One of the major reasons for going after Morris was his Texas ties. While Morris was once president of the Texas High School Football Coaches Association, Morris coached in Austin. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t know the coaches around the DFW Metroplex. Morris has landed a few Texas kids for Clemson over the years and is respected in DFW as evidenced by the 250+ text messages from coaches offering support and kids that Morris should look at. Morris now has to sell SMU to DFW coaches though, something that wasn’t tried much in June Jones’ tenure. SMU has the least amount of Texas football players on its roster. Expect that to change under Morris, but to make it happen, he needs to go out and let everyone in DFW know he has an open door for them on the Hilltop like Larry Brown did for coaches and players when he arrived.
1. Meet the coaches
Morris did an incredible job at his introductory press conference breathing energy into the SMU program. In terms of getting the students involved, Morris will do that “one handshake at a time.” That’s a page out of Larry Brown’s book and Morris has the energy to do just that. Expect Morris to be seen around campus too taking his daily jog. It’s crucial for the SMU students to know their coach is committed to making this program a top 25 program and one of the best in the country. Getting the student body behind him is critical. If you watched Morris being introduced, it shouldn’t take long for him to convince them.
2. Meet the students
There are already three coaches in Dallas or on their way according to Morris at his press conference. That’s huge. Expect the staff to include Texas high school football coaches. Morris has great ties in the state of Texas and getting coaches to join him won’t take much. The staff is going to be exactly like Morris for the most part. Morris wants high-energy, high-tempo coaches. Like Morris said at his press conference, his offense isn’t just high-tempo, but the entire program will be. A staff as energized about recruiting and what they’re trying to accomplish is what will define Morris’ tenure at SMU. Once Morris gets his guys in place, “the wheels won’t stop turning.”
3. Get his staff in place
SMU struggled at quarterback this year there’s no doubt about that. For Morris’ offense to be what everyone knows it can be, he needs to find his trigger-man. Matt Davis’ skills fits Morris’ offense and although Morris hasn’t looked at much film, he’ll need to find his own quarterback. West Mesquite quarterback Chason Virgil is the logical quarterback for Morris to go after immediately. Morris recruited Virgil at Clemson and I’d expect him to look at him. Desoto 2016 quarterback Tristen Wallace is another quarterback Morris can go after right away. While I could speculate on who Morris can grab, Morris has the connections, offense and energy to be in the running for almost anyone in the state of Texas. This is for certain: Morris has to upgrade the quarterback position and there’s no doubt that he will.
4. Find his quarterback
SMU has plenty to offer with its great campus, resources, Dallas, etc. and now with Morris at the helm, he’ll have to make it cool to stay home and go to SMU for DFW recruits. If you spend five minutes with Morris, you can tell he’s got it. You have to tell him, “’Woah’ not ‘Go’” and that will be his selling point. Kevin Sumlin, Gary Patterson and Art Briles made their respective schools the cool schools to go to. Morris will follow suit with his mission, but ultimately it will be Morris’ record that makes SMU the cool school or just another school. Jump on board and be ready for a great ride.
5. Make SMU the “cool school”