The Hilltop Review

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

Frazier Nearing Decision

By EJ Holland

We've heard a lot about Keith Frazier from Big E so we decided to speak to Kimball coach Snoop Johnson about his 5-star guard's upcoming decision, but he was reluctant to share any information.

"I can't say much," he said. "But Keith will be making a decision by March 28th before he leaves for Chicago next Saturday to play in the McDonald's All-American game."

That means a decision could come anytime this week. Johnson says he will notify us when Frazier decides to sign his letter at school. This was supposed to happen on Friday, but Kimball will not have school on that day due to Easter. However, it does appear Frazier will wait until the 28th as originally planned.

This Thursday, Frazier visited Texas A&M but a source close to the Kimball program told us it was down to SMU and Texas Tech with the Aggies on the outside looking in.

Johnson said Frazier will make the best decision for himself and will make an immediate impact wherever he decides to play.

Darrell Devaul contributed to this report

Skyline DB Talks About SMU Offer

By EJ Holland

After the whole debacle with Emmanuel Harris earlier this week, it's unclear where exactly SMU stands with Dallas Skyline, which is one of the strongest high school programs in the area. But one prospect the Ponies would really like to land is safety Derrick Dixon.

Last season, Dixon was instrumental in Skyline's run to the state quarterfinals. The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder had four interceptions and five forced fumbles and was named first team all-area by the Dallas Morning News.

But he's not satisfied.

"We've been working really hard this offseason. Coach (Reginald) Samples has us working out like crazy," Dixon said. "He's really getting us pumped about the season. I feel like our defense is going to be faster and stronger. My goal is to help this team get to state. I just have to play 10 times harder than I did as a junior."

When SMU wide receivers coach Jason Phillips visited Skyline earlier this spring, there was no way he could pass up offering Dixon.

"It was good to meet him while he was there," Dixon said. "I was happy when he offered me. He told me that he was really interested in me and my teammates. He told me to keep working hard, and that he would be in contact."

Phillips also invited Dixon to junior day, but he was unable to make it. Dixon added that2 he also hasn't talked to Phillips since and is not sure how he feels about SMU at the moment.

"Coach Phillips hasn't kept in contact so I don't know a whole lot about SMU. I know I wouldn't mind going there because it's close to home," he said. "But I'm not really as excited about it as I am about other schools."

Those other schools include Baylor, Texas, TCU and Texas Tech. Dixon has attended junior days at all four and holds offers from the latter two as well as Washington State and West Virginia. Dixon says he's unsure if he'll visit SMU.

VIDEO: 2015 4-Star Prime Prep PF Elijah Thomas

By Darrell Devaul

Local 3-Star DB Visits SMU

By EJ Holland

One of the biggest names SMU hosted last month at junior day was three-star South Oak Cliff defensive back Jyaz Jones. The 6-foot, 180-pounder was able to tour the campus and the facilities along with teammate Silvester Hayes.

"I loved their junior day. It was a great experience. I got to see everything and really liked it," Jones said. "SMU is known for their academics and they talked a lot about that so I know it's a good school. I live right by SMU so it's close to home."

Jones didn't walk away with an offer but feels confident that he'll pick one up after his conversation with SMU defensive backs coach Derrick Odum.

"If SMU offers, I'll be pretty interested," he said. "Coach Odum said he was going to come see me and Silvester later this spring and then he'll decide. I haven't really been talking to Coach Odum so I just want to keep in contact and find out more."

Jones currently holds offers from Colorado State, Iowa and New Mexico State and has also visited Baylor, Texas and Texas Tech this spring. Jones says he hopes to pick up more offers soon but currently has two schools at the very top of his list.

"Iowa and Texas are my top schools right now," he said. "I really like Iowa because my brother (A.J. Jones) just signed there. I've always wanted to go to Texas. I really love Texas. They're going to come see me in spring practice and might offer so I'm excited."

While SMU may not be extremely high on his list, Jones made it clear that he is genuinely interested, and it helps that the Mustangs already offered Hayes.

"We've talked about going to the same school together. We've been friends for a long time, and it would be pretty cool," Jones said. "I think we can help a program dominate on defense because Silvester is fast and can rush, and I plan to be one of the top defensive backs in the nation."

Hayes Visits SMU Junior Day

By Beionny Mickles

South Oak Cliff (TX) fielded successful team last year going 9-2 overall and 7-1 in the district. The Bears' star defensive end Silvester Hayes had plenty to do with their success and was one of the main reasons why their defense held opponents to an average of just 10 points per game.

Hayes currently holds five offers from SMU, Texas Tech, Iowa, Colorado State and Nevada with his most current top three being Texas Tech, Iowa and Colorado State.

Hayes says that the one common factor connecting each of his favorite schools is a great coaching staff.

"I feel like their coaching staffs contain a good set of coaches who have things they can offer me to help me better my career and get to where I want to be," Hayes said.

Hayes said while he was on campus for junior day, he spoke with SMU defensive coordinator Tom Mason. Hayes, who plays defensive end but is being recruited as an outside linebacker, says Mason seemed to be very aware of his game to say the least.

"He was telling me that he saw my film and he liked my athletic ability," the 6-foot-3 213-pound Hayes said. "He said he was tired of watching my film and he told my coach that he just has to have me."

Hayes also said he enjoyed walking around the Hilltop and was pleased with how focused SMU is on being one of the best schools around academically.

"They also have really good academics," Hayes said. "They look like they can keep me on top of my game and keep me going so I can be the best that I can be in the classroom and on the football field."

The SMU coach recruiting Hayes' area is secondary coach Derrick Odum, who extended the offer to Hayes a couple of weeks before his spring break.

Hayes says he would like the opportunity to go to school in state because he doesn't want to go too far away from home. In addition to the chance of catching the classic case of homesickness, going far away might hinder his parents from coming to see him play.

Currently Hayes is continuing to compete in athletics over at South Oak Cliff, participating in their ‘quarter, 4x2 relay, open 200 and discuss' track events. Hayes thinks he has performed well considering he has never competed in the sport.

"I've been doing pretty well for my first season," Hayes said. "I actually have a lot of speed to be a D-end. I really surprise a lot of people when I get there and finish running."

Hayes is looking forward to the next level but knows he will need to bulk up as much as possible. His number one goal for this offseason is to get up to 230 pounds.

VIDEO: 2015 Prime Prep WR James Proche

By Darrell Devaul

SMU Hosts Local Linebacker

By Russell Palmer

Episcopal Dallas linebacker Nigel Naulls recently had an impressive junior season, which has led to an increase in interest from local programs.

One of those programs is SMU, who extended an invite to Naulls to take a visit to the Hilltop for SMU's junior day, and Naulls left the SMU campus impressed.

"The SMU junior day was great, it was a great experience to be around the program," he said. "I liked the campus a lot, and the facilities, weight room and stadium were really nice. I think they are an up and coming program, which is good."

However, SMU is not the only program in the state of Texas who has taken notice of Naulls ability and will have stiff competition to obtain his services.

"North Texas, Texas State, and UTSA have all been talking to me about their programs. I think I will visit some of those campuses soon," he said. "I also think I'll go back to the SMU campus a few more times, and Utah has been showing interest recently so I might go up there too."

In the mean time, Naulls, who registered 90 tackles last season, has been training vigorously to get ready for his final high school season and has pinpointed some areas in his game he is hoping to improve come fall.

"I'm really trying to improve my footwork and get more explosive to get off the ball faster," he said. "I'm also trying to improve my speed, and lower my 40 time as much as I can."

Although he would not favor any team, SMU could be out front due to an unexpected asset, the Cox Business School.

"Academics are the main thing for me. I plan on majoring in business management, so where ever I look, I want to see if they have a strong business program," he said.

Another Lasecki Interested In SMU

By EJ Holland

SMU center Taylor Lasecki has developed into one of the most promising members of the team and is expected be one of the top offensive linemen in the conference. So if his brother is anything like him, it's not a surprise SMU is jumping on him early.

Jordan Lasecki is a 2015 quarterback out of Frisco and hopes to take some snaps from his brother on the Hilltop in the near future. Although Lasecki hasn't started in a varsity game, SMU quarterbacks coach Dan Morrison has already been in contact.

"Coach Morrison told me that he really likes me and he wants to keep in touch," Lasecki said. "I think he's a really nice guy, and I look forward to getting to know him better. I think he would be a great guy to play for."

Lasecki says he's been participating in a number of camps this spring to gain more exposure and hopes he picks up his first offer soon. If it comes from SMU, Lasecki would seriously think about committing early.

"SMU would be my No. 1 if they offered. I would really like to play with my brother, and SMU is a great school," he said. "I really like the academics and the athletics program. It would be a really good fit for me."

The 6-foot-2, 175-pound signal caller is a prototypical pocket passer and believes he could excel in June Jones' Run N' Shoot offense. Lasecki hopes to prove this to Jones when he attends SMU's summer camp in June.

"I'm exited about SMU's camp. I really want to get out there and show them what I can do," Lasecki said. "I think my throwing motion is great, and I have good arm strength so their offense really fits me. I hope I can pick up an offer there."

Dallas Carter QB Interested In SMU

Whoever says SMU isn't a dream school for local prospects around the area shouldn't tell that to Chris Henry. The Dallas Carter quarterback has always grown up loving SMU and wants a chance to represent for his hometown.

"I want to be a part of a program on the rise that's doing big things like moving to a bigger conference and play in front of all my family and friends," Henry said. "I've always wanted to go to SMU so I can play right here in Dallas."

The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder visited SMU in the fall when the Ponies were blown out by Texas A&M. But the loss didn't affect Henry's views on the program. In fact, it increased his interest.

"They're playing big time opponents, and I just loved the atmosphere there. The fans were really behind them," he said. "When I stepped foot on campus, it just felt like home. I just learned more about the history and talking to Jarvis Baxter really got me excited about SMU."

But Henry hasn't heard from the coaching staff since and says he plans on sending SMU wide receivers coach Jason Phillips a message on Facebook in order to visit again this spring.

Henry's teammate Chad Shannon visited SMU for junior day last month, and the Dallas Carter pair can't seem to stop talking about the possibility of playing on the Hilltop together.

"Chad and I have really been talking about it. If he gets offered, that's where he's going to go, and I want to join him," Henry said. "I just love everything about SMU, and it would be a great place for both of us."

Last season, Henry passed 1,229 yards and 12 touchdowns while splitting time. Henry says he hopes to double those numbers this season and has been working nonstop this spring to achieve his lofty goals.

"I've been training a lot. I work out five days a week. Sometimes I get on the field at 9 a.m and don't leave till 2 p.m. I'm also getting ready for the Elite 11 competition," he said. "My goals are to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards. Playing for Carter means a lot to me, and I just want to help us make it to state."

Henry currently does not have any other visit plans but has already made unofficial visits to Oklahoma and Southern.

SMU Hosts Conroe DL

By Russell Palmer

Conroe (TX) defensive lineman Zach Carpenter does not have any offers as of yet, but that could change as his recruitment has heated up ever since his junior season ended.

So far, Carpenter has taken visits to numerous schools, Virginia and SMU among them and was impressed with what he saw while on the SMU campus.

"SMU was a good visit. The coaches were there, and I talked to the offensive line and defensive line coach. I also got to walk around the campus and see the facilities," he said. "They said for me to get an offer I need to get good SAT scores and have a good GPA."

Along with SMU and Virginia, Carpenter said programs such as Texas A&M, TCU, and Houston have shown interest, and all three programs fit essential criteria for Carpenter when picking a school.

"I like how all of those schools are close to home, which is important to me," he said. "I also want to go to a school with good academics because even though my dream is the NFL, I know that is hard to do so having a good education is important."

With no timetable for when he wants to make his decision, the 5-foot-11, 300-pounder says he is focused on preparing for the upcoming season, which includes getting stronger and faster.

"Speed is what I want to try and improve the most," he said. "With that, I am trying to strengthen my lower body and improve little things like balance and technique."

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