Chad Morris and his staff have focused on offering Texas players, but defensive coordinator Van Malone went out of state and offered 2016 University Lab (La.) defensive back Malik Antoine earlier this week.
Malone recruited Antoine when he was at Oklahoma State, and liked the junior cornerback enough to keep recruiting him after switching jobs.
“I had an offer from Oklahoma State, and coach Malone was DB coach back when they offered me,” Antoine said. “I’ve been constantly talking to him, so he said he still wanted me and he loves me as a player. He wants me to come with him.”
Antoine said he feels honored that Malone has kept on him despite changing jobs. His new job at SMU has made the Hilltop a viable option for Antoine.
“It’s a great feeling because he didn’t offer me because of the school, he offered me because he loves me as a player,” Antoine said. “I love coach Malone as a coach. He’s was a great guy when I met him, and he’d be great to play under.”
The 5-11, 185-pound corner didn’t pay much attention to SMU before it hired Chad Morris and Malone, and said was surprised when he got the offer, but now he said he is intrigued by it, especially the academic side.
“I know it’s a school with tradition, and the academic background is great,” Antoine said. “My parents stress academics to me, and I know SMU would provide me with a great academic standard…But Coach Malone being there makes a difference. When I went to the (Oklahoma State) camp, he coached me up so well. He’s one of the better coaches I’ve met.”
Antoine is planning to visit SMU in the spring.
“I think I’m going to try to come to a camp or a junior day to see the campus, meet the rest of the coaches in person, and get comfortable with the program.”
Christmas came early for Antoine this year. In the span of a few days, his team won its first state title since 1988, and he added offers from SMU, Northwestern and Tulane. He also has offers from Oklahoma State, Cal, Louisiana-Lafayette and Akron. Florida State, LSU, Mississippi State and Stanford have shown interest. He thinks he could add a couple offers after the bowl season dead period.
“I think I’ll be receiving a few more offers in the new year or the spring,” Antoine said. “We just won a state championship, so I think some schools waited until my season was over to extend offers.”
Antoine does not have a favorite school, nor is he close to a decision. He’s keeping his options open.
“I don’t really have a rank when it comes to schools. I’m just taking it as it goes and enjoying the process. I don’t really have favorites or prefer one school to another I just want to go to a school that benefits me academically and athletically.”
Malik Antoine Freshmen Highlights