Defensive coordinator Van Malone contacted him on Twitter and broke the good news to the safety.
“We had verbal communication about him liking my ability, my skills and he said they offered me and one more guy and that they wanted him or me to come in and play,” Stephens said.
Getting the offer on Christmas Eve was even better.
“It was great. It was exciting. It was my first big offer,” Stephens said. “I had gotten offers from JUCOs and it was on Christmas Eve so that was a gift I was just really excited about.”
Stephens is visiting SMU the weekend of Jan 17 and will look to build a relationship with the staff and find out more about the environment to see if he’d be a fit at SMU.
“It depends on the relationship and environment really with how the coaches relationships are with the players outside of football,” Stephens said. “Some coaches just have that relationship on the field. I want the relationship outside of football with a mentor and everything that falls in between.”
The 6-2, 190-pound defensive back has talked with Malone before when he was at Oklahoma State.
“We was close and he came over to SMU and we still communicated and then he offered me over there,” Stephens said.
Stephens sees Malone as a possible Mentor if he was to head to the Hilltop and Malone talked with him about some of the new traditions the staff is starting at SMU.
“He said they have this new thing with the coaching staff that their positions and players that commit to that position are going to go to each other’s houses for dinner to get introduced and meet the staff and get to know each other. That’s what I’m looking for.”
Another plus for Stephens would be staying close to home, but it does come back to what Stephens’ time on SMU’s campus would be like.
“Yea that would be something that I’d really look into because all my family being able to come to the game, but I got to see the environment and atmosphere,” Stephens said.
Even with SMU having a rough season at 1-11, starting a new legacy would be a huge plus for Stephens.
“I know SMU was struggling this past season, but they got some good guys coming in and if I go there, I feel like we could have a team that we could change things around,” Stephens said. “Being on a team that if we all get together, I feel like we could change things. We can start that legacy.”
Current SMU commit James Proche and Stephens are friends since the pair works out together and used to be teammates. While Proche and Stephens hasn’t talked about going to school together, Chad Morris is, “trying to get those types of kids to commit there.”