The Hilltop Review

Come inside for this week's Hilltop Review where we recap the latest news in the recruiting world!

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Ware Looking to Visit SMU Soon

By Patrick Engel

Last season, SMU's running game was nonexistent. The coaches made an effort to address the problem with the Class of 2014, and are looking to stock up on more running backs from the Class of 2015. Junior running back Aca'cedric Ware (Cedar Hill, TX/Cedar Hill) caught the team's eye.

"I talked to the coach (most likely Jason Phillips) a couple times, and he made a nice impression on me," Ware said. "They are really cool coaches, I can tell if I do come to SMU I'll get a long with them just fine. I like SMU, it has been one of my favorite schools. If I get a chance to take a visit down there I'll surely take that chance."

SMU offered Ware a couple weeks ago, giving him nine total offers from the likes of Clemson, Florida, Mississippi, Northwestern, Iowa, Maryland, Houston, and Texas Tech.

He said some of his favorites are SMU, Mississippi, Northwestern, and Florida.

Ware excels off the football field as well as on it. One of his coaches, Calvin Ruzicka, said that Ware is a strong student.

"Talking with Ware, he's expressed interest in schools to me such as Northwestern and Stanford. I know he takes his academics very seriously," Ruzicka said.

Ware also mentioned California as a school he is interested in because of academics.

Cedar Hill, a perennial power, went all the way to the Class 5A state championship game in 2013, and Ware was a big reason why.

"I started off my junior season with an injury, I tore my hip flexor, so I had to miss five games," Ware said about his junior season. "The first game I came back, I ended up with 13 carries and over 100 yards. Ever since then, the 100 yards a game continues throughout the season. My team did a heck of a job, especially the defense. I'm trying to get bigger, faster, and stronger and have another breakout season next year."

Ware finished the 2013 season with 1,270 yards and 12 total touchdowns. He is a big, powerful back, standing 5-foot-11 and weighing 198 pounds.

Brown Looking for First Offer

By Patrick Engel

SMU's Class of 2014 was light on defensive tackles and ends, but the Mustangs hope to find some impact players on the defensive line in the Class of 2015. Defensive tackle Robert Brown (Fort Worth, TX/North Crowley High School) is one of the SMU coaching staff's top targets.

However, SMU will have plenty of competition for Brown's services, as defensive linemen have become even more valuable in today's college game.

Brown attended SMU's junior day in late February, according to his coach, Eugene Rogers, who just finished his first year on the job.

"He did visit, but I haven't had a chance to speak with him about his impressions" Rogers said. "He currently doesn't have any offers, he's still in the process of trying to get those offers."

Rogers said he expects his star defensive tackle to get some offers soon. He has generated some significant interest, including from the defending national champions.

"I know he's supposed to go to Florida State for a junior day, I think Oregon has spoken with him."

Rogers said that Brown does not have any favorites yet, but that could change soon.

"Robert is kind of an impressionable young man. He hasn't said a favorite, but I think that maybe the first (school) that offers, he might jump on that because he's very impressionable and he likes those schools. He talks about LSU a lot, he talks about Texas, and of course Alabama, but those haven't offered him," Rogers added.

Brown had a strong junior season. Rogers said that he considered transferring when the coaching change was made, but after Rogers convinced him to stay, he was extremely pleased with his play.

"He's strong, he's flexible, he has a great ball get-off, and he's going to be the first one off the ball. Robert played tackle and we put him out at end, and he excelled out there. He's very versatile, quick, and very agile," the coach said. "Robert has a very high football IQ, he's very coachable."

Brown was named first-team All-District at defensive tackle after his junior season, and had a strong season statistically.

"He had at least 66 – and maybe more – tackles, 15 tackles for loss, and six sacks," Rogers reported.

Todd Liking SMU, Hoping for Offer

By Patrick Engel

Offensive line was one of the strong spots in SMU's Class of 2014, and head coach June Jones looks like he wants to make it a priority in the Class of 2015. Among the many linemen SMU is pursuing is Landon Todd (Azle, TX/Azle).

Todd was on of three Azle players who attended SMU's junior day in February, along with his twin brother Logan and teammate Johnny Crow.

"I had a really good experience there and I really liked the campus," Todd said. "I'm really interested in them and it's a nice school, and I'd love to get to play there."

An SMU coach, likely Derrick Odum, contacted Todd's coach and sent him a junior day invite in the mail. Todd first met the SMU coaching staff at the junior day.

"I think they are hard workers," he said about the staff.

A number of schools from all levels have shown interest in Todd.

"I don't have any offers, but I've got a bunch of contacts from D-III and D-II schools like emails and camp invites," he added. "I've been put on the prospect lists for a couple D-I's like New Mexico and North Texas, and I've been invited to watch their spring practice."

Todd said that is happy with his individual performance last season, but said that he is excited to see what his senior-laden team can do this coming season.

"We have a lot of potential, and we had a lot of injuries last year," Todd said. "I had a pretty good season, especially considering that our team wasn't that great. We should be pretty great next year, we're looking at a playoff run and we have mostly seniors on our team next year."

Todd is 6-foot-3 and weighs 270 pounds. He primarily plays offensive tackle but also can play guard.

Corbett Wanting to Hear More About SMU

By Billy Embody

2015 outside linebacker Austin Corbett has been gaining interest in SMU following his offer, which led him to visiting for junior day.

"When I went to their junior day, I was really disappointed Coach Mason wasn't there," Corbett said. "But I got to talk to Coach Daniels, and he was a great guy. It was cool to get to know him a little bit."

Although Corbett didn't meet Mason, the visit left a good impression on the Plano East prospect.

"It's a great school. I liked the facilities, and the stadium is beautiful," Corbett said. "I still have strong interest in SMU. They are probably in the middle of the pack right now. I like the coaching staff and their style, and it's close to home."

Corbett said he's going to be taking it slow and is exploring his other options, which includes UTSA and Harvard on his offer list. The 6-4, 215 Corbett visited UTSA to check out spring practice as well.

Mason has only communicated with Corbett through email and hasn't heard much, but Daniels impression left Corbett feeling good.

"He just talked to me about the day at SMU and all the things we would go through in practice. It sounded like a good fit for me."

Over the offseason, Corbett will spend his time getting better in every area including his speed and he's confident in his team's ability to do well his senior year.

"My expectations for this year are pretty. I know our team is talented enough to go deep," Corbett said.

After racking up 66 tackles and three sacks, Corbett has even higher goals for himself.

"I just want to get about 80 tackles and also help out at wide receiver or tight end."

Corbett will also visit Stanford, Missouri and Texas in the coming months.

Haines Visits SMU, Wants to Hear More

By Billy Embody

2015 dual-threat quarterback Will Haines had been getting letters for a while from SMU and finally decided to make a visit.

"The campus was beautiful. I really liked the people there. Everyone was really nice," Haines said. "I tried to talk to the coaches, but none of them were there."

The Haughton (La.) prospect decided on a whim to visit and it has led to him wanting to hear more from SMU.

"If they show more interest, they will definitely be one of my top schools," Haines said. "They have a great education, and it would be a really good school to go to."

It's SMU's offensive scheme that has Haines interested in SMU and after totaling over 2,300 total yards and 22 touchdowns, Haines could bring both a passing and running threat that Garrett Gilbert brought to SMU the past couple seasons.

Haines continues to hear from Louisiana-Lafayette and Northwestern State and will camp at Houston, SMU and Louisiana-Monroe this summer.

Haines will also be working to stay healthy and a better leader, but adding to his 6-0, 190 frame will help the most.


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