The day before National Signing Day is always full of surprises.
On Tuesday, the Mustangs picked up commitments from two Army Prep players as well as Oceanside (CA) kicker/punter Jackson Koonce.
"SMU came along late in the process, but they have a lot to offer," Koonce said. "They have a great education and a great up and coming program. They had been in contact, but it was nothing serious. Then they offered, and I'm very honored to compete."
Koonce was one of a handful of 2014 uncommitted prospects that made official visits to SMU this past weekend. Koonce said he enjoyed his time on campus and meeting some of his future teammates.
Air Force and Army also extended offers, but the visit ultimately won him over.
"It's a great campus. It's very traditional. It's also in a great location," Koonce said. "I loved getting to meet some of the team. Neal Burcham was my host, and he was great. He gave me some insight on the coaching staff and how they run the program. I was really happy to have him."
SMU's special teams struggled tremendously in 2013. Koonce is expected to help the Mustangs immediately as a punter and will also serve as a backup kicker to Chase Hover.
This past season, Koonce averaged 34.4 yards per punt with a long of 60. He also pinned opponents inside the 20-yard-line on 15 of his 34 total punts. As a kicker, he made 46-of-49 extra points and 4-of-8 field goals with a long of 52.
"Coach (Carlos) Barocio-Leaon was a really nice guy," Koonce said. "He wants me to come in and compete for the starting job at punter and possibly win it and also be behind the current kicker who is coming back.
"I also enjoyed talked to Coach (June) Jones, and he's happy to have me too. He's a legend. I train with Darren Bennett, and he played for Coach Jones with the Chargers, and he had some great things to say about him. He seems like a really down to earth guy. He's like a mentor."
Koonce plans to sign with SMU on Wednesday and will arrive on campus this summer.
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