The Hilltop Review 12/7

We finish off the first weekend of Chad Morris' tenure with our third Hilltop Review! Get the latest updates on SMU recruits here!

Honey Gets Offer From Fry

By: Andrew Hattersley

Alex Honey (pictured), a 6’4 195 pound wide receiver from Denton (TX) Guyer high school, picked up an offer from SMU Friday.

“It’s definitely one of my favorite places out of all the places I’ve talked to, I know they’re a pretty good school for academics,” said Honey.

Honey has high hopes for this SMU team in the future after seeing what Chad Morris was able to do at Clemson.

“I know they had a pretty good offense at Clemson, so this is a good pickup for them, I think they’ll bring that over it should be pretty good,” said Honey.

The Guyer wide receiver has not had a chance to talk to Morris yet but did receive a visit from one of his newest assistants.

“I haven’t talked to Chad Morris, I talked with coach Fry he came to school yesterday,” said Honey.

As for what he can bring to the table, the Denton receiver considers himself a player that can do just about anything.

“I’ve usually been a deep ball guy that can go up and get it, not really a possession receiver but I am able to pretty much do everything,” said the Guyer receiver.

Earlier this season, Scout’s Gabe Brooks saw Honey in action when they took on Keller Central and came away very impressed with the receiver.

“Great height and good long speed. Honey should be a good vertical threat at the next level. Robinson trusts him to go get it and Honey did just that on a 42-yard touchdown strike early in the second quarter. Honey high-pointed the ball over a defender and pulled in the ball as he fell to the ground for a highlight-reel play,” said Brooks in his evaluation.

Honey is also receiving interest from Texas State, Air Force, Louisiana Monroe, Iowa State and Colorado.

The Denton native is planning to make the drive up to SMU for a visit sometime in January.

Murray talks SMU offer

By: Billy Embody

SMU has been trying to shore up their offensive line with a few offers going out lately and Coppell offensive tackle Jordan Murray is the latest.

After San Diego State came on Thursday, SMU was next and had good news for Murray and running back Charles West.

“Coach Morris and offensive coordinator Joe Craddock came out and shook my hand and said can we go talk privately?” Murray said. “He explained to me that they’re 0-11, but he’s on the turnaround. He’s fired up about me and he offered me.”

It’s clear that Morris’ success at Clemson is a big draw, but most importantly it’s Morris’ connection with Texas high schools is the biggest deal.

“Since he was a high school coach in Texas, I feel like he understands what Texas high school football provides for football players and the discipline we have compared to other kids especially in the DFW area,” the 6-9 tackle said. “I have heard he’s offered a lot of Dallas-Ft. Worth recruits lately since he’s been hired. I see myself as one of those in a good way.”

Murray recently decommitted from North Texas because he felt he rushed into his decision.

“I feel like I made a decision too quickly,” Murray said. “I don’t really think how it worked yet because I was still talking to other schools and planning visits and they didn’t like that.”

BYU, San Diego State, Oregon State are among some of the schools that have come by Coppell and inquired about the mammoth offensive tackle. Murray will visit San Diego State on Thursday.

In terms of SMU, the proximity to home has Murray, “digging SMU.”

Morris talked to Murray about coming in right away and playing. In Morris’ offense, there’s one word Murray used to describe it.

“Explosiveness. I feel like he’s spreading out the offense. I know at Clemson it was a fast-paced offense,” Murray said. “I still have work to do with pass blocking, but I like his viewpoint on things. He said I have an opportunity to come in and start right away.”

That’s a big deal for Murray who wants to get all the time he can on the field.

“It’s very important because I want to have the most amount of time,” Murray said. “Every athlete goes to college and has the same amount of gamedays, but how many gamedays do you actually get to play in?”

Murray isn’t worried about being a part of a rebuilding process either.

“At Coppell, we were in the same deal this year. I like being apart of a rebuild because you basically don’t have any pressure to win,” Murray said. “There’s not someone on your back saying oh you went undefeated what are you going to do this year. It’s basically being relentless in going after a win every week with the rebuild.”

In Murray’s first year as a starter, Coppell turned it around with the help of West, but it was the entire senior class helping.

“I feel like I was thrown in a hot skillet, but I like that,” Murray said. “As a senior class we stepped up because we had nothing else to do, but unfortunately it ended too soon to DeSoto.”

As an offensive lineman, Murray is still raw though and has work to do, but the frame to make a serious jump on the field.

“My length it kind of saves me sometimes. I have a wingspan and I can get away with some things because of that,” Murray said. “I do need to work on keeping my guy in front of me.”

Kimball Receiver Picks Up SMU Offer

By: Andrew Hattersley

2015 Dallas (TX) Kimball receiver Courtney Wright hasn’t had a chance to meet new SMU head coach Chad Morris, but did receive a visit from his assistant Archie McDaniel this week and picked up an offer.

“I actually just met Archie McDaniel though the coach they just hired, from what I hear though Chad Morris a great energetic coach and is bringing a very vibrant atmosphere to the SMU community and I would like to be a part of that,” said Wright.

Wright, a 6’6 180 pound receiver, attended a game earlier this season when SMU hosted Memphis and liked what he saw from SMU’s receivers.

“I think they have talent and I think if they add me we could do something special, but they have a wide receiving corp that can catch the ball and have the pieces, so Chad Morris will use the pass and I think he can make something great,” said Wright.

The Kimball receiver is coming off a great season, despite the disappointing end last week, with 800 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns.

“I just wanted to become consistent with my route running, giving good head fakes and then acceleration after the catch, that was really where I think I improved my game,” said Wright.

Wright is also receiving a lot of interest from Fresno State, Central Arkansas and UTEP but hopes to visit SMU early in 2015.

“I am planning to come down to the campus, I haven’t had an official visit or unofficial scheduled set up but I will talk to my coach about setting one up,” said Wright.

Wright also plans to have his top 3 set at some point in January.

Stepp and Fry watch Carter

By: Demetrio Teniente

Gilmer high school isn’t done playing football in 2014- they face Celina in the state semi-finals next week. That means there is yet another opportunity for 2015 Gilmer quarterback McLane Carter to put on a show.

The 6’3” 190 pound senior has put up some monster numbers this season; he has thrown for 3454 yards, 40 touchdowns and only two interceptions.

His performance has garnered the attentions of such programs as Louisiana Tech, SMU, Oklahoma St, and BYU.

On Friday, the Buckeyes throttled Atlanta 64-25. As it turned out, SMU had a couple of assistant at the game, who let Carter know they were there to watch him play.

Carter’s older brother G.J. Kinne played for SMU’s new head coach Chad Morris when he was coaching in Tulsa.

Carter spoke to Kinne shortly after SMU introduced Morris as the new head coach and his older brother had nothing but good things to say.

“He said coach Morris is a really good coach and is probably going to turn the program around,” Carter said. “He’s going to be good at recruiting and is a great guy to play for.”

As it stands, Carter doesn’t hold an offer from the Mustangs, but know he knows he has their attention and they have his.

“They are certainly on my radar now that they have Morris,” he said. “He’s a dream coach; you want to play for a guy like that.”

Being a Dallas kid, and having his brother play against SMU in Ford stadium a couple times, he is familiar with both the SMU campus and the surrounding area.

Carter agrees with his brother, and is excited to see the Mustangs as they go through this transitional period.

“They’ve had their ups and downs,” he said. “But I know they have the capability to become a great team. And now that they have a great coach like Morris, they can turn the program around. I’m excited for them.”

McGuire talks SMU, win on Saturday

By: Patrick Engel

I watched Southlake Caroll-Cedar Hill on Saturday at SMU and talked with Cedar Hill coach Joey McGuire after the Longhorns 62-42 win.

Patrick Engel: What was your plan for stopping Southlake Carroll’s offense?
Joey McGuire: The biggest thing is we wanted to take (junior runningback Lil’Jordan) Humphrey out of the game. We knew there would be some times they were going to throw over the top of us, we were just hoping they could hold up. We did a great job in the first half, and then they got us in the second half, got us a couple times over the top. It was one of those quick fades where you weren’t going to get much pressure on (Carroll QB Ryan Agnew). But we knew our offense was going to keep answering. We’re too good up front and too good with the skill guys to not keep playing hard.

PE: In some of your biggest games, you’ve had both Denvre Daniels and Aca’cedric Ware rise up with big performances. What’s it like to have two backs like that?
JM: The biggest thing whenever you talk about the run game, as crazy as it sound, is DaMarkus Lodge, because if you’re going to play Lodge one-on-one, there’s a great chance you’re going to hear our fight song. He’s just special, so you’ve got to do something in the game plan with your safeties. When you do that, it takes people out of the box, and we’ve got two Division I running backs, and they played like it today.

PE: Both teams played a lot of man and one-on-one. Was that because you wanted to just let your corners play?
JM: We were just going to let them play. We went to our zone coverage late (in the game), and I thought we did a good job trying to bleed the clock once we were up. I wish we went to our zone a bit earlier. We went to it with about five minutes left. We said were going to go zone their last touchdown drive, but they went into a formation that we automatically check to man against. That’s what we do against that formation, so we couldn’t get the zone called out of it fast enough.

PE: With SMU hiring Chad Morris, are you excited to get to see him and SMU coaches at Cedar Hill?
JM: Chad’s awesome, its huge for me and huge for Texas high school football that (SMU) got one of our own. We’ve got Art Briles and now we’ve got Chad Morris, and I think he’s going to do a great job at SMU. Chad’s a good friend of mine, and I’m really excited for him.

PE: Your rivalry with DeSoto will look different with Coach Mathis at SMU now, won’t it?
JM: It will, but Claude and I are good friends too. We’ve been on staff together at different Under Armour games, so it’ll be good to see him come in (to Cedar Hill).

Game quick hits:

— Cedar Hill did a great job stopping Humphrey, holding him to 37 yards on 13 carries. Humphrey had offers from Washington, Texas Tech, Ole Miss, Colorado and Duke.

— DaMarkus Lodge had a 21-yard touchdown catch on a fade on which the DB had no chance, and a 51-yard catch and run TD. But he also dropped two passes on deep in routes. He was open on both.

— Denvre Daniels had 155 yards on 19 carries and four touchdowns. The senior has offers from Colorado State and New Mexico State. He’s a versatile and underrated player who I think SMU should look at.

— Carroll quarterback Ryan Agnew had a slow first two drives, but caught fire afterward. He completed 15 of 26 attempts for 418 yards and four touchdowns. He threw a late game interception, but cornerback Darrell Miller read the play perfectly from his underneath zone spot. Agnew has offers from Arkansas State, Houston, Connecticut and Texas State.

Robinson Brothers get visit from Stepp

By: Demetrio Teniente

Around lunchtime on Friday, new assistant coach Justin Stepp made a stop at McKinney high school to visit twin-brothers Byron Robinson and Myron Robinson, who play defensive back for the Lions.

“I think it was a great meeting,” Byron said. “It was a great start.”

But for the brothers, there was one thing about the meeting that was really special.

“I already got a good vibe about him and he’s a twin.” Myron said. “He came just to meet us and even though he hasn’t even been on SMU’s campus yet he told us how good coach Morris is and how great he is himself. I really liked him, to be honest. I would love to come to SMU.”

Stepp made it clear that he was there to meet both corners- which is important because as of right now, they are selling themselves as a package deal.

“That’s what we are trying to do,” Byron said. “But if we do split up we can split. We can still communicate over the phone. We’re pretty much with eachother 24/7 and if we not, we aren’t too far away. As a twin, it’s a different type of connection. We pretty much know everything about each other.”

“We are always around each other,” Myron said. “Like we can be separate for a few hours or maybe a day, but if it’s like two days then it’s just weird. We’ve never been a week apart- never that long, maybe just two days at the max.”

They both saying being twins gives them a different connection with each other on the field.

“Playing with your twin brother is different than playing with just your brother,” Myron said. “It’s hard to explain, but only twins would know. It’s like, playing with him I know what he’s going to do. Even being on opposite sides of the field I know where he is and what he’s doing.”

“We know how each other is going to play,” Byron said. “Like we don’t always have to be with each other to know what’s going on- it’s just a different type of connection. It’s not just like a brother or my best friend; it’s a bigger connection than either of those.”

Byron is 6’0” 175 pounds and Myron is 5’10” 170 pounds and their size difference directly affects their playing styles.

“He’s better in coverage and I’m the better tackler,” Myron says. “Our instincts are about the same because we just think the same on the field, but the way we play is different. He’s the longer, lanky type and I’m the more aggressive, get in your face type even though I’m shorter.”

The brothers each agree that SMU made a great decision in hiring Chad Morris as the new head coach.

Not only were they impressed with Stepp, but also in all the things they heard about Morris.

“I think he has a good relationship with so many people in the DFW area- especially players and coaches,” Byron said. “I think he is going to be a great coach there because he has so much experience. I feel that they are going to be great in these upcoming years. They are getting new coaches, so hopefully they can get the program turned around pretty soon and I want to be part of it.”

Byron says that he and his brother are very hopeful that SMU will offer them soon. It’s a big plus that SMU is in Dallas, because the brothers’ parents want them to stay close to home so they can watch them play.

“Our interest in them is very high,” Byron said. “I think if they’d offer they’d have top priority.”

Myron echoed the sentiment.

“I hope to get that offer,” he said. “Pony up!”

We’ll have to wait and see if SMU is as excited about the twins as they are about its program.

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