The Hilltop Review

Come inside for exclusive stories and info on SMU recruiting!

Update On Mitchell Brothers

By Omar Majzoub

There has been a lot of speculation about what Mike and Mickey Mitchell are going to do for college now that their father is sick. Rumors say the Mitchell brothers are thinking about living closer to their family and attending a school in Texas.

Mitchell's mom was quiet on both her kids' situation.

"I'm letting Mike and his coaches at Ohio State handle his situation," she said. "As for Mickey, I'll let him talk about his recruiting with you."

But Mickey didn't return any phone calls for the rest of the week. We hope to get in contact with him early next week. Obviously, this package of brothers would be a huge land for both Mustang programs.

Mickey is 6-foot-7, 220 pounder that plays at Plano West and for the Texas Titans in AAU. He is the No. 5 power forward and rated as a four-star in the Class of 2015. Currently, he is verbally committed to play at Ohio State next year.

Mickey is still committed to the Buckeyes, but sources tell us that a decommitment is likely to come before the end of the month. Prior to pledging to Ohio State, Mickey took an unofficial visit to SMU in the summer. Remember, he is also teammates with fellow 2015 SMU targets Tyler Davis, D.J. Hogg and King McClure.

Mike was a five-star football recruit in 2013 and recently announced that he intended to transfer from Ohio State. He is a 6-foot-4, 225-pound linebacker who played at Prestonwood Christian with June Jones' son.

He was rated the No. 2 linebacker in his class, but would have to sit out a year if he transferred to a school in Texas.



AAU Coach Talks Silva, SMU

By Adam Grosbard

It has been a long time since the entire country was talking about an SMU athletic team.

But now, even in New Jersey, recruit Chris Silva, who picked up an offer from SMU this past week, and his AAU coach Tom Sacks of the New Jersey Roadrunners are hearing a lot about the Mustangs.

"We talked about it. He's excited to get interest from Coach Brown. That win over Cincinnati got everyone's attention," Sacks said. "Coach Brown is doing a great job of putting together a good program. He's one of the best coaches in the country and what he did to that program in so short a time is amazing.

"I know about the renovations at the gym, he's recruited a couple more good kids for next year, just a lot of good things going on there. And the recruiting has taken it to a new level, from where SMU was a couple years ago to where it is now, it's a big difference."

Sacks thinks there is a completely different attitude now around the country about SMU than before the Larry Brown-era.

"I don't think there is any question. Larry Brown offered Isaiah Briscoe (Silva's teammate at Rosselle Catholic) and you know, kids are pretty excited," Sacks said. "They see SMU, and it's not like when Eric Dickerson was playing football there. You look at SMU now, they're climbing up the ladder beating big-time teams."

Sacks had originally planned on going to the SMU game against Rutgers with Silva but due to the delay of the game, they were unable to make it. Sacks says that Silva plans on meeting with Larry Brown soon to get a better idea about SMU.

"He spoke to Larry Brown the other day on the phone when Larry offered him officially and the intentions are for Larry to sit down with him and talk face-to-face about where their program is going and how Chris would fit in," Sacks said. "So they have sit face-to-face and work it between the two of them."

At 6-foot-9, 210-pounds, Silva is rated as a four-star prospect and the No. 19 center in his class. Silva can also play the four and is known for being a stalwart on the defensive end of the floor. If he can improve his offense this offseason, he will likely add even more offers to his already impressive list.

Along with SMU, Silva also holds offers from Syracuse, Rutgers, Cincinnati, Villanova, Seton Hall, Creighton, North Carolina State and Miami. Despite all that attention, Sacks did add that, "I think at the end of the day SMU would be a visit of his."



Rosselle Catholic On Briscoe, Silva

By Beionny Mickles

With the hour of his Valentines reservations quickly approaching, Rosselle Catholic (NJ) basketball coach Dave Boff had but a few minutes to talk about two of SMU's most recent interests-- 2015 big man Chris Silva and 2015 guard Isaiah Briscoe.

Silva, a 6-foot-9 power forward originally from Gabon, Africa, received an offer from SMU just this past week. Boff praised Silva's ability to rebound and shot block and says he can even step out to the three point line. But his offense will need work.

"His low post game is still very raw but his athleticism and his ability to shoot it make him a pretty good player," Boff said. "Right now at 6-foot-9, with his size, I'd like to see him score the ball a little more consistently in the post. Playing with his back toward the basket is the most important thing for Chris right now."

With offers from Syracuse, Cincinnati, Creighton and others, Silva is becoming one of the primetime targets in his class.

Briscoe, on the other hand, has a healthy supply of offensive weapons in his arsenal and is recognized as a natural playmaker in both the transition as well as half court game.

"Isaiah's a great decision maker and playmaker in transition," Boff said. "He can make plays for himself and he can make plays for other people. In the half court he's really good off ball screens. He's a strong guard so if you put him in ball screens he can take a bump and still get in the paint and make plays."

But for SMU head coach Larry Brown, defense is a player's key to unlocking minutes on the floor, and that's an area Briscoe would do well to improve.

"For Isaiah, I think (he needs to improve his) positioning in off the ball defense." Boff said. "I think he's good on the ball right now but when he's off the ball, he's got to be a little bit more focused defensively."

Being just a 25-minute trip away, Silva and Briscoe both planned to observe the SMU basketball team first hand in their game vs. Rutgers on Thursday. But Boff says when the heavy amount of snow postponed the matchup to a day later, plans were thrown out of whack.

Boff believes the job Brown has done at SMU thus far has big time high school recruits seriously considering the program including Silva and Briscoe.

"I think that SMU is a great program, an up-and-coming program," Boff said. "They play a good schedule and obviously Coach Brown does a great job of developing kids to potentially play overseas or maybe even in the NBA. I think SMU has everything that a kid would be looking for right now.

"I don't want to put any kind of percentage on it, but I think that both of these guys are going to look at SMU carefully. They'll give it it's just due and if it's the right fit then it's the right fit."



Prime Prep Combo Guard Talks SMU Interest, Visit

By EJ Holland

Five-star shooting guard Terrance Ferguson might get all the headlines, but Prime Prep also has another rising star in the Class of 2016.

De'Shawn Williams, who recently moved to Texas from Arkansas, is a big reason why Prime Prep is currently 14-5 and will be in the mix to make it to the national championship game. At 6-foot, 160-pounds, Williams has played both guard positions this season.

"I'm more of a scoring point guard that can shoot really well. But I think this season my defense has really improved," Williams said. "Playing with (Emmanuel) Mudiay has helped me get better at moving without the ball. He gets me open so I can make shots."

SMU head coach Larry Brown has been to multiple Prime Prep games this season and is keeping tabs on Williams.

"I've talked to their staff a little bit. It's mainly been Coach Brown," Williams said. "I got a chance to talk to him not too long ago. He told me to stay focused and told me they are really coming up now that they've landed Keith Frazier and Emmanuel Mudiay."

Williams did not play when Brown watched Prime Prep play last week due to injury, but he will return this week when his squad takes on Jawun Evans and Dallas Kimball.

While rehabbing, Williams found some time to make it to the Hilltop for SMU's game against Cincinnati along with Ferguson and his head coach Ray Forsett. Williams, who has also been attracting interest from Arkansas and UConn, said he was extremely impressed with the Mustangs.

"They played with great energy. The atmosphere was really crazy. That was my favorite game that I've been to," Williams said. "It was packed, and you can tell that people just really care about SMU basketball.

"SMU is definitely now one of my top three schools. It would be crazy to play for Larry Brown. He's a Hall of Fame coach, and I think I can learn a lot from him."



Morrison Visits Local QB (Sort Of)

By Scott Sanford

One of SMU's biggest attractions is that it is in the heart of Dallas, surrounded by high schools with talented players that are looking to stay close to home and play FBS football.

That's why SMU quarterbacks coach Dan Morrison made the short trip to Jesuit to meet with 2015 signal-caller Bo Schneider.

Schneider, who stands at 6-foot-4 ,217-pounds, got the low-down from his coach about why SMU was visiting him.

"I didn't actually talk to them, but my coach said he talked to them," Schneider said. "I think it was coach (Dan) Morrison. My coach said that Coach Morrison wanted to invite me to junior day, but he'd rather talk to me one-on-one."

But Schneider reached out and made an attempt to talk to Morrison and could not get ahold of him.

As a junior, Schneider threw for 3,185 yards and 31 touchdowns, but the Mustangs have not extended an offer to him just yet. The local quarterback, however, did say he would be very interested if SMU decided to pull the trigger.

"It'd be great (to play at SMU)," Schneider explained. "It'd be close to home, so that would be a plus, and they've got great facilities. I went to their camp and all of their coaches are nice, and they're great people so I would definitely consider it."

Besides a few brief conversations with the coaching staff during SMU's camp last year, Schneider has had no other contact with them, but he hopes to get a relationship going with Coach Morrison soon.

Schneider also said he does not have a date set yet, but he hopes to visit SMU in the near future. For now, Schneider will to focus on improving his game so that he can be leader for Jesuit next season.

"I want to work on my footwork and decision making," Schneider said. "I want to be able to extend a play if a play breaks down, but also be able to put my receivers in a position to make a play."

Other than SMU, TCU, Wake Forest, Duke, Arizona State and Texas Tech have all expressed interest in the rising senior, but Schneider is still waiting for his first offer.



SMU Targeting Local WR

By EJ Holland

Celina is one of the state's top small schools. With eight state titles to their name, the Bobcats always seem to produce some quality football players.

A couple of weeks ago, an unidentified SMU coach made the short trip to Celina to get an update on 2015 quarterback Nathan Elliott and 2015 wide receiver Cash Conder.

Although the coach only spoke to the Celina staff and not the actual prospects, Conder says he is interested in what the Mustangs have to offer.

"I'm pretty interested. I've gotten a few letters from them. I didn't get to talk to them when they came down here, but I did last spring," Conder said. "I haven't talked to them since then. But it's close to home, and they've turned around their program."

Conder attended North Texas junior day last weekend, and he plans on making it to SMU junior day next weekend followed by a trip to Louisiana Tech. Conder admits that he doesn't know too much about SMU but hopes to learn more during his time on campus.

"I really just want to build a relationship with the coaching staff. That's really what I'm looking forward to," Conder said. "I didn't really enjoy UNT's junior day because we didn't really get to talk to any of the coaches."

The 6-foot, 190-pounder led Celina with 49 receptions for 494 yards and 12 total touchdowns. Conder is also getting looks as an H-Back and holds an offer from Akron.

When it comes down to choosing a school, Conder says the coaching staff and simply feeling at home are the biggest factors.

"I just want to feel comfortable. I also want to be close to home and go to a school that has a great education as well," Conder said. "Coaches are the biggest factor. I like coaches that are fired up on the field and that you can talk to off the field."



San Antonio Athlete Recaps Visit

By EJ Holland

SMU junior day is just a week away, but 2015 Fredericksburg athlete Brayden Beard decided to stop by campus last week for an unofficial visit to get a closer look at the program.

Beard said he enjoyed his time on the Hilltop and is looking forward to returning next weekend.

"I just decided to drop by, and I got a chance to talk to Coach (Wes) Suan and Coach (June) Jones. They both seemed like great guys. They have an awesome coaching staff," Beard said. "It's a building process since they are just starting to look at guys in 2015.

"Coach Suan was really personable. He just told me what I needed to do to become a future Mustang. I love Coach Jones' offense. It was really cool that he talked to me since he's the head coach."

Beard does not hold any other offers but is attracting early interest from the likes of Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri and UTSA. Beard also attended North Texas' junior day last weekend.

At 5-foot-8, 185-pounds, Beard starred on both sides of the ball at Fredericksburg and established himself as one of the top small school players in the San Antonio-area by earning District 27-3A MVP and all-state honors at wide receiver and defensive back. Beard will likely play on offense at the next level.

"I would love to be like their Cole Beasley in the slot and also return punts," Beard said. "SMU is high on my radar because of the offense they run. I think can make an impact there. I also want to study engineering and Dallas is great for jobs. It would be really beneficial."

Beard hopes to pick up his first offer soon and plans on taking things slow. He says he is focused on North Texas and SMU right now but would like to see other schools this summer.



Local 3-Star DE Talks SMU

By Adam Grosbard

With National Signing Day come and gone, it is time to start looking forward to the 2015 recruiting class for SMU. One of the recruits on the Mustangs' board -- if they have one-- is Carl Thompson, a three-star defensive end from Denton Guyer.

"I'm actually very interested in SMU. I'd love to go there and play football," Thompson said. "It feels like the right place for me and to get a degree from SMU, I feel like I could get a better job and have a brighter future."

Thompson has not been heavily recruited by SMU at this point. SMU defensive line coach Bert Hill, however, has talked with Thompson previously but ‘it's been a while.'

It is hard to imagine why SMU is not putting in serious work with the 6-foot-4, 250-pound defensive end. Thompson was a captain on a Guyer team that won a state championship this past year and was lauded with accolades this past year.

"(My junior year) went better than I thought it would," Thompson said. "We won state again, first of all, and me personally, I was honorable mention all-state, first team all-district, and I led the team with sacks (10)."

Looking forward, Thompson has not decided if he will attend any camps this summer. His goal for his senior season is to win state again, with a team he describes as ‘better than ever.'

Thompson currently holds offers from Wake Forrest, Louisiana Tech and UCF. He also has received interest from TCU, Oklahoma State, Duke and Northwestern. He says that distance from home will not factor into his decision.



Oregon Athlete On SMU's Radar

By Scott Sanford

SMU has had some success recruiting the Pacific Northwest, where SMU head coach June Jones is originally from. In recent years, the Mustangs have pulled in guys like Kenneth Acker, Nate Halverson and Kolney Cassel.

A 2015 footballer that the Mustangs could show more interest in down the road is Roosevelt (OR) cornerback Billy Nelson.

Nelson, who has yet to make contact with the SMU coaching staff, said that the Mustangs, along with BYU, Boise State and Colorado State, have expressed interest in him via mail. He also holds an offer from Portland State.

"It's still kind of early in my recruiting, so I haven't done much research," Nelson said. "I would like to get to know all of the schools that are recruiting me though."

While the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Nelson does not know much about SMU, he did say that he would like to learn more about the school. Last season, Nelson played both defensive back and running back for Roosevelt. He rushed for 806 yards and six touchdowns and also recorded 31 tackles and three interceptions.

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