In late April, the SMU coaching staff visited over 100 high schools in Houston. SMU draws a lot of players from the Houston area, and the staff hopes to bring in some Houston natives for the Class of 2015. One of the many Houston players who SMU covets is Taylor High safety Kenneth McGruder.
"It was great, actually," McGruder said, referring to the visit. "SMU is in one of the top three conferences that I'll narrow my list down to. I thought it was great that they came by."
McGruder said that he did not remember the name of the SMU coach who talked to him, but he did say that he got the coach's interest.
"He loves my size, and he loves my film," McGruder said.
The April visit won't be the last time SMU will travel to Taylor High.
"I think (the coach) was waiting for another coach to come down and see me, I guess to give an offer."
The coach did not specifically say that he would offer McGruder, but McGruder said the coach implied he would.
"They were talking like they were going to give me an offer. They were saying they were going to come back with another man. But they just coming and looking at me right now. I guess they wanted to do a little more evaluation."
Even without an SMU offer yet, McGruder said that he has interest the school.
"I'll definitely go take a visit. I'm doing a lot of my visits in the summer, I'm going to try to get it done as soon as possible because I'm trying to find that place where I'm most comfortable. If I was to narrow my list down, SMU would definitely be in that list."
McGruder's recruitment has been heating up lately. He has ten offers and counting from the like of Arkansas, LSU, Oregon State, California, Colorado, Utah, Boise State, Iowa State, Tulsa, and Texas-San Antonio. He also said that a Florida position coach is visiting soon, and he expects an offer from the Gators.
"There are a lot of schools that are supposed to be coming down. Oklahoma is definitely supposed to be shooting me an offer pretty soon because they talked to my head coach."
The multitude of offers aside, McGruder's spring has been a success.
"My spring, it's starting off great. We just had our fourth and fifth practice. It seems like I've had an offer every day since spring's started. I know it's only going to get better as it goes."
McGruder's junior season also went well.
"My junior season, we went to the second round of the playoffs, lost to Lamar," he said. "I think I developed and got better, each game I got better. From the first game to the last game, I was learning. I got better each game, making less mistakes each game because there are going to be some mistakes and you've just got to put those behind you. I think I did pretty good last season but I know that my senior year will be way, way better than last year."
On the field, McGruder is a leader, as well as a star.
"I think I'm that leading type of player. I always give a speech to my defensive backs before every practice, trying to motivate them to strive and get better."