The Hilltop Review

Every Saturday morning, we provide exclusive stories and info

Kalu No Longer Considering SMU

By Omar Majzoub

2014 defensive back Josh Kalu out of Alief Taylor has been picking up plenty of FBS offers recently. SMU was one of the first schools to offer the 6-foot-2, 180-pound three-star recruit from the Houston-area earlier this year.

"SMU offered me sometime in early January," he said. "We were in pretty good contact before (Coach Jason Phillips) offered me, but I have spoken much to them at all since then."

Kalu doesn't plan on attending SMU's summer camp and says he is losing interest in the school because of a lack of communication.

"To be honest, its not that high on my list," he said. "I was really turned off when I saw one of the coaches at a regional track meet, and he just walked right past me and ignored me. He was talking to other recruits so it made me feel like they forgot about me, and I wasn't even a factor."

Last season, Kalu had 44 tackles and two blocked field goals for Taylor. He was named Defensive Newcomer of the Year and hopes to lead his team to a state championship next season.

"I have been lifting to get bigger and perfecting my footwork all offseason," he said. "My coaches told me I'm able to see things before it happens on the field, so now I'm working on my physical tools."

Kalu mentioned Washington State, Nebraska and Duke as the early favorites, but said he doesn't have a timetable on when he wants to make a decision.



Ehambe Loses Contact

By EJ Holland

It seems SMU wide receivers coach Jason Phillips is trying to build a strong relationship with the coaches at Prime Prep. But that's not translating to bonds with the actual prospects.

Prime Prep outside linebacker Josh Ehambe, who holds an SMU offer and was on campus for junior day earlier this spring, has lost contact with Phillips.

"I haven't heard from him at all. I mean, SMU does send letters, but I haven't heard from Coach Phillips," Ehambe said. "I don't even really have his number so I can't call him. He gave me his card, but I misplaced it."

Despite not having any communication with his recruiter, Ehambe still has high interest in SMU. "My interest level in SMU is still high because they were my first offer," Ehambe said. "That means a lot so I'm still very interested."

But the Mustangs now have some competition for his services. Louisiana Tech extended an offer last month, and his interest in the program is continuing to grow.

"I'm actually very interested in Louisiana Tech because I like their coaching staff a lot. They do keep in good contact," Ehambe said. "They want me to go up to their camp so I might go up there this summer. They put eight players in the NFL this year so that's impressive."

Ehambe is not sure if he'll visit SMU this summer, but he does hope to visit TCU and believes an offer from the Horned Frogs could be coming in the near future.



Anzaldua Excited About Offer

By EJ Holland

It's not often kids from the Rio Grande Valley receive FBS scholarships. In fact, the entire area produces just one or two a year. So Edinburg North offensive lineman David Anzaldua, who holds three offers, knows he has a special opportunity.

"It means a lot to me," he said. "Down here in the valley, schools don't offer many kids so it means a lot that these coaches like me and want me to play for them. Hopefully I have a great senior season and more offers come my way."

UTSA and UTEP were the first two schools to extend scholarships. But SMU recently got in the mix with an offer, and Anzaldua is extremely interested.

"I was very excited when I got the offer from SMU. One of my cousins actually goes there, and my family members like the idea of me playing there," he said. " SMU stands pretty high because I'm a Methodist so I feel like it would be a good fit."

Anzaldua admits that he doesn't know too much about the football program but hopes to learn more as he develops a stronger relationship with SMU offensive line coach Wes Suan.

"Coach Suan was telling me about the campus and how nice it was. He was telling me about his background and about moving from Hawaii so it was good to get to know him a little better," he said. "He told me that I was bigger than most of his lineman already and really liked what he saw on film."

The 6-foot-6, 325-pounder says the Run N' Shoot offense is similar to what Edinburg North runs so he would ‘definitely feel comfortable' in the scheme. This summer, Anzaldua plans on camping at SMU and Texas. He will make his final decision after his senior season.



Suan Visits Colorado Commit

By Omar Majzoub

San Antonio Brennan linebacker Grant Watanabe committed to Colorado this week after receiving early interest from SMU. The 5-foot-11, 225-pounder enjoyed his visit to the Hilltop, but says his relationship with the coaching staff wasn't up to par.

"I liked SMU. It's a good school," he said. "But they just weren't recruiting me as hard as they said they wanted me, and I wasn't really impressed with what they had to offer."

Watanabe says he did enjoy meeting coach Wes Suan and learning about the SMU program when the offensive line coach recently visited him. In the end, however, Colorado's location and coaching staff was too good for him to pass up.

"What I did was make a list with all the schools and wrote down what I liked about each one," he said. "When I took my visit to Colorado, I really feel in love. Everything about it was a perfect fit for me."

Watanabe did go on to say his little brother, Mitchell, still has interest in SMU. The 6-foot-2, 310-pound offensive lineman is just a sophomore at Brennan.

"I think Mitchell still likes SMU," Grant said. "He is a huge offensive lineman and I know schools are starting to look at him to play either guard or tackle."

It will be interesting to see if the SMU coaching staff stays on Mitchell like they failed to do with Grant. Offensive line is one of the weakest spots in the program this year, so adding a big, versatile player like Mitchell could be a huge boost in 2015.



Naulls Visited By SMU

By Billy Embody

2014 Dallas Episcopal defensive end Nigel Naulls was visited recently by an SMU coach and was invited to camp with the Mustangs this summer. Naulls isn't sure who invited him through his coach, but did get to attend junior day at SMU this spring.

"That was nice," he said. "I got to look at the campus, the stadium and the facilities."

Naulls didn't get any one-on-one time with a coach but was given the football office's number and started receiving emails from the Mustangs.

"I get emails from them talking about all the SMU football camps. I'm going to the one on July 28," Naulls said. "I get updates about the school and also the football program."

For the Episcopal School of Dallas prospect, there are other schools calling like A, Nevada and Texas State, but SMU stands out.

"SMU is up there. I'm pretty sure it's just SMU," Naulls said. "That's the big one for me."

For whatever program Naulls ends up at, he wants to make sure they know what they're getting from the 6-foot-1, 240-pound prospect, who also runs a 4.8 forty-yard dash.

"I'm a hard-worker and a fast-learner," Naulls said. "I'm just going to work and try to get to the next level."

In eight games, Naulls racked up 87 tackles, seven sacks and recorded a pick-six as well.



SMU Sees Oklahoma DE

By EJ Holland

Dakota Young is determined to pick up his first offer after seeing a few schools come by to watch him this spring including SMU. The Eisenhower (OK) defensive end says a Mustang coach saw him in action a few weeks ago, but he did not get to talk to him.

"He was watching me workout. I honestly don't know what his name was because he didn't talk to me or tell me who he was," Young said. "My high school coach just told me he was going to be there, but that's it. This is the first time I've ever heard from SMU."

Young says he does hope to hear more from the Mustangs and actually get a chance to speak to his area recruiter. Young has heard nothing but great things about the program from friend and former SMU wide receiver De'Von Bailey.

"I have a friend, De'Von Bailey, who played there, and he told me that the campus was nice and that it was a really good place," Young said. "They have a great education, and I just want to look at it for myself."

This offseason, the 6-foot-2, 235-pounder has been training with Bailey and has added 45 pounds to his frame.

"I started at 190 and now, I'm at 235. I've gained a lot of weight, but I've kept my speed. I took a lot of protein and spent extra hours in the weight room," he said. "I feel like can be a good defensive end or outside linebacker at the next level."

Northwestern and Purdue have also been by to check in on Young. He plans to camp at SMU on July 28.



Austin Offensive Lineman Hearing From SMU

By Billy Embody

Cedar Ridge (TX) 2014 offensive lineman Terrell Scales is a versatile player and has interest in taking his versatility to SMU and will get a chance to show his abilities at the June 5 camp in Austin this summer.

"I look forward to showing out and showing what I can do," Scales said. "Hopefully they like me."

Scales has built a good relationship with offensive line coach Wes Suan, but that's not the main reason why he favors SMU.

"The main thing is that it's close to home," Scales said. "I like what the football program is doing. I think they're taking the right step."

Scales has emailed back and forth with Suan, who invited him to the camp after watching his film. The 5-foot-10, 230 pound offensive lineman doesn't have great size but has been working this summer to make sure he can play wherever a school wants him to.

"This summer, I've been doing a lot of speed work and quickness drills to get faster because size wise if they are interested I don't want them to turn me down if I couldn't play linebacker for them," Scales said.

SMU isn't the only school Scales has been hearing from. Scales has also heard from Cincinnati, North Texas, Yale, Purdue and Colorado, but two stand out.

"North Texas and Purdue," he said. "They really like me. The offensive coordinator (from UNT) sent me an email and he said he really liked me, but I'm too small so they would like me to play fullback."

Scales raised his GPA from a 2.8 to a 3.1 this semester and continues to work on and off the field to make him marketable to schools as he waits for his first offer.



Long Picks Rice Over SMU

By Russell Palmer

East Bernard wide receiver Trevor Long always wanted options and after picking up offers from both Rice and SMU this past winter, he had them.

After contemplating his future the past several months, Long decided to pull the trigger and commit to the Rice Owls. Rice, which was the first program to offer Long, provided the perfect combination of academics and athletics that Long was looking for.

"Rice is a really good school academically," he said. "I have a close relationship with their coaches so it felt right to commit."

Long's commitment to the Owls is a blow to June Jones and the SMU offense, as Long, who stands at 6-foot-5, perfectly fits the mold of a bigger, more physical receiver that the Mustangs have been looking for in the 2014 class.

Long said his commitment to Rice is ‘solid' and despite what he categorized as a ‘close' relationship with SMU assistant coach Wes Suan, he felt Rice was the better option for him.

For now, SMU will continue to look for more receiving playmakers to add to the 2014 class, possibly taking a closer look at Trae Hart and Brandon Colon.

Pony Stampede Top Stories