A Look Back At SMU's Last 5 Classes

Pony Stampede Publisher EJ Holland looks back at SMU's last five classes and how they've turned out

Class: 2009

MVP: Ja'Gared Davis

Runner Up: Taylor Reed

Hidden Gem: Sterling Moore

Biggest Bust: Ryan Clark

Review: Jones' first true class produced two defensive stalwarts in Davis and Reed. Davis was named first-team All-Conference USA and was selected to the Texas vs. the Nation Bowl after leading SMU after racking up 77 tackles including 11 for loss and two interceptions. Reed was named second –team All-Conference USA and was selected to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl after leading the Ponies with 101 tackles. Both Davis and Reed earned All-Conference USA honors for three straight years. Another gem in this class was Dallas Cowboys defensive back Sterling Moore, who made a couple of key plays during the Patriots' Super Bowl run last year. The only other FBS school to offer the JUCO corner was Eastern Michigan. Other notable SMU players in this class include wide receiver Darius Johnson and Kyle Padron, who transferred to Eastern Washington.

Current grade: B-

Class: 2010

MVP: Richard Crawford

Runner Up: Kenneth Acker

Gem: Randall Joyner

Biggest Bust- Stephen Kaiser

Review: This class anchored the team as seniors this year. Highly touted guys like Darryl Fields, Ricky Collins, Michael O'Guin and Stephen Kaiser, who Jones said he would have taken in the first round of the NFL Draft, completely flamed. Richard Crawford came from a JUCO so he didn't play with SMU this season-- he is now playing for the Washington Redskins. Crawford struggled in his first year on the Hilltop but became the team's lockdown corner as senior. Randall Joyner wasn't even offered until about a week before National Signing Day. But the two-way Carrollton Newman Star developed into a true leader for the defense this season. Jeremy Johnson also finally had that big season and Acker replaced Crawford as the team's lockdown corner.

Current grade: C+

Class: 2011

MVP: Stephon Sanders

Runner Up: Taylor Lasecki

Gem: Darius Joseph

Biggest Bust: Davon Moreland

Review: SMU saw a significant jump in team rankings thanks to the help of ace recruiter Adrian Klemm, who helped bring some top talent from California to the Hilltop. Unfortunately for SMU, none of those players really panned out. Davon Moreland and Dontae Levingston are no longer on the team while Conner Preston and Christian Holloway have yet to make any kind of impact. Even local prospects with BCS offers such as Arrius Holleman and K.C. Nlemchi, who were supposed to be key parts of the offense by now, have not seen significant playing time. Stephon Sanders, however, broke out as a freshman and solidified himself as a key starter. Taylor Lasecki anchored a young offensive line. A couple of other players such as Zach Wood, Darrian Wright, Jonathan Yenga and Darius Joseph all earned starting jobs and made impacts. But overall, too much of this class has yet to contribute to warrant a better grade.

Current grade: C

Class: 2012

MVP: Chauncey Briggs

Runner Up: Shakiel Randolph

Gem: Elie Nabushosi

Biggest Bust: Gehrig Dieter

Review: This class was hit hard when a number of top California prospects decommitted due to Klemm bolting for UCLA. All-American Gehrig Dieter did stick around despite his recruiter, Jeff Reinebold, leaving for the CFL. Dieter was one of only two players in this class to make any kind of impact as a true freshman last season as he caught 10 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown. But Dieter has a fall through with wide receivers coach Jason Phillips and has transferred to Bowling Green. It was difficult to list even a few players that have made any kind of impact. Chauncey Briggs earned a starting spot, but everybody else sat on the bench for most of the season-- except for Prescott Line who was ineffective and Shakiel Randolph who was replaced. Lincoln Richard, Sam Rice and Damien Neroes are no longer part of the program while the top recruit in this class, Seaver Myers, has yet to make an impact. Neal Burcham is the quarterback of the future so it'll be interesting to see what he can do.

Current grade: F

Class: 2013

MVP: JaBryce Taylor

Runner Up: Darrion Richardson

Gem: Daniel McCarty

Biggest Bust: Traylon Shead

Review: It's too early to judge this class, but it's not off to a great start. Shead declared for the NFL draft and never made the impact he was supposed to at running back. Taylor had some nice moments, as did Richardson and Deion Sanders Jr. Jeremiah Gaines saw time but wasn't utilized correctly, and Zelt Minor showed flashed of potential but was injured for most of the year. The rest of the group didn't see much time as true freshmen.

Current grade: C-

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