Chad Morris and his staff are on a roll. Comanche (Tex.) DE/TE Hunter Thedford received an SMU offer, and decommitted from UTEP a day after. Five days later, Thedford pledged to the Mustangs, making him thirteenth commit in SMU’s Class of 2015 and the fifth since Morris took over. Despite SMU’s 1-11 record this season, Thedford said buying into Morris’ pitch was easy.
“SMU is building a program, and I want to be a part of something big,” Thedford said. “It’s not every day you can go and try and build something…What I like to hear is when someone says, ‘Come be a part of the family.’ It feels like SMU is going to be a family atmosphere, and everybody’s pumped up.”
Thedford talked to the entire defensive staff during his brief recruitment, but he says two coaches especially stuck out to him.
“I have a good relationship with coach Malone and coach McDaniel,” Thedford said. “I talked to coach Malone the other night, and he said he wants out defense not to be just a defense, but to be a family of eleven.”
Thedford also was influenced by SMU’s proximity to his home. He lives two and a half hours from SMU, as opposed to seven and a half from UTEP. More importantly, Thedford, who plans to study business management, knows SMU’s sterling academic reputation will prepare him well for life after football.
“As far as academics, SMU is a great school,” he said. “After I get out of football, I’m going to be set for life. That’s one of the biggest parts of it. I also have a few family members in Dallas that can help me out and find a job.”
The 6-foot-7, 230-pound Thedford’s main position is defensive end, but this season he played tight end too. He recorded 52 tackles, 11 sacks, 14 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. He says he will play on the defensive line at SMU and thinks he will fit well.
“[I like the] four-man front,” Thedford said. “I didn’t want to go to the three-man front because I want to bring some heat and going after the quarterback. I want to be let loose.”
Thedford wants SMU fans to know that he will always give his best effort on the field.
“I play with a lot of heart. I think that’s the main aspect that got me this far and will get me far in the future,” he said.
Thedford still plans to take his official visit to SMU on Jan. 16, a popular visit weekend for a number of SMU recruits. He picked SMU over UTEP and Miami (Ohio).