ready to break outPony Stampede spoke with SMU rising junior wide receiver Kevin Thomas, who is ready for a breakout season this fall.
Pony StampedeThursday at 5:09 AM
JUCO OT breaks down SMU visitVentura (Calif.) offensive tackle Maisen Knight recaps his SMU visit and where his recruitment stands.
Pony StampedeWednesday at 5:30 AM