The Hilltop Review

Every Saturday morning, we provide exclusive stories and info!

Hogg Talks SMU Offer, Visit

By EJ Holland

D.J. Hogg was one of four big time 2015 prospects that visited SMU earlier this week and came away impressed with the way the program is continuing to transform under Larry Brown and company.

"SMU is starting to expand a lot of things on campus like the new Moody and the campus is really nice," Hogg said. "They are also starting to do better in recruiting. Keith Frazier is going there so I know the program is really doing some great things."

Joined by AAU teammates King McClure, Mickey Mitchell and Tyler Davis, Hogg not only got to tour the campus but also got a chance to speak with Brown.

"I want to have a big future and with Larry Brown there, I'll know he'll help me get there," Hogg said. "I think Coach Brown is a very good coach and would help me play to the best of my ability. He is a really nice coach and obviously knows what he's talking about."

The 6-foot-7, 190-pounder, who also holds offers from Arizona, Cal Poly, Houston, TCU and Texas A&M, says he currently has no favorites and is taking the recruiting process as slow as possible, but his interest in SMU is ‘definitely high.'

"SMU recruited me early so that shows that they believe in me. I really want to go to a school that trusts what I can do and help me achieve my goals," he said. "I really want to win a national championship so I'm just trying to find the best fit for me."



4-Star Big Man Has Interest In SMU

By Omar Majzoub

Earlier this spring, SMU head coach Larry Brown called 2015 big man Marcus Derrickson of Paul VI High School (VA) and offered him.

And the 6-foot-7, 225-pound power forward has legitimate interest.

"I do have interest, but I haven't really seen the school or talked to the coaches very much," he said. "I haven't focused on my recruiting yet, but that will be starting up soon. I need to talk to my brother about what I want to do. "

Marcus and his brother Reggie will take their time listening to every school. Reggie says all options are still open for his brother, but SMU could be a good fit because of the incredible rebuilding job they have done.

"Marcus has a lot of respect for Coach Brown and his staff," Reggie said. "My brother is aware of their experience and intellect. They have a lot to offer him and can help him take his game to another level."

Derrickson also holds offers from Georgetown, Miami, NC State, Rutgers, Villanova, Virginia, and Virginia Tech. He has also spoken to Indiana, Maryland, Syracuse, and North Carolina this spring.

"I think the most important thing at his next school is finding the right system," Reggie said. "A system that allows him to continue to be versatile and play inside-out instead of being just one-dimensional. Also, a school where the coach can help him develop his perimeter game is important."

Derrickson is a terrific offensive player who can score in a variety of ways. He has soft touch and great footwork around the basket, but also showed an ability to knock down open jump shots consistently.

He did not play for Team Takeover at the Dallas EYBL session due to injury but averaged 12.8 points and 7.4 rebounds for his high school team last year. Derrickson says he understands this summer will be an important one but plans on waiting until his senior year before making a decision.



Daniels Targeting Austin-Area LB

By Billy Embody

2014 Vista Ridge linebacker Micah Thomas has been trying to show the SMU coaches what he can do for quite some time and had an opportunity to be at the remote camp down in Austin, where he shined and received some attention from the staff.

"It went very well," Thomas said. "I showed them what I could do at linebacker so Coach (Evan Daniels) gave me his card and said he was going to evaluate me and see if they would offer me early or wait until the beginning of the season."

After the camp, the staff told Thomas that they were going to evaluate him and decide if they were going to offer soon or elect to wait and see him play at his new position as he makes the switch from defensive end to linebacker.

Thomas has been to the Hilltop for an unofficial visit. He attended the TCU game this past year and enjoyed himself.

"We didn't take a tour, but we ate up in some of the boxes before the game and then gor to go down to the field for pregame warm-ups then went to the stands for the game," he said. "It was fun, but it was raining really hard, but still fun."

Thomas has offers from UTEP, Air Force and Sam Houston State but is just focused on finding the right school for him, wherever that may be.

"I'm open to anywhere and anything. I'm just trying to play where I fit the best and then go from there, but I don't really have any preference," Thomas said.

Thomas says that if SMU offers, the Mustangs would be right at the top and with his 6-foot-1, 235-pound frame, he could fit nicely into the Mustangs plans especially with his 4.6 40-yard dash.

"If SMU offered, obviously with them being in D1 with UTEP they would be up there as well," he said.



Hill Visits East Texas Athlete

By Omar Majzoub

SMU defensive line coach Bert Hill is going after another versatile East Texas athlete to add to the program on defense.

This time, it's 6-foot-2, 190-pound Wesley Thompson from Tyler Chapel Hill. Hill visited the rising senior earlier this spring and Thompson now plans on returning the favor next month.

"I'm coming to SMU for their next camp in July," he said. "I really like the coaches and the atmosphere around the school over there. They got a great campus, and I have been talking to Coach Bert Hill a lot."

Thompson has no offers yet but has been impressing coaches at different camps throughout the summer. He ran a 4.44 40-yard dash at TCU,and still plans on checking out schools like Louisiana-Monroe, Houston, Tulsa, and Baylor.

"I haven't received an offer, but I'm hopeful that I'm close," he said. "I like SMU. I talked to Coach Hill a week ago and we had a good conversation. I think I would be a great fit there because I can do special teams, offense, and defense. Whatever they need me to do, I would be more than willing."

SMU already has multiple commitments from linebackers in the class of 2014, so Thompson is most likely being looked at for safety. In the end, however, he believes his skill set will allow him to be successful at any position.

"I prefer safety or linebacker because of my speed and discipline," he said "I'm looking for a school that has the right general mentality about their program, so the coaching staff is probably the most important thing to me."

Thompson even played a little running back for the Bulldogs last season and averaged 5.97 yards per carry. SMU could officially extend him an offer when they get a first-hand look at his speed and versatility next month.



Oklahoma State Commit Discusses SMU Interest

By EJ Holland

Earlier this week, 2015 Rockwall shooting guard Austin Grandstaff decided to commit to Oklahoma State. But as we know, the recruiting process is never officially over until that letter of intent is signed.

So is Grandstaff still considering SMU as an option?

"I don't really have a high interest in SMU. They offered me early and I visited, but I just don't want to be that close to home," he said. "SMU is a great school, and things might change, but they weren't one of my favorites."

Grandstaff acknowledged that things might change, and he does have a lot of respect for head coach Larry Brown.

"I think he attracts a lot of high major players because he can help get players to the league, and I think guys understand that," he said. "He's a great fit for SMU and is doing some really good things there."

But for now Grandstaff is a Cowboy and says he doesn't expect things to change anytime soon.



The Curious Case Of Jeremy Miller

By EJ Holland

Often we are quick to judge the coaches for miscommunicating offers and with good reason. But this one is on the player.

On Tuesday night, Tyler J.C. nose tackle Jeremy Miller claimed an offer on Twitter so naturally, I tracked him down and conducted an interview. Here is what he had to say:

"I actually found out from a friend (TCU commit Frank Kee) that all the coaches and the coaches were talking about it. I feel really great about it pushed my self in the spring. Frank Key one of my coaches. I talked to my coach the other day and that they were looking at me and that was."

Since it was late, I went ahead and posted and tweeted it out. The next day, I tried to confirm and found out through a source that he did not have an offer, which was not surprising since he hardly played last year and wasn't even on our radar.

Why he tweeted it out? I can't tell you, but Tyler J.C. offensive coordinator Ryan Mahon cleared some things up.

"We teach our kids not to claim offers on Twitter. I haven't talked to him, but I know he doesn't have an offer," he said. "Bert Hill does recruit at our school, but he hasn't shown any interest in Jeremy. There really isn't any interest whatsoever. Jeremy is a good player, and he might get offer, but Coach Hill is not recruiting him right now."

This was a strange one. But there really isn't anything to see here folks. Looks like Miller simply fabricated it. Moving on…



San Antonio Athlete Has Interest

By EJ Holland

Converse Judson is consistently one of the top programs in the San Antonio area so SMU would be smart to try to build a relationship with their coaches and players.

2014 athlete RayJohn Ramsey-Austin made a trip to SMU junior day earlier this spring along with teammates Cedric Williams and Justin Johnson and said he enjoyed it but wishes he could have seen more.

"I liked the campus and the facilities. It was really all nice," he said. "But we wanted to see more and get more information. There was a line to talk to Coach (Wes) Suan so I only got to say hi."

Since then, Ramsey-Austin says he hasn't heard much from Suan but has received a few letters and is considering camping at SMU next month.

"I'm thinking of going back up there and seeing everything again, but I just have to plan things out," he said. "Right now, I'm interested but I'm not sure how much since I don't know too much about them."

Ramsey-Austin is still looking for his first offer but has garnered interest from schools such as Texas State and UTSA. A versatile athlete, Ramsey-Austin passed for 1,221 yards, rushed for 561 yards and scored 21 total touchdowns last season.

"I'm just looking for the right fit for me," he said. "I feel like I could be a good slot receiver at the next level because I can make plays."

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