Before Christmas break, SMU head coach Chad Morris called 2015 Dallas Skyline linebacker Malik Jemison with good news. Jemison had picked up an SMU offer and the new coach left a good enough impression that has helped SMU become the leader for his signature.
“He’s a good coach. SMU is trying to get everything back up and running,” Jemison said. “I think this will be a good opportunity for SMU since they have a whole new coaching staff to make a run.”
Jemison has talked with defensive coordinator Van Malone and linebackers coach Archie McDaniel as well and has also been impressed by them.
“It was real good. Both of them are nice coaches,” the 6-2, 235-pound linebacker said. “We talked about what do I see in colleges. I first told them grades and academics and how do I cope with the coaches and everything.”
On Jan. 27, Jemison will visit SMU and is interested to see the atmosphere around the program as well as check out the academics.
“Just get around all the coaches and see how they work together,” Jemison said. “After that, I’ll probably go around and check out the classes and everything to see how many players earn degrees.”
The two-star prospect also talked about the players being close and how he’d like to see a real family atmosphere.
“I might see the atmosphere of the players and do they play well together and are their relationships close enough to family relationships so that they can cope well together on and off the field.”
James Proche and Lamont Johnson are friends of Jemison and while he hasn’t spoken with them about SMU, it’s clear that SMU’s beginning to make solid strides in bringing one of DFW’s most underrated prospects to the Hilltop.
“They (New Mexico) are a good school. I know that the coach I talked to is a real good coach, but I haven’t met everyone else yet,” Jemison said. “Hopefully I will get my questions answered on the visit.”
The new Kansas staff under David Beaty has made quick moves to get on Jemison and Jemison is familiar with one of their coaches, who left Tulsa for Kansas.
“Kansas they just started talking to me. They just called me a few days ago because one of the coaches from Tulsa went to Kansas,” Jemison said. “He talked to his defensive coordinator and he liked me so they’re going to show my tape to the head coach.”
“My top school right now is actually SMU. I think I will (commit) I just have to talk to my head coach at Skyline about everything then when I do that I think I will commit if everything goes well on the visit.”
Jemison said the Kansas offer, “might change that,” but confirmed SMU is his top school after the Kansas offer and it’s because of the relationship with the staff.
“When I first met the coaches, I felt like we had a good relationship,” Jemison said. “They started explaining how all the coaches cope with each other very well and how they’re real good with each other. That stuff makes me want to go to that school.”
McDaniel’s confidence in Jemison to get the job done for the Mustangs is another part of him having SMU on top.
“The linebackers coach said I’m a real good player and that if he gets me to come to SMU he’s going to work me real hard because he knows I’m going to be successful,” Jemison said. “I just have to let it all come out. We’ll work and work to get things better.”
Jemison’s Raiders fell to Allen in the 6A Div. I semifinals at Ford Stadium to end Jemison’s high school career.