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!

Spring Game Visitors

QB Darrell Colbert, Houston Lamar

DB Noah King, Richardson

QB Case Brabham, TCA

WR Brock Thomas, TCA

LB Brock Bacon, TCA

ATH Sammy Wilson, Highland Park

QB Jordan Severt, Austin Westlake

OLB Lance Cottrell, Plano West

OL Zach White, Plano West

OL Charlie Bray, Pottsboro

DB Tritavious Jones, Forney

LB Bryce Ford, Forney

OL Taylor Durham, Forney

DT Daylon Mack, Gladewater

OL Cory Klingler, Manvel

WR James Proche, Prime Prep

OL Hunter Perrin, Hahnville (LA)

OLB Noah Westerfield, Frisco Wakeland

CB James Locke, Beaumont Central

Gaines Recaps SMU Visit

By EJ Holland

Earlier this week, SMU hosted Mesquite Poteet athlete Nate Gaines, who spent most of his time observing the defensive backs as the Ponies took the practice field.

"Everything went great. I got to see a lot of things that I liked from the DB's," he said. ‘The practice was really laid back, and I even talked to some of the players. The stadium is unique, and I really liked all the facilities."

The 6-foot-3, 180-pounder plays both wide receiver and safety for Mesquite Poteet, but SMU is recruiting him on the defensive side of the ball. After speaking to defensive coordinator Tom Mason, Gaines is confident an SMU offer will come his way soon.

"Coach Mason was really straightforward. He said they are going to start giving out some offers in about two weeks, and that it would be exciting if I joined his defense," Gaines said. "I also talked to Coach (Derrick) Odum for a bit, but he was really busy. But he told me he liked me too."

If SMU does decide to extend a scholarship, Gaines said he would seriously think about committing.

"I would really thing about going if they do offer since it's close to home, and I like what they have to offer," he said. "What stands out to me are their academics. It's basically an Ivy League school. Only about one percent of players make it to the NFL, and a degree from SMU guarantees that I'll be successful without football."

Gaines currently does not hold any other offers but was at Baylor's junior day and plans to make trips to Oklahoma State and Northern Illinois this summer.

Q&A With OT Seaver Myers

By EJ Holland

EJ: How good of a spring do you think you had?

SM: Overall, I feel I have improved quite a bit this spring. As a group, we have all seen some big strides in our play on the line.

EJ: What are some areas that you felt you improved on during the last month?

SM: Definitely my hand placement and being a more compact player. I'm breaking a lot of old habits of getting over extended and over setting on outside rushers.

EJ: Right tackle is a spot that's wide open. Do you think you're capable of starting at that position?

SM: All of the tackles that we have are more than capable of taking over the right tackle position. They started Chauncy Briggs at right tackle for the first week of spring ball but then they put me at first right tackle, and it's been like that since. I have a lot of work to do before I can solidify the right tackle job, but I just have to keep improving. Anybody has a chance at starting with how fluid Coach (Wes) Suan has kept the o-line.

EJ: Coach Chang has been working with you guys this spring. Can you talk a little bit about him and some of the things he's been stressing?

SM: He's a really great guy with a very understanding attitude. Him and coach Suan have nearly the same character and I feel Timmy is just a young Coach Suan.

EJ: How is Coach Suan different from Coach Palcic and what are some things you personally miss about Coach Palcic?

SM: Coach Suan is definitely much more of technique driven coach. He stresses technique constantly. Coach Palcic was more of an old school guy who wasn't scared to get in your face in you messed up. When you mess up with Coach Suan, you feel like you let him down. He doesn't get mad, he just gets disappointed. With Palcic, he definitely let you know when you messed up.

EJ: Coach Mumme appears to be making a few tweaks to the offense, how has that impacted the offensive line?

SM: Coach Mumme is pretty awesome. On the first day he told us we are going to practice scoring and that really stuck with me. It's impacted the line in a way where we are forced to be in great shape because Coach Mumme is bringing some great things to this offense and it will definitely be fun to be apart of it.

EJ: Over the summer, what are you going to work on the most and how do you plan to approach it?

SM: Obviously, I want to get bigger, faster and stronger. But just the little technique things and being 100 percent certain on my assignments is the most important thing to work on. I plan to just live in the weight room and study the playbook when I have free time.

Thomas, SMU Have Strong Mutual Interest

By Omar Majzoub

Trinity Christian Academy wide receiver Brock Thomas was at junior day earlier this spring and says SMU is already one of his favorite schools.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder from will be at SMU's spring game and has been in constant contact with the coaching staff recently.

"I really loved everything about it when I went up there for junior day," he said. I have also been to a few football games and stuff like that. I just absolutely loved it."

Thomas has yet to pick up an offer but says he is cautiously optimistic that he is close.

"I have talked to the coaches a lot," he said. "They told me to come to one of their camps over the summer, so they seem like they are really interested in me."

Thomas also plays cornerback and kick returner in high school but says he wants to be a receiver in college. Cornell, Yale and Harvard have also been in contact with him, but Thomas is just focused on getting healthy right now.

"My offseason has been a little bit frustrating," he explained. "I pulled my hamstring in track, so I've just been rehabbing and strengthening it."

He says the injury will cause him to miss a little but of spring football, but he hopes to return soon.

Hunter Being Looked At For LB

By Beionny Mickles

San Antonio Roosevelt running back Solomon Hunter won't be taking many plays off next season.

A new coaching staff has been put in place at Roosevelt, and they all want the 6-foot-2 206-pound athlete to continue to play on both sides of the ball.

Hunter, who is primarily being recruited as a running back, says that there has only been one school looking at him as a linebacker. That school is SMU.

"They actually want me as a linebacker or athlete," Hunter said. "I've been playing both sides of the ball, but I feel more comfortable at running back."

The Ponies' defensive coordinator Tom Mason happens to be Hunter's recruiter and thinks that he can be a force to be reckoned with in the middle of the Mustangs 3-4 defense.

Hunter says Mason has continued to tell him he could make him into a great linebacker for the Mustangs. Hunter, who visited last weekend, says SMU looks like a nice play to be.

"They seem pretty cool," Hunter said. "I liked their campus and stuff. They have a big stadium. I'm going on another visit soon."

Hunter has gained interest from a myriad of other schools such as UTSA, Navy, TCU and Villanova and has been invited to Miami and Georgia camps this summer.

Local DE Very Interested

By Beionny Mickles

Highland Park defensive lineman Andrew Clyde doesn't just have ties to SMU because of close proximity. He represents the definition of legacy.

Not only does the 6-foot-2 235-pound defensive end have family that has graduated from SMU many decades ago, he has a sibling who walks the campus currently.

"My sister's a current student, both my parents went there, my grandparents and great-grandparents all went to SMU," Clyde said.

Clyde currently holds no offers but has gained interest from SMU as well as Furman and has visited both campuses. Clyde was on the Hilltop for SMU's junior day and says that right now, the Mustangs are his favorite of the two.

"I love both of them. I think their academics are great," Clyde said. "Right now I'd probably say that SMU is my favorite just because I have a lot of family history there, but both of those schools I'd love to go to whether I was playing football or not. I think they're both great schools."

Clyde said that while he was at junior day, he spoke with the coaching staff and met his position coach Bert Hill, as well as took a tour of the facilities.

Clyde also met SMU quarterback coach Dan Morrison who is the recruiter for his area. Clyde says he spoke with both Morrison and Hill very briefly because of the large amount of recruits in attendance.

This offseason has been an exciting one for Clyde as he has been participating in powerlifting as well as track and field. In track, Clyde qualified for regionals in the shot-put competition on Friday.

Blough Says SMU Has Lost Interest In Him

By Omar Majzoub

Two-star Carrollton (TX) Creekview quarterback David Blough has not heard from SMU coaches in a while.

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound quarterback visited for junior day in February and really liked SMU, but says the coaching staff has been quiet since receiving a commitment from three-star quarterback Darrell Colbert.

"Honestly, since that quarterback committed they haven't been in contact with me at all," Blough said. "You know that's just how the game works sometimes."

Blough hasn't been on the Hilltop besides junior day, but says he has a good feel for the program and the school.

"I enjoyed it while I was there," he said. "They have really nice facilities and a nice campus."

Although SMU has not been calling him, Blough says he has started to receive a lot of interest recently. He believes it's because of his strong performance at the Dallas Elite 11 Camp earlier this month.

He was one of the true surprises of the camp, so schools like Rice, Arizona State, Tulsa, Baylor, Texas State, and Illinois have all been in contact with him. He also visited North Texas recently with his teammates.

This offseason, Blough has really worked hard on his game. He is now a part of the Air 14 Quarterback Academy, which is one of the premier quarterback tutors in the state. Blough is focusing on remembering to take everything step by step.

"I'm working with Kevin Murray this offseason," Blough explained. "I've just been working out, trying to focus on grades, and getting ready for the spring."

Last season, Blough threw for 1,777 yards and 17 touchdowns and was awarded first-team all district honors.

Quinn Interested In SMU

By Beionny Mickles

Sunnyvale (TX) wide receiver Josh Quinn took a trip to the Hilltop for junior day back in February and was surprised by all that he saw.

"SMU is really nice," the 6-foot-3, 175-pound junior said. "The facilities surprised me by how nice they were. They're top notch. Their coaches are really cool and interested in what's best for us."

Quinn, like many of the other junior day visitors touched on SMU's commitment to academics, which he said is something that he really wants to focus on.

"Football is awesome, but I don't know if it can be a life career for me," Quinn said. "They really pushed academics a lot so that sparked a lot of interest for me."

While on campus Quinn spoke with quarterbacks coach Dan Morrison as well as wide receivers coach Jason Phillips. Morrison told Quinn that the focus now was to go out and perform well in his senior season.

"He just told me not to take any days off because this is your last year of high school. Every game matters," Quinn said. "He also told me that when you send in tape to colleges to send game film because they want to see how many plays you take off."

Quinn, whose SMU recruiter is defensive coordinator Tom Mason, says that his number one goal for this offseason is to get faster- a goal that he says he is on his way to achieving through track and field.

Quinn, who currently holds no offers, has gained a considerable amount of interest from other schools such as Arkansas, Missouri, North Texas, Tulsa, Harvard, Yale, Utah State and Rice but spoke very highly of the Mustangs.

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