The Hilltop Review

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

Kearns still committed, talks potential visit

By: Patrick Engel Senior year has finally come for SMU quarterback commit Kyle Kearns and his Foothill (Calif.) High School teammates, and with a 2-0 record, it could not have started better. In Foothill’s second game, Kearns went 14-14 for 250 yards and three touchdowns.

“We started off a little bit slow in our first game, had a tough time getting the ball rolling, but once the offense started clicking and defense started playing well, it’s been a momentum thing where we’ve just kept the momentum,” Kearns said.

Foothill has one more nonconference game and then starts play in the East Bay Athletic League, one of California’s tougher leagues. Even though he is in season, Kearns says he still talks to SMU coaches regularly.

“I talk with [Coach Morrison] on a weekly basis, just touching base and catching up,” Kearns said.

Kearns remains firmly committed to SMU despite June Jones’ resignation, and he hopes the team plays well so the current staff has a chance of sticking around.

“I’m committed, the coaches are still there,” Kearns said. “Coach Morrison put it, ‘we’ll take it week-by-week.’ Hopefully they go into conference play and do well and the coaches get to keep their jobs, and everything will be status quo.”

Even if SMU hires a new staff, Kearns said he would be comfortable with it and would fit into most offensive systems.

“I think I’m pretty versatile when it comes to the type of system that I can run,” he said. “I don’t know if I’m the best fit for a dual-threat quarterback offense, because it’s not my playing style, but I think I am pretty versatile and I can play under center.”

Although Kearns is still committed, his official visit plans are uncertain. He was planning to visit for the September 27 TCU game with fellow commit James Proche, but now he is unsure.

“It might not be for a game, it might just be for a regular visit,” Kearns said. “When you visit for a game, the coaches don’t get a lot of one-and-one with you, so it would be more one-one-one if I didn’t go on a game day.”

Larry Brown meets with 2015 point guard

By: Patrick Engel

Larry Brown was in Memphis earlier this week to attend a Coaching for Literacy fundraiser, but he also made a side stop to visit 2015 point guard Nych Smith at White Station (Tenn.) High School.

“It was a really good talk,” Smith said. “Meeting a legend like him is always good. We talked for about 20 minutes or so. He was telling me how the program is, telling me he’d like to have me.”

Smith said Brown arrived too late to watch him play, but he and Brown talked a lot about Brown’s coaching days in the NBA and coaching point guards like Allen Iverson. Smith says he is impressed with SMU’s rise under Brown, and admitted he became a fan last season.

“I like SMU a lot,” the 5’11”, 181-pound guard said. “Before I even talked to [Coach Brown], I was kind of a fan. I watched them both times when they beat Connecticut, and I like the program.”

Now that Smith has talked to Brown, he says he will likely visit SMU this fall, likely for a game at Moody.

“He’s going to help me set up a visit date,” Smith said. “[It will] probably be one of my five officials.”

SMU has not offered Smith, but the possibility is on the table. Louisiana Tech, Memphis, Tennessee, Auburn and Saint Louis have shown the most interest in him recently, in addition to SMU. All but Tennessee and SMU have offered him, but has “heavy interest from” the Volunteers. He has not scheduled his other official visits.

White Station had seven players from last year’s team accept Division I offers, Smith said, but he thinks his team will play well anyway.

“I’m just leading my team and doing everything the critics said I couldn’t do. We’re trying to pick up where we left off, and I’m going to have fun doing it.”

Galliard updates commitment, season

By: Andrew Hattersley

Myron Gailliard is taking a wait and see approach in the wake of the June Jones resignation.

“Right now I’m still committed, I’m trying to get in touch with my position coach Jason Phillips, who offered me the scholarship to talk to him about what’s going on and everything that’s happened,” said Gailliard.

Although he is still committed to SMU, Gailliard did admit he is open to any other offers coming in.

“Still committed, but I’m open to any other offers or anyone that wants to talk to me because I’m not sure who’s going to be a part of the next coaching staff,” said Galliard.

As for if he has any plans to visit SMU, Gailliard said he didn’t have any planned.

“My main focus right now is on my own team, but if I do it will probably be towards the end of the season, or at the end of the season,” said Gailliard.

Gailliard has had minimal contact with Daniel Gresham about everything that’s gone on but other than that has not been in contact with any of the SMU players.

Gailliard is off to a good start to the season after a lot of hard work this summer.

“I got a lot of time to work with my teammates and get a lot of good work in,” Gailliard said.

The Mansfield wide receiver wants to improve his strength and elusiveness in preparation for next year.

“I need to work on becoming more elusive, as a wide receiver that is one of the most important things to work on.”

Gailliard has not been able to catch much of the SMU games because they’ve been playing while he’s been working but from what he has been able to see, Gailliard has seen some positives in the play of the defense.

“They’re not too bad, offense looks like it needs some work, defense hasn’t been too bad but the offense does need some work.”

Villalobos excited for SMU's future

By: Patrick Engel

SMU recently began sending letters to some 2016 football players, and North Garland (Tex.) linebacker Alfred Villalobos was among those who received one.

“I was pretty excited,” Villalobos said. “I got it after practice; my mom showed me. She was pretty excited too. I really like the school and I like the campus. I want to go major in kinesiology there.”

Villalobos has been to SMU before, but says he hopes to go back for a formal visit now that he has received some interest.

“I’m hoping to get a visit to a home game,” he said. “I hope to meet the players and see what they do before games. If they send me any invites I’m going.”

Villalobos says he has received some interest from UCLA, Iowa State, North Texas and some Division II schools, but he has major D-I aspirations.

“The D-II’s, I really don’t pay attention to them,” he said.

Villalobos played on North Garland’s varsity team last year, but did not see the field much, so he did not have film to send to coaches. In the Raiders’ first game this year, Villalobos broke his collarbone. He hopes to return for the last few games of the regular season. But he thinks he has enough film from his first game this year to send to SMU and other teams.

June Jones’ resignation does not have a major impact on Villalobos, but he had an opinion on it nonetheless.

“I’m kind of excited,” he said. “I like Coach Jones, but I’m excited to see what the new coach is going to do with the team. After the UNT game, I was confused because I thought they would put up a better fight; I’d like to go and change the program.”

The 6-foot, 190-pound linebacker also said he is excited that SMU is now doing more contact practices under Coach Mason. He also says he wants to keep adding muscle mass to get up to 220 pounds.

SMU legacy has an “open” recruitment right now

By: Andrew Hattersley

SMU legacy Colin Hill is a 6-2 250 guard out of Plano West and member of the 2015 class, but could he be a part of SMU’s 2015 recruiting class?

His Plano West squad has got off to a great start to the year with a 49-0 win followed by a 63-49 win.

Hill’s plans for next year are still wide open but he certainly is getting some looks from schools.

“Right now I’m open, I have been talking to a few schools from the Southland conference and the American,” said Hill.

Hill has been happy with the way the season has started but knows he can still improve his strength.

He has also been keeping an eye on the situation with June Jones and was very positive when talking about the team.

“I thought he really turned the program around, his first few years he went to bowl games when SMU might not have been there,” said Hill,” He seemed to be a pretty good coach from what I can tell.”

Hill did not rule out SMU but again left it unclear as to what he was thinking. In response to where SMU stacks up amongst his list of schools he responded, “I’m open.”

The Plano West guard has been to SMU before as he attended an SMU camp in the past.

Hill does not have an official visit planned but that could change soon.

“Not right now, my dad and I are talking about coming to a game though.”

Hill’s dad, Greg, played at SMU in the late 80s after the Death Penalty and attended Carter High School.


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