The Hilltop Review

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

Get to Know: Daniel Gresham

By: Scott Sanford

With mandatory workouts less than a month away, running back Daniel Gresham has wasted no time getting prepared for the tough demands of a collegiate football program.

Since graduation, besides spending time with his family and girlfriend, the nation's top fullback has been making four trips a week to SMU to workout and start getting acclimated to his new home.

"Since I'm local, I drive up there and workout with the team and stuff like that," Gresham said. "It's been a lot harder than I'm used to, but I've already dropped about 10 pounds, and I've tested pretty well so far."

Besides getting into better shape, Gresham's main goal before starting off-season workouts on July 7 is developing better footwork. The lumbering fullback said a combination of dropping weight and better footwork will make him an all-around better running back.

All of Gresham's hard work is in hopes of improving on a subpar season last year.

Last season the Mustangs finished 5-7 and missed post-season play for the first time in four years, which undoubtedly stung for every player.

Gresham has been spending a lot of time with his new teammates and he can sense the urgency in the locker room.

"It was awesome," Gresham said. "Seeing all of the guys that have come in, and even seeing the guys in the class below us (2015) committing now, we've just really been getting to know each other. Everybody's really excited and there's a fire in the locker room that I love to see."

Despite being just an incoming freshman, Gresham has goals of contributing early on. Head Coach June Jones has been helping Gresham with his adjustment to college life, as well as giving him tips on how to see playing time.

"Coach Jones has told me he knows I can run and he knows I'm a good back with the ball in my hands," Gresham said. "But the main thing is being able to pick up the pass protection and the progression we have. I've already sat down with Coach (Steve) Broussard and talked with him about it."

While Gresham is obviously exciting about meeting all of his new teammates and starting the season, there's one thing besides football that's really on his mind.

"To be honest, I'm really excited about the business program," Gresham said. "The football piece is always going to be there, but the academic piece is the biggest for me. I have to have a 3.3 grade-point-average to be admitted to the business school, so that's the main thing I'm looking at now besides football."

Quick Hits: Favorite food: Meatloaf
Drink: Water
Music: Why we sing
Musical artist: Kirk Franklin
Pregame ritual: Call his uncles, listen to Kirk Franklin
Pregame music: Kirk Franklin, original don
Favorite travel/city experience: Costa Rica
Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?: Uses all three
Favorite Movie: Legend of Bagger Vance
Non-football sport: baseball
Little known fact : Played baseball in the junior olympics in middle school

Derrick Graham Talks SMU Offer

By: Adam Grosbard

SMU has already picked up two linebacker commitments for 2015 but are still looking to add another.

One potential target is Derrick Graham of Hardee Senior (Fla.), who recently received an SMU offer.

"I haven't gotten to see the campus yet but from what I'm hearing, SMU has good coaches and a good program, both academically and their sports," Graham said. "I'm hearing nothing but good things about SMU and hopefully I get to visit. But as of right now I haven't to campus or spoken to any of the coaching staff."

SMU offered Graham through his high school after SMU linebackers coach Eric Daniels watched Graham in a spring practice.

Graham also holds offers from Florida, Georgia Southern, Bowling Green, Iowa State, FAU, FIU, Appalachian State, Buffalo, South Alabama, Arkansas, UCF, and Mississippi State. He also has received interest from Florida State and Miami.

Size of school and geography will not matter to Graham however. He is simply looking for the best fit for him.

"One of the big things for me is going to a place I can go for four years. A place where I can be with the coaching staff and the players in the locker room," Graham said. "I want a family thing and a good academic thing too."

SMU has already picked up two outside linebackers for 2015 so the Mustangs are likely looking for an inside linebacker. Graham has played both inside and outside in high school and does not care what spot he plays at in college.

"To be honest, it doesn't really matter. I like being able to cover and I like going after the quarterback so it doesn't really matter," Graham said.

The rising-senior measures in at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds. He runs a 4.55 second 40-yard dash but is working on improving his explosiveness this summer.

Pollock Visits SMU

By: Patrick Engel

While 2016 Dr. Phillips (Fla.) linebacker Jonathan Pollock is committed to Mississippi State, he has kept his recruitment open and just this Friday visited SMU after linebackers coach Eric Daniels took time out of his vacation.

"(The other coaches) were actually on vacation. I thought that was really cool how Coach Daniels would take one of his vacation days to show me around and spend five hours with me. He didn't have to do that I felt that was really great. It shows that I'm wanted there," said Pollock. "I though Coach Daniels was a really cool guy. He set up a meeting with the business department, which is what I want to major in."

Pollock, who stands 6-feet tall and weighs 210-pounds, enjoyed taking in the campus and football facilities.

"I really like the environment of the school," Pollock said. "When you're there and it feels like you're at a college but then the city is right there. I really liked that."

"I liked the weight room. It wasn't a flashy weight room, it was a place to come to do things and then leave when you're done. I like the field and how you're boxed in almost like a baseball field."

Pollock's grandparents live in Dallas and will be showing him around the city this weekend. He said that having family close to the school who could attend his games was a definite positive for SMU.

Though the rising-junior is committed to Mississippi State, he is still keeping things open.

"I'm just exploring my options a little bit," Pollock said.

Pollock holds offers from East Carolina, UAB, Akron, North Carolina, Memphis, Tulane, Texas State, Temple, and South Florida.

Miller Updates His Status

By: Patrick Engel

Cedar Hill High School boasts one of the top football programs in the country, yet SMU has never had great success bringing in players from the DFW-area school. That trend continued when Cedar Hill cornerback Darrell Miller recently learned he had held an offer from SMU. That may sound ordinary, but Miller had actually held the offer for a few weeks, but never knew about it until SMU linebackers coach Eric Daniels told him on June 13, only to find that SMU had filled all of its scholarships for cornerbacks.

"I just called Coach Daniels, he told me that he had told my coach a few weeks ago that they had offered me, but I never got the message," Miller said. "I guess they offered another corner, and I guess they didn't have a spot because all the scholarships were gone."

Miller's recruiting coordinator, Cedar Hill assistant Calvin Ruzicka, previously told PonyStampede that Miller likes SMU and is strongly considering it, especially because it is close to his home. Miller still feels the same way.

"I really like SMU. Academics-wise, you can't get a better education. Right now, SMU is a school that I'm really focusing on."

Miller wouldn't say if SMU was his leader or if it was in his top three, but he said he definitely likes it. He was disappointed that there are not any spots open, but he said that he has been told one could open up.

"(Daniels) told me that spots could open up. People change, people transfer, people get hurt. I'm looking at the other options I have (too)."

Miller other options are plentiful. The three-star corner has 13 offers from the likes of Indiana, Boise State, Fresno State, Houston, Iowa, Iowa State, Purdue, Kansas State, Tennessee, Utah, Texas State, Wisconsin, and Wake Forest.

While a spot on SMU could open up, Miller said he would not delay his decision in anticipation of it.

"I'm planning on committing before the season starts, probably August or July," Miller explained. "I'm looking at Tennessee, Boise State, Purdue, Iowa, really looking at a lot of schools, just taking my visits. It's pretty open."

While Miller may commit this summer, he could give SMU another chance should a spot open up after the season. His recruiting process appears to be far from over.

Williams Still Interested in SMU

By: Patrick Engel

With the commitment of the Scott brothers, SMU's linebacking corps is looking good for 2015. But the Scotts could play defensive end, so Mustangs would surely love to add more depth at linebacker, and Frisco (Tex.) Wakeland High School outside linebacker Justice Williams is firmly on the coaches' radar.

Williams got an offer from SMU at the end of April, and has built a good relationship with defensive coordinator Tom Mason.

"We talk often, I like him a lot," Williams said. "I went to one of their games last year. It was nice, and I'm sure the game would have been more crowded but it was kind of nasty that day. But what I saw, exceptional skill and dedication, was pretty cool. They're on the rise, and they'll probably be pretty good the next few years. It's definitely a very good school."

Williams also attended SMU's junior day in February, but has not visited SMU since getting the offer. He said the coaching staff is one of his favorite things about SMU, and he should have the opportunity to see them in person again because he plans to come back during the summer.

"I really like the coaching staff. They're cool and they're really nice. And the location's close to home. They're definitely up there."

Williams previously told PonyStampede that he really likes the fact that SMU is close to his Frisco home, and that's helped him gain a significant interest in SMU. His first offer came from Illinois in the fall, and he's since added offers from North Texas, Tulsa, Virginia, Indiana, Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech, and Kansas. He has talked to Texas A&M and Texas Tech a lot as well. He said that he plans to take a lot of visits, but he is still working through where and when.

"Right now, me and my dad are trying to figure it out. We should know probably next week."

Williams does not have any favorites, and he does not plan to make a decision soon. He is 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, and has also played occasionally at wide receiver.

Crawford Talks SMU Offer

By: Billy Embody

SMU got the jump on one of the top receivers in the 2016 class when they offered La Canada (Calif.) St. Francis receiver Dylan Crawford.

The 6-1, 180-pound receiver has been one of the top performers on the camp circuit, but took time out of his busy summer schedule to talk about his SMU offer.

"Just blessed to get another offer like that. I don't even know what to say," Crawford said. "I really didn't get to talk to the coach, but the receiver coach contacted my coach at St. Francis and my coach told me.

Crawford said he's talked a little bit with SMU receiver coach Jason Phillips, but knows a bit more about SMU than you would think.

"I'm not really that familiar with the school football wise, but I know a little bit about the school academically because my sister applied there and stuff like that," Crawford said. "My dad actually grew up in Texas so I've been out there a couple times. He was an Army brat so he went to high school in Texas."

Aside from all the family ties, Crawford also knows a few current students there.<

"Yea I know a couple people, who have been to SMU and a lot of people from this past graduating class are going there," Crawford said. "It'd definitely help."

Crawford visited USC for their spring game, UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State to start with and was impressed by all of them, but USC appears to be standing out.

"That was really fun. A lot of enthusiasm from all the players and it was just fun to watch them compete with each other," Crawford said.

USC's new head coach Steve Sarkisian has installed a no-huddle, spread offense that Crawford likes, but he'd also be a great fit in SMU's scheme.

Crawford still is going to visit Florida, Florida State Michigan, Alabama, Indiana, Notre Dame and Tennessee to try to find out where he'd want to go to college, but it's still early.

"I'm really open to anywhere right now. I'm just trying to see where I fit in best. SMU is a good school all around and I'd definitely love to check it out.

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