Nose Tackle Tours SMU
By Omar Majzoub
SMU has done a good job recruiting versatile players who can play multiple positions and contribute in different ways. Tyler John Tyler lineman TraVaughn Moore fits that mold.
Moore is being recruited by multiple schools as someone who can play nose tackle and both offensive guard spots. He had a chance to check out SMU earlier this month during their summer camp.
"I had a really good time at the camp," he said. "I had a group of friends there with me and we got to do a couple drills. Then coach Bert Hill took me for a tour around the school to see the campus."
Moore, who is being recruited on the defensive side of the ball by SMU, has yet to receive an offer, but the 6-foot-2, 280-pounder says he has been in contact with the Mustang coaching staff quiet a bit.
"I like the school a lot," he said. "I think I would be a really good fit at SMU. They would be one of the favorites if they offered me."
Moore has been to multiple camps around Texas this summer, including UT, Texas Tech, Baylor and TCU. He was second team all-district last season and hopes to improve on his game more.
"I'm trying to get faster and stronger," he said. "I have great lower body and leg strength for my position. I can run block, pass block, and do it all when it comes to the line."
Nose tackle is one of the thinnest positions in the SMU program, and Moore could help shore up if the coaching staff eventually offers him.
Hill Checks In On Nose Tackle
By EJ Holland
SMU defensive line coach Bert Hill recently took a trip up to Oklahoma to check out Eisenhower nose tackle Michael Moana, who could fill a huge need in the Class of 2014.
Moana holds offers from Houston and Utah State and is hoping for one from SMU after his conversation with Hill.
"Coach Hill came up to watch me and my teammate Dakota Young. It looked like he was scouting us," Moana said. "Afterwards, he talked to me for a little bit. He gave his email and told me to stay in contact with him. We just talked about football and how I could fit in at SMU."
At 6-foot-3, 250-pounds Moana says he plans adding at least 20 pounds this summer and feels he can excel as a nose tackle at the next level.
"Coach Hills says that's where he's looking at me," Moana said. "We play a 4-3 here, but I feel like I have good quickness and strength to play head up with the center in college."
Moana, who is also receiving strong interest from Oklahoma State, says he has no favorites and would be open to hearing more about SMU. He will be on the Hilltop for SMU's camp on July 28.
Moana hopes to earn an offer there and reconnect with Hill. For now, he is going to ask his former teammate and ex-SMU wide receiver Devon Bailey about the program.
"DeVon is like a big brother to me. I always train with him, and I've learned a lot from him," Moana said. "I'm definitely going to go to him for more information about SMU. I don't know too much about them, but DeVon went there and has said good things."
Local WR Closing In On Offer
By Russell Palmer
Mesquite Poteet wide receiver Kody Edwards was on the Hilltop recently, to participate in the SMU football camp and came away impressed with the Mustang program.
"It was awesome. I talked to Coach (Tom) Mason and (Jason) Phillips, and they just went through the different drills with me and helped me along the way," he said. "It was really good and I learned a lot."
Edwards, standing at 5-foot-9, 170-pounds, seems to be an ideal fit for the slot position in the famous Run N' Shoot offense, and after talking to Coach Mason, Edwards says that could be a reality soon.
"SMU wants me to play slot, so I'm working on getting bigger and faster so I can play that." he said, "Coach Mason has shown a lot of interest in me, and I think I'm getting closer and closer to an offer."
If offered, Edwards said he would be extremely interested in the Mustangs, due to the high prestige of an SMU education.
"I want to go to a good school and a get a good education, and that's why I like SMU so much, because they have good programs." he said.
Edwards, who has been in contact with schools such as UTSA and Arkansas, says he is going to continue working on his game and add weight to get ready for the college level.
Legacy OL Recaps SMU Visit
Highland Park offensive lineman Tony Richards is more familiar with the SMU football program than most recruits. His father, David Richards, played three years at SMU in the mid-80s before the NCAA placed the infamous ‘Death Penalty' on the program.
Now, Tony could be the next member of the family to join the program on the Hilltop. The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder was at SMU for its summer camp earlier this month.
"I thought the camp was good," he said. "I have only been to a few camps, so I don't really have a lot to compare it to, but it was fun."
Richards has kept in contact with quarterbacks coach Dan Morrison frequently and already feels a connection to the program from his father.
"My dad played there, and it's real close to home," he said. "He knows a lot of people involved with the program so his connections help me, but he doesn't try and influence my decision."
Richards hasn't received an offer yet, but feels he maybe close to one. If he does eventually get one from SMU, it would become an immediate favorite for him.
"I think it would be a really fun place to play," he said. "Academically, I think I want to study engineering or maybe business and SMU has really good programs for both."
Richards has attended camps at Texas and Texas A&M this summer but has not focused on recruiting very much. He says his biggest strength is his football I.Q. and knowledge of the game.
"I understand assignments and schemes well," he said. "They can be tough to learn, but I enjoy it and I'm pretty good at it."
Richards says he has no timetable on a decision, but SMU sounds like it would be his first-choice if they were to offer him.
Wilson Camps With SMU In Austin
By EJ Holland
One most intriguing athletes SMU has targeted in the Class of 2014 is Highland Park athlete Sammy Wilson, who did not play football last year.
Wilson instead turned his attention to track but is now back on the gridiron and looking to earn an FBS scholarship. Wilson was supposed to camp at SMU but could not make it due to personal reasons.
So last week, he got in his car and made a trip down to the Austin for SMU's satellite camp.
"Unfortunately, I had to leave the camp a little early because of my hamstring. It's been a lingering issue since track," he said. "But I feel like I did good in the first part and learned a lot in the footwork drills."
Despite the setback, Wilson had the opportunity to speak to SMU offensive line coach Wes Suan and head coach June Jones.
"It was great learning from Coach Suan. He just told me to keep up the good work," Wilson said. "Coach Jones told me to stay connected with them. I apologized for having to leave early. But he just told me they were still looking at me."
Missouri, Penn and Washington State have also shown interest in the 5-foot-11, 175-pounder, who can play everything from running back to wide receiver to defensive back. But SMU remains his favorite.
"SMU is my No. 1 because of distance and how great the school is," Wilson said. "I can't wait to camp with them again on July 28. I think I can increase SMU's interest in me there."
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Local 2015 QB Camps At SMU
By Omar Majzoub
With two quarterbacks already in the fold for the 2014 class, the SMU coaching staff has started look at quarterbacks in the Class of 2015, starting with Jesuit pro-style signal-caller Bo Schneider.
Schneider was on the Hilltop recently for the SMU football camp and liked what he saw from the SMU program.
"It was a lot of fun and I think it went well," he said. "It was the first camp I've gone to this summer, and I think I did solid. I was able to talk to some of the coaches, who were awesome."
Schneider, standing at 6-foot-3, 218-pounds, already has the measurables for the college game, which seemed to impress the SMU coaching staff, who talked to him a but after the camp.
"I mostly talked to the quarterbacks coach (Dan Morrison), and he was cool." he said, "He didn't really talk about an offer or anything like that, but he said to keep working hard."
Growing up in Dallas has meant that Schneider is quite familiar with the SMU program, and the local product could envision himself playing his college ball close to home.
"I'm not sure yet of my favorite program, but I would like to stay close to home," he said. "I've grown up next to SMU, and really like the facilities, the weight room, and the coaches."
However, if SMU hopes to retain the local product, they must continue recruiting him hard, as they are not alone in the pursuit of his services.
"This summer is my first summer of camps, and I've gone to TCU, Texas A&M, and Arizona State, and they all seemed pretty interested, and I liked them all."
Reed Hoping To Earn Spot With Cowboys
By EJ Holland
I still remember the first time I ever met Taylor Reed. It was my first day of classes at SMU and everything was brand new to me. I walked into a lecture hall in Fondren and had no idea who to sit next to.
After all, everybody was wearing polo shirts and boat shoes while was awkwardly in an oversized Jordan shirt and baggy pants. Then I spotted the athletes and thankfully they welcomed me into their circle.
I quickly befriended guys like Jeremiah Samarrippas, Leslee Smith, Darryl Fields, Jeremy Johnson and Randall Joyner. T-Reed was more of a quiet guy, but I got to know him more and more throughout the semester as I started covering the team for The Daily Campus.
I was really impressed with the way he played during his breakout sophomore season, and he became my favorite player. At the time, not too much was expected of him. He was only two-star prospect and had no other offers.
Not much was expected of me either. I didn't really fit in at SMU after coming from one of the poorest parts of the state, where 30 percent of the people live under the poverty line. I was expected to drop out and go back home.
Fast forward three years later and Reed laughs when I ask him if he still remembers our times from that math class as he sits in his locker at Valley Ranch.
Reed became one of the best linebackers in SMU history and signed an undrafted free agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys. I now work at The Dallas Morning News, live in downtown Dallas and drive a new Audi.
We've both come a long way and exceeded expectations. But I'm not satisfied. And neither is Reed.
"When I got signed, I was still disappointed because I wasn't drafted. But as the day went on, I was like man, I finally made it," he said. "I know I'm an undrafted free agent, but it's just great. I just need to keep competing in training camp and keep working. Right now I'm not where I want to be. I know I can be so much better."
Reed currently sits third on depth chart at middle linebacker behind Sean Lee and Caleb McSurdy. Although he looks undersized, Reed impressed at minicamp and has been improving under the guidance of legendary defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.
"He's a future Hall of Famer. He's a guru of the game. He knows what he's talking about," he said. "He's a great coach, and he's been helping me out a lot so far. I'm just glad he's giving me an opportunity to show him what I can do."
As the Cowboys head into training camp, Reed says he is willing to do anything to earn a roster spot including playing special teams and staying after practice for extra reps.
Reed is optimistic about his chances and has even turned to SMU head coach June Jones for some extra advice.
"He told me to go early to practice and stay late. He said make sure to bother your coaches and ask them questions," Reed said. "I've been trying to do that. Coach Jones has been a great influence on me so far so I can't thank him enough."
As a journalist, I'm supposed to remain neutral, and I feel like I do a pretty good job of it. But I can't help but to root for my old friend Taylor Reed.
Side note: Reed talked briefly about his expectations for SMU this season. He said he thinks the defense will be fine even with a new front three and said that Kevin Pope would have a great season. He said he's more concerned about the offense and the line because of inexperience. I snuck in a question about K.C. Nlemchi before time ran out, and he said he doesn't know why he hasn't seen the field yet other than he got in June's dog house as freshman and really hasn't gotten out.
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