Four-star recruits have been few and far between for SMU football. The last four-star recruit (ranked by scout.com) to sign with SMU was Davon Moreland, who never ended up taking the field for the Mustangs. June Jones and the Mustangs coaching staff are eager to reverse this trend, and have been pursuing four-star safety Kahlil Haughton (Waco, TX/Midway). The coaches will have to put forth a lot of effort to ensure that Haughton, the 23rd-ranked safety in the country, comes to SMU.
Haughton's recruitment has blown up in recent months, but SMU was one of the first to offer him.
"I was excited because it was, I think, my third offer, so I was really excited," Haughton said. "I've talked to the linebacker coach, he's the recruiting coordinator around our area, but I haven't been up to SMU. I was invited to a junior day, but wasn't able to make it because I had another one that day, so I'm not sure I'm going to be able to make a visit."
"He was explaining that he really liked me as a player and they were going to be down in the spring to watch me," Haughton said.
Like most four-star recruits, Haughton has a long list of offers. Including SMU, he has 19 total offers, including ones from Arkansas, LSU, Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Northwestern, Oregon State, TCU, Washington State, Nebraska, and Duke.
"I like Oklahoma, Baylor, LSU, and Duke, and Texas Tech a lot. Those are probably some of the main ones I'm looking at, but I'm still looking at some other schools that haven't offered."
While SMU faces still competition to land the 6-foot-2 safety, it does have one advantage.
Current SMU safety Shakiel Randolph was Haughton's teammate for one season at Midway. Randolph talked to Haughton about SMU after the season ended.
"He talked to me and said that the defensive coordinator really likes me. He was just telling me about them and he said that they are really interested and were probably going to offer, so I wasn't really surprised or anything [when they offered]."
Haughton and his Midway team had a successful season capped with a one-point second round playoff loss to Denton Ryan High School (Texas).
"We had a great season, our playoffs came a little bit short. But we were great and we have a lot of talent. I think my year was a whole lot better than (2012) because I was able to be more confident and step up," the star safety said. "We're not even worried about last season, we're just trying to be better leaders, and we have a pretty young team, so we're trying to help build them up and be able to go out there and play well."