Spring practice has started for SMU and many high schools are gearing up for their spring ball, which means offers are starting to go out and recruiting for the 2015 class is heating up.
Beaumont Central (TX) safety James "P.J." Locke has blown up with nearly 15 offers from the likes of Oklahoma State, Arizona State, Baylor, Michigan State, Notre Dame and UCLA, but his first offer came from coach Dan Morrison and SMU and that's something Locke won't forget.
"There is a certain level of loyalty with SMU because they were my first offer. They were the first team that realized I had the ability to play college football," the three-star prospect said. "So I'm definitely going to be interested in SMU because I have to show that loyalty."
Locke made an unofficial visit before SMU's junior day and he came away thoroughly impressed with the program.
"They rolled out the red carpet for me. I got to meet June Jones and the defensive backs coach (Derrick Odum) for the first time. They were just happy that I was there. They said that I could play anywhere I wanted. I got to tour the facility again. I had already been there in the past so it wasn't anything new. But I got to try on the jerseys and meet some of the players."
SMU has had some issues at times with staying in contact with recruits, but Locke has a great relationship with Morrison, who has been on Locke since the ninth grade.
"I still remember when he first offered me. He came out to a spring practice and called me out and offered me. It was a special moment. I've kept in contact with him since."
With a 320-pund bench press and 410-pound squat, Locke has great strength for his 5-11, 180 pound frame, but still clocks a 4.52 forty-yard dash and while he is at safety at Beaumont, he could play any position in the defensive backfield.
Locke is excited about the way SMU sends players to the NFL, but also about SMU's sterling academic reputation. Locke doesn't have any favorites at the moment and wants to decide after the summer, but his decision will be difficult if he continues to rack up offers like he has
Locke finished his junior campaign with 82 tackles, an interception, 17 passes defended and forced three fumbles.