Last weekend, SMU head coach Chad Morris called 2015 Comanche (Tex.) DE/TE Hunter Thedford, a UTEP commit, and offered him. Thedford decommitted from UTEP just a couple days later, a familiar theme for committed players who have received SMU offers.
“I’m considering SMU heavily, but I’ll always have the UTEP offer, so I’m considering them too,” Thedford said. “They went to a bowl game and they have a great coaching staff. [But] I decommitted to look it over.”
One factor that went into Thedford’s decommitment was the distance from home. He lives seven and a half hours from El Paso, but only two from Dallas. He also thinks SMU and Dallas would be great for life after football.
“My parents could come watch me play a home game, plus half my family lives up there by SMU,” Thedford said. “Another big part is the educational standard of SMU is awesome. As far as finding a job after graduating, it’s hard not to find a job.”
Morris extended the SMU offer, but Thedford said he has talked with the entire defensive staff. Thedford played both ways in high school and could do the same if he lands at SMU, although his primary position would be on defense.
“A lot of colleges wanted me for tight end, a lot wanted me for defensive end. [SMU] wants me for defensive end, but I’ll have a chance at playing both ways,” Thedford said.
Thedford had not heard from SMU before the offer was extended, but he was familiar with some of the coaches. Morris showed interest when he was offensive coordinator at Clemson, and SMU defensive coordinator Van Malone reached out when he was at Oklahoma State.
“Its kind of funny how they all met up at SMU,” Thedford said. “I guess that’s why I have the offer. I can already tell they have a lot of fire, and their intensity level is going to be way up there. They want to build the program and prove themselves. SMU is really at the bottom now with where they’ve been, but I think they’re going to get it done. I’m an up-tempo guy. They would fit me really well.”
Thedford, who is 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds, will visit SMU on Jan. 16, but wants to make a decision before then. He has an offer from Miami (Ohio) and has had contact with Texas A&M recently, although he said A&M does not see him as a priority target. He does not plan on visiting any other schools. He did not say if SMU was his favorite, but admitted that SMU and UTEP are really close.
“I really am stuck between them,” Thedford said. “UTEP offered me first, and that’s a big deal. SMU came in late, but the coaches I’ve been talking to [are great.] I’m just going to have to talk it over with my family and do some more homework on them and see where would fit me best.”