The Hilltop Review

Every Saturday morning, we provide exclusive stories and info!

McQuaid Recaps Visit

By Scott Sanford

While basketball coaches and fans anxiously wait to hear the decisions from the 2014 recruiting class, there is still a lot of time for the Class of 2015 to take shape.

Junior Duncanville shooting guard Matt McQuaid understands that. While McQuaid knows the recruiting process is important, he doesn't want to worry about it just yet.

"I'm still just trying to take in everything right now," McQuaid said. "I've got a lot of time to figure out what school is right for me."

McQuaid, who averaged 12 points a game as a sophomore, recently visited the Hilltop for the Texas Tech football game and really enjoyed his time on campus.

"I really like what they (SMU) have to offer," said McQuaid. "It's close to home and they are starting to really improve. They should be good this year."

Not only did the campus impress McQuaid, but he also has a lot of respect for the entire coaching staff, especially Larry Brown.

"I like all of the coache,s and I've got good relationships with them so that's cool," explained McQuaid. "Also, Coach (Larry) Brown is a Hall of Fame coach who has coached some of the best players in the NBA so I feel like I could learn a lot from him."

McQuaid also keeps in regular contact with the coaches, exchanging weekly texts with Brown and coach Ulric Maligi.

While playing close to home would mean a lot to the 6-foot-5 junior, he hears regularly from schools nation-wide and wouldn't mind leaving Texas. So far, McQuaid has received offers from 15 schools including Baylor, Texas, SMU, Kansas State, Miami and more.

At this point, McQuaid has no favorites and says that, 'all of the schools that are interested in me are even in my book.'



Houston-Area LB Invited To Game

By Adam Grosbard

If Josh Ehambe doesn't commit, Cy Woods 2014 outside linebacker Taylor Holmes may be an option.

He was recently invited to attend an SMU football game and is very interested in playing for the Mustangs.

"I got an email from Coach (Tom) Mason," Holmes said. "I email him every once in a while. I'm going to try to make one. I still have to schedule everything out so I'm not sure which one yet. I'm interested though, highly interested. They're a great school, great academics and a great football team."

Holmes, listed at 6-foot-1, 206-pounds, camped at SMU in June this summer.

"The camp went great," Holmes said. "That was when I first started contact with Mason. He saw something in me, but he didn't tell me what.

"I've been there with my parents and walked around. It was nice. I felt like I could go there. It was welcoming. I felt like I could go to school there. I liked the surroundings of it."

Holmes played a key role in Cy Wood's 28-26 victory over Cy Ridge Thursday night.

"It was last minute, Cy Ridge attempted a two-point conversion, and I went in and deflected the pass," Holmes said.

Holmes holds an offer from Army and has also been recruited by Boise State, Northwestern, Utah State, New Mexico, Purdue, Vanderbilt and UTSA. He put SMU in his top three with Boise State and Northwestern.



2015 Offensive Lineman Visits

By Beionny Mickles

SMU hosted 2015 Sulpher Springs center Landon Watkins during its home game vs. Montana State two weeks ago. The trip was Watkins' first college visit and the high school junior was not disappointed.

"It was good. The coaches talked to me a lot and they seem really interested," Watkins said. "I liked the whole atmosphere of it and the academics as well as the location. I had a good time."

Watkins had a lengthy conversation with SMU offensive line coach Wes Suan and walked away hopeful that he might be getting an offer sometime in the future.

"I think they (SMU) will (offer)," Watkins said. "I can't really say whether they will or not, but I think they will."

Watkins has not received any offers but SMU and Midwestern State are schools showing him interest at this point in time.

The 6-foot-1, 270pound offensive lineman has a long way to go within his recruiting process and if SMU were to extend a scholarship, he would have a tough decision to make.

"I'd like to wait and see how everything pans out but if SMU offered I'd strongly consider committing," he said.

In his first three games at Sulphur Springs this year, Watkins has recorded four pancake blocks.

VIDEO: Chris Parks Ready For A&M





2-Star WR Talks SMU interest

By Omar Majzoub

After landing the commitment of four-star quarterback Tyler Harris, SMU coaches have been trying to add a big play wide receiver to pair with their new talented signal-caller.

One possibility is class of 2014 receiver Brandon Colon from Los Fresnos (TX). At 6-foot-4, 205-pounds, Colon would be a great addition to the SMU roster and got a chance to camp at the Hilltop earlier this summer.

"I definitely loved it," he said. "I think it's a really good school. Whenever I went in the summer, I liked the coaches a lot. They are a really good group and it's a good program. It's also a really good location."

Colon says the SMU coaching staff was one of the most impressive groups he has met with. He especially enjoyed meeting wide receivers coach Jason Phillips.

"They are all really good," he said. "They really know what they're doing, and I had a lot of fun at their camp. Coach (Jason) Phillips taught us a lot in the little time that we were there."

Colon strongly believes a great coaching staff is the key to a successful program. Because of that, he says the coaches will be one of the biggest factors in his decision-making process.

"I'm mainly looking at academics and seeing what the football program has to offer," he said. "I want feel comfortable with the entire coaching staff. I think that means a lot because it's where I'm going to be for four years, so I think the people I'm going to be around and the education I will receive are my biggest factors."

Colon has received offers from Navy and UTSA. He believes SMU could be a great fit for him, but doesn't know if the program feels the same way.

"I actually haven't heard from them in a while," he said. "It's pretty disappointing."

At his size, Colon can be a big-time playmaker in college. Wide receivers with that type of height are always a great target down near the goal line for an offense.

"I definitely would say I'm great at the jump ball," he said. "When I get a fade throw, especially in the end zone, I'm at my best. The quarterback can just throw it up."

Colon has no timetable on when he will commit and doesn't have any immediate visits planned. As for this season, he has set his individual and team goals very high.

"I want my team to go as far as possible," he said. "I want to win district and make a deep playoff run. I want to make some noise this year as a team then individually just do everything better than I did last year. I'm trying to improve on everything."



Cedar Hill WR Likes SMU

By Adam Grosbard

SMU could still add a wide receiver in the Class of 2014.

And Cedar Hill senior wide receiver Jaidron Hurd may be an option. He camped at SMU in July and impressed the staff.

"The camp went great," Hurd said. "I had a lot of fun, learned a lot and I got the opportunity to talk to Coach (Jason) Phillips (the SMU wide receivers coach). He talked to me a lot about what they look for in a receiver and some technical things. He taught me some tricks to separate myself from the defender which I was using this season."

Hurd has not been in touch with Phillips since that time and has not been formally recruited by SMU. He has, however, received interest from several smaller schools but is not close to a decision.

"I'm not really about to make a decision anytime soon," Hurd said. "So far Colorado State is the front runner recruiting-wise. They've been checking up on what I've been up to a lot."

The lack in serious interest in Hurd has a lot to do with his injury issues. In fact, Hurd was injured in the first game of his junior year and missed the rest of the seaso n after tearing his ACL.

"The first play of the game I was back to receive the kick off and I caught the ball and planted my foot and it just stuck," he said.

Hurd was poised for a breakout senior season. Corbett Smith of the Dallas Morning News declared that Hurd was "Cedar Hill's solution to do-everything Texas A&M signee Laquvionte Gonzalez.'

But then it happened again.

"Two or three weeks ago, I tore my other ACL," Hurd said. "There's this thing with my patella. I'm 5-11 but my patella's are like a 6-3, 6-4 person's so I was susceptible. I'm going in for surgery next Wednesday and I'll be rehabbing hard again right after that. I'm going to be strong enough in January for the beginning of track season."



Scouting Report: Lance Cottrell

By EJ Holland

I mentioned after Week 1 that I needed to see Lance Cottrell again before giving my final verdict, and I got to see him in action on Friday against Mesquite. I believe that Cottrell is definitely going to need that redshirt year, but the potential is certainly there. Cottrell has good sideline-to-sideline speed and did a nice job of putting pressure on the quarterback and got a sack while playing the SAM linebacker spot in Plano West's 4-3 scheme. In SMU's 3-4 defense, his speed will be better utilized as a pass rushing outside linebacker. Cottrell did well in pass coverage minus one big play, where he was out of place. He told me that was area he really worked on this summer. I think the bottom line is Cottrell just needs to add weight and be more aggressive. He doesn't deliver big hits, is sometimes hesitant when coming up and making tackles and stays on blocks for too long. But I think with a redshirt year, he can put on about 20 pounds and be physically ready to compete for playing time. With his current frame, he is not. I caught up with Cottrell after the game and got some video, but my stupid phone erased it. He basically said that he's still solid and hopes to make SMU's next game.



A look at how some of the SMU commits did…

- Austin Westlake QB Jordan Severt passed for 215 yards and two touchdowns in a 49-21 loss to Cibolo Steele.

- Plano West OLB Lance Cottrell notched six tackles and a sack in a 44-21 win over Mesquite.

- Leander DE Michael Epley recorded a sack in a 40-3 win over Pflugerville.

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