The Hilltop Review

Every Saturday morning, we provide exclusive stories and info!

3-star Shooting Guard Lists SMU In Top 3

By Omar Majzoub

The SMU coaching staff was very busy on the recruiting trail this past week going from one basketball tournament to another. They started in Philadelphia for the Reebok Breakout Classic and eventually made trips to Indianapolis for the Adidas Invitational and South Carolina for the EYBL Peach Jam Finals.

One of the recruits they watched in Philadelphia was three-star shooting guard Nick Babb of Arlington Martin. Babb picked up an SMU offer in early June and has remained in constant contact with the coaching staff since then.

"Coach Brown actually called me after the camp in Philly was over," Babb said. "He just told me how he thought I played and what I could have done better. He was just helping me and talking about the positives and negatives of what happened."

The 6-foot-4, 195-pounder has narrowed his list down to just SMU, Arkansas, and Texas A&M (Texas Tech and Tulsa were eliminated). He says the coaching staff and potential of the basketball program are the two biggest factors in his decision-making process.

"SMU is a really good school," he said. "Good academics, and I know the basketball program is going to be coming up because of Coach Brown. I think it would be a good opportunity for me."

Babb was also very complimentary of the new member of the coaching staff, KT Turner. Turner had been recruiting Babb at Wichita State, so the two already had a good relationship in-place before he joined the Mustangs.

"KT is really good guy, I like him a lot," Babb said. "I liked him when he was at Wichita State, but I knew that wasn't a good fit for me. He is a really good person to talk to and relate to. Now that he is at SMU, its just reassurance I can have a great relationship with the coaches."

On the court, Babb is a versatile wing that uses his strength and athleticism to score in multiple ways. He enjoys getting his teammates involved offensively and has the ability to be an excellent defender on the other end of the floor.

Babb says he plans on returning to the Hilltop for an official visit when basketball season starts. Although he is down to just three schools, the senior wants to remain patient and take his time picking which program is best for him.

"I don't want to rush into a decision and make it too early," he said. "This shouldn't be a spur of the moment thing. I'm probably thinking about finalizing it before my basketball season starts, so sometime during my first semester of school."



Scouting The Titans (vs. Seawolves)

By EJ Holland

PG Alex Robinson- A-Rob had a stomachache for most of the game, but he played like nothing was wrong and was the key catalyst in his team's victory. The most impressive thing about Robinson's game is his slashing ability. Robinson did a great job of splitting defenders with ease and at one point, he created three layup opportunities in a row for himself. He also dished out plenty of assists to his teammates and threw done a monster dunk. Defensively, Robinson plays with extreme intensity and made numerous steals and even a couple of blocks.

SF D.J. Hogg- The last time I saw Hogg live, he really struggled from the floor, making just one shot. But Friday was a completely different story. Hogg knocked down four shots from beyond the arch and appeared to be one of, if not, the most athletic player on the floor. He needs to be more physical on the defensive end and add more muscle to his frame. But Hogg is an intriguing prospect with plenty of room to grow.

C D'Jery Baptiste- Like Hogg, Baptiste has plenty of potential. A native of Haiti, he's only been playing basketball for a couple of years and struggled fundamentally. He lacked quality post moves and looked awkward when dribbling. But the 7-footer did show a lot of positives on the defensive end, where he is a shot blocking machine. Baptiste frustrated four-star Elbert Robinson down low and kept him in check for most of the game. If Baptiste can add some bulk to his lanky frame, he can develop into a similar player as fellow Haitian and new Dallas Mavericks center Sam Dalembert, who can contribute here and there offensively but is as solid as they come defensively.

C Tyler Davis- Davis was perhaps the most impressive player on the floor. High motor was mentioned a multitude of times when talking about 2013 signee Ben Moore, and that's exactly what Davis has. This big man has a non-stop motor that allows him to make key rebounds, put backs and come away with loose balls. He also looked more athletic than Elbert Robinson and made some great post moves on him. Davis is just an all-around impressive center and should see his recruitment skyrocket in the very near future.



SMU Offer Still Stands For Massive OL

By Beionny Mickles

At 6-foot-7, 320-pounds, 2014 offensive lineman David Anzaldua is quite a load for a defensive lineman to handle. The Edinburg North athlete currently holds offers from Houston, UTEP, UTSA and SMU and has gained interest from schools such as Arizona and Texas A&M.

Rumors have circulated that Analzuda's offer from SMU was retracted, but the offensive lineman says that to his knowledge the offer still stands. Anzaldua says he has developed a good relationship with his recruiter, SMU running backs coach Wes Suan, and says SMU sounds like a place where he could see himself being.

"Coach Suan visited me during the offseason, and he talked to me about the campus and everything," Anzaldua said. "It sounded really nice. One of my cousins also got a full scholarship to play golf there, and she told me good things about it.

"One of the other good things about it is I'm also a Methodist so that was a plus for me."

Anzaldua says that because of his religion and the good word of mouth he has gotten about SMU, the Mustangs are at the top of the list of schools that have offered him thus far.

"SMU's pretty high up there," Anzaldua said. "I'd say my top two are SMU and between UTSA and UTEP."

Anzaldua might be attracting bigger fish however as he will be attending a football camp at Texas A&M in College Station this weekend. The massive blocker says A&M is a school he thinks would fit him well and if they were to offer, he would probably commit on the spot. But for now, he is keeping an open mind.

"Everything (offers) that I've gotten so far has been a blessing," Anzaldua said. "Hopefully I get more throughout the season. As of right now I'm open minded but the offers I have now I'm really happy to have them."

Anzaldua says that his goals for this upcoming season is to show college coaches that his game has matured and that he has progressed since his sophomore season. He also wants to show everyone from his hometown that he can make it out of South Texas, an are that produces at most three FBS prospects per year.



Hill Contacts Nose Tackle

By Russell Palmer

It's no wonder that after his Texas Class 3A Division II state championship performance, Navasota defensive tackle Jordan Wells had an increase in the number of schools contacting him about the possibility of joining on of their prestigious programs.

It also just so happens that SMU has a desperate need for talent at defensive tackle, which may be why SMU's defensive line coach Bert Hill contacted Wells recently to talk about the Mustang program.

"He told me that they have a great program, a winning program, and that they are a great school to go to," said Wells. "He also said he thinks I'd be a good fit and wants me to come play for them."

With SMU needing a nose guard badly, and Wells having such high interest in the Mustangs, it seems like this could end up being a match made in heaven.

"I've been watching SMU since I was young, and I've noticed that they are a winning team, a winning program, and I think I'd be a good fit," he said. "I like the coaches I've talked to and like the academic part of SMU too. Academics are huge to me. I want to go and get my degree so if football doesn't work I have something to fall back on.

"They haven't offered me anything yet, but they told me they like the way I play and if I keep my grades up they would be back to talk to me."

While Wells does not have any offers as of yet, he has been receiving interest from schools such as Texas A&M, LSU, and Texas and says those schools, along with SMU are interested in watching him this season before making a decision on whether to offer him or not.

If SMU is unable to get one of their higher profile targets at nose tackle, don't be surprised if Wells receives a late offer from the Mustangs.



Suan Targeting San Antonio Nose Tackle

By EJ Holland

SMU is still in need of a nose tackle and offensive line coach Wes Suan is taking a proactive approach when it comes to finding a cog in the middle.

Earlier this week, Suan used social media, which, believe it or not, is quite popular these days to get in contact with Trae Gardner out of San Antonio Roosevelt.

"Coach Suan messaged me on Facebook a couple of days ago and asked me for my number. I still haven't heard from him, but I'm looking forward to it," Gardner said. "He actually came down to watch me in the spring and has sent me a few letters. He said they were interested in me, but they needed to see me in person."

Gardner, who currently holds an offer from Air Force, says he would definitely consider SMU if an offer was extended.

"I don't really know too much about SMU, but I would listen," he said. "I really like the academics. My parents want me to go to a good school, and they like SMU. I just want to see it and get a feel for it."

Gardner says he hopes to camp with SMU on July 28 along with teammate Rashad La'Fond, a 2014 safety. The 6-foot, 272-pounder has already camped with Arizona State, Texas, UNT and UTEP this summer and will be at UTSA this weekend.

"I can't wait to camp at UTSA. They are probably my favorite right now," he said. "They always mention me on Twitter, and the coaches are all really cool. I hope I can pick up the offer."



Highly Touted 2015 Safety Holds High Interest

By EJ Holland

Carson Shaw has yet to hear from SMU, but that doesn't mean he isn't interested.

The 2015 safety out of Lawrence County (TN) already holds offers from Arizona State, California, Illinois and Nebraska but hopes the Mustangs get in the mix soon.

"My father has sent some emails to the coaches telling them about my interest," he said. "I love SMU because it's a very prestigious school. I've always loved the legacy in the 80s and even now. It's a smaller school, but it's a fantastic place for football and to get a quality education."

But with a quartet of BCS offers, where exactly would SMU stand if June Jones and company decided to extend a scholarship?

"SMU would be right there at the top. They would be in my top two, maybe even one," Shaw said. "I love football, and it's one of the best things in my life right now, but academics come first, and that's why SMU is so appealing."

An extremely intelligent player, Shaw, who scored a 32 on his ACT, is also a tenacious headhunter in the secondary. He has been turning plenty of heads this summer after missing the 2012 season.

Shaw recently impressed at camps at Arizona State, California, Stanford and Washington. He will not be able to attend SMU's camp on July 28 but hopes to make an unofficial visit to the Hilltop in the fall.

VIDEO: Jacolbie Butler On SMU

By Billy Embody





Hill Targeting Florida Corner

By Adam Grosbard

2014 Florida cornerback Alex Jasmin is keeping his college options open going into his senior season but is keeping an eye on SMU.

"I've got most schools at a medium interest level until I take a visit," Jasmin said. "I've watched some of (SMU's) highlights on YouTube, and I was pretty impressed by what I saw. I like their defense that they run, the little schemes that they run and everything so that's pretty good for me because I play (defensive back). I'm a defensive player so that's a must for me."

At cornerback last year for Palm Bay, Jasmin lead Brevard County in interceptions, and the 6-foot-1, 175-pounder has even bigger goals in mind for his senior year.

"I'm trying to get over ten interceptions and over 40 tackles at the corner position," he said.

Despite being listed as a cornerback, Jasmin also plays wide receiver, safety, and quarterback. This versatility would make him especially valuable to the Mustangs.

Jasmin plans on visiting SMU in October to meet with Coach (Bert) Hill, who has been recruiting the cornerback on an infrequent basis.

"We keep in contact but he's a busy guy and I'm also busy too so I'll give him a call once in awhile and we'll communicate," Jasmin said.

Jasmin has received an offer from Eastern Illinois as well as interest from Miami and Arkansas, among other schools.



Local ATH Camps With SMU

By Adam Grosbard

Wylie quarterback Kameron Kelly camped at SMU this summer and liked what he saw, even if the Mustangs want the 6-foot-3, 180-pound 2014 prospect as an athlete and not a quarterback.

"I've been to SMU plenty of times," Kelly said. "I went to camp with them as a quarterback. I think that if I market myself as more of an athlete, I'll probably get more of an interest."

Despite Kelly's desire to play quarterback in college, he acknowledges that there is a good chance that he will sign on as an athlete instead.

"I'll probably end up going to college as an athlete," he says. "I have a lot of offers from smaller schools as quarterback and I'm getting looked at by a lot of bigger schools as an athlete or receiver."

Kelly, who hasn't heard much from the SMU staff since the camp, agrees that this interest in him as an athlete likely has a lot to do with his impressive game against Royse City, in which he rushed for 100 yards in 13 carries, including a 17-yard touchdown run.

But he also has another theory for why schools are not considering him as a quarterback yet.

"I don't have a lot of film of me at the quarterback position because I got injured last year," Kelly says. "I broke my elbow (in the first game of the 2012 season), and I missed six to seven weeks."

Kelly had a 76 percent completion percentage last season despite the injury and holds offers from Navy and Texas Tech. His ability to run could make him a dangerous dual-threat quarterback if he proves himself as a passer this year.



Local WR Camps With SMU

By Russell Palmer

With only one receiver committed in the 2014 recruiting class, SMU has started to target some local talent to help fill the need of a dynamic playmaker.

One of those targets is Garland receiver Jalen Evans, who camped at SMU and had great things to say about his time on the Hilltop.

"I enjoyed the camp a lot. I liked being able to talk to the coaches and learned from them. I think I preformed pretty well, which I was happy about, " he said. "I also enjoyed how beautiful the campus was."

While at the camp, Evans had a chance to talk to wide receivers coach Jason Phillips and the leader of the SMU program, June Jones, and was impressed with what they had to say.

"I talked to coach (Jason) Phillips and coach (June) Jones during the camp," he said. "They told me that I was doing a good job and to continue doing so and if I did that, they would follow up on me during the season."

Evans already has ties to the SMU program as former teammate Nick Horton will be entering his freshman year on the Hilltop, and the two have stayed in contact.

"I am really interested in SMU because I have a teammate that is there now," he said. "It also has good location, being close to home, which is a big factor of mine."

At 5-foot-8, 163-pounds, Evans will have to add size to his frame before entering college but if he is able to do so, he could be an ideal fit for the slot in the famed Run N' Shoot offense.

Along with SMU, schools such as North Texas and New Mexico have expressed interested in Evans, who says along with location, academics is a big factor in his recruitment.

"Whether or not the school has my major is big to me along with having a good relationship with the coaching staff." he said.

Last season, Evans caught 30 passes for 420 yards and six touchdowns for the Owls.



Houston-Area WR Calls SMU ‘Ideal Place To Go'

By Omar Majzoub

Atascocita wide receiver Greg Campbell is one of the most versatile players in the state of Texas. He has an ability to play three or four positions at a high level and would be a good fit at almost any program.

The 6-foot, 170-pounder had planned to camp at SMU and meet with the coaching staff earlier this month but never got the chance. But Campbell says the Mustangs are still very much in the mix.

"I wanted to come to Dallas for their camp, but I wasn't able to because of my schedule," he said. "I went up for junior day though and I think it's a great school. I loved the campus when I toured it and it's not too far from home. I would say its one my ideal places to go."

Campbell has been in constant contact with coaches from North Texas, TCU, Louisiana-Monroe, and Utah this summer. He is hoping to build a similar relationship with the SMU coaching staff, but has not heard back from them very much.

"I send them my highlight videos and stuff," he said. "I just want to remind the coaches that I'm here. I only met them briefly and want a chance to get closer with them."

Campbell is listed an athlete who has the ability to play quarterback, running back, wide receiver, or corner. Last season, he was named 13-5A first-team all district after having 61 receptions, 870 yards and 11 touchdowns as a receiver. But the Atascotia coaching staff has said they need him to play under center next year.

"I think I can play anything," Campbell said. "I like being listed as an athlete because that lets coaches know I'm willing to do anything to help the team. My football I.Q. is the best part of my game. Football just comes easy to me because I have been playing since I was 10-years-old."

Campbell is hoping to fine-tune his game and add on some weight during his senior year. He says staying healthy is the most important thing, but he also hopes to make a college decision soon.

"I really want to talk to my parents about allowing me to narrow down my list of schools," he said. "I guarantee SMU will be on my list when I narrow it down, too. I love being close to my parents and being around Texas is really important to me. Dallas and SMU would be a perfect fit."



Barr Plans To Visit SMU

By Scott Sanford

2014 Gilmer athlete Tanner Barr has yet to receive an offer from any of the schools interested in him, but he's not letting that sway his attention from his offseason workouts and improving as a football player.

Along with SMU, Abilene Christian and Texas State have expressed interest, but Barr has no favorite at the moment. Barr did, however, attend SMU junior day this past spring and liked everything about the campus, coaching staff and the school itself.

"It's pretty simple actually, the school's just on the rise," explained Barr. "The coaching staff is great, the facilities are some of the nicest I've seen and the school has a great academic reputation."

With SMU playing in a brand new conference this season, Barr also plans to visit the campus once or twice and hopefully attend a game.

Barr, who plays both quarterback and safety for Gilmer, believes that SMU's interest in him is at the safety position, but his recruiter, Bert Hill, has not specifically said what position they're interested in him playing. The two have exchanged emails this offseason.

Because he is keeping his options open, Barr also still plans to take a long, hard look into Abilene Christian and Texas State.

"I went to Abilene Christian about a month ago and toured the campus, and I plan on visiting Texas State in the fall sometime," Barr said.

As much as he has enjoyed the recruiting process so far, Barr is still focused on his senior year and proving to college coaches that he can play either quarterback or safety at the next level.

"I've been lifting, running and throwing footballs as much as I can," said Barr. "I'm just trying to be a better, quarterback and football player overall."

Last season, Barr compiled close to 4,000 yards of total offense, 30 touchdowns and led the Buckeyes to the 3A Division II state title game.



Argyle ATH On SMU's Radar

By Beionny Mickles

Argyle athlete Reese Thomspon says that he gets asked whether he's a football player or track star all the time. His answer is, "I'm not really sure."

The 6-foot, 170-pound athlete has yet to receive any offers in football but says that most of his interest has come from Sam Houston State, Texas Tech and SMU. In track however, Thompson has a plethora of bigger schools interested in his services.

"I'm getting talked to by Texas, Texas Tech, Louisville, UCLA, Arkansas and UNT for track," Thompson said. "I'm shooting to be a decathlete."

Thompson got the opportunity to visit SMU for junior day which he says he really enjoyed. Thompson, who is not much of a big city person, says he would have to adapt to the feel of a school like SMU but if he were offered, he could see himself adjusting to the culture.

"It would be an interesting opportunity for sure," Thompson said. "I'm not really a city kind of kid but I can get used to it.

"They have a lot of young athletes going there and they're trying to build their program up. I could see myself going to SMU. It would be a good opportunity."

In football, Thompson, who was visited by SMU defensive line coach Bert Hill late in the spring, is being recruited both at cornerback as well as wide receiver. Thompson says he grew up playing receiver but in middle school and high school he switched over to defense.

Thompson says he would be willing to explore the option of going to a school that has both a track and football program but he won't limit himself to that. The athlete says his decision will be based on who offers him the best scholarship and the feel of the program.

"I love football to death and I love track to death," Thompson said. "It's going to come down to whatever sport offers me the best scholarship. I could honestly go either way."



Reprogle Hopes To Hear From SMU

By Scott Sanford

In most instances, it's not hard for a 6-foot-4, 304-pound man to get noticed. But for FB Austin offensive lineman Ryan Reprogle, that's all he is trying to do.

Reprogle has been taking advantage of his extra free time during the summer by running, working out and doing footwork drills to stay sharp for his senior year.

According to Reprogle, Rice, UTSA, Texas State, North Texas and SMU are the five schools showing the most interest in him at this point, but TCU is starting to show more interest and even Maryland could be interested.

Of the schools interested, Reprogle has had the chance to visit SMU, North Texas and Texas State, but hopes to visit others as well. Reprogle had the chance to camp with SMU attend junior day and thought it was a fun experience overall.

"The coaches were nice, there were just a lot of people," Reprogle said. "But the campus was really beautiful and obviously they have great academics there."

What actually is most enticing about SMU for Reprogle is the business school. If offered, Reprogle, who has a 4.6 GPA (6.0 scale), would have to strongly consider the Mustangs just because of their academic reputation.

"I'm looking for a school with a decent football team and great academics and SMU fits that description," said Reprogle.

Reprogle hasn't had much contact with the coaching staff since attending junior day, and the Mustangs appear to be full at offensive line, but he still hopes to attend a game in the fall.

While the academics of schools like Texas State, North Texas and UTSA may not compare to SMU's, Reprogle will consider all schools interested in him, at least for the time being.

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