Official Visit Weekend Primer

Billy breaks down SMU's official visitors this weekend in this primer and gives commitment probabilities!

The first official visit weekend of 2015 is here! The dead period left SMU fans wanting more of what they saw prior to the NCAA recruiting dead period. Tempo. This morning, Tempo was back on the road hitting high schools across the DFW Metroplex, but big preparations had been being made for Chad Morris' first round of official visitors in 2015. Your primer for this weekend is below!

Uncommitted Prospects

RB Charles West

Rating: 3-star
Positional Rank: 50th overall, 12th in Texas
Height/Weight: 5-9, 180 pounds
School: Coppell High School (Tex.)
Status: Uncommitted.
Official visits scheduled: SMU (Jan. 16) Worth noting that this is West’s only planned official visit right now.
Notes: In Chad Morris’ power run up-tempo offense, he’ll need a back that is explosive and physical. West definitely fits the mold and could be a gamechanger for the SMU offense right off the bat. If SMU can make a great impression, there’s no reason SMU can’t land his signature or commitment this weekend for that matter.
Commitment probability: 80 percent

DT Bryce English

Rating: 3-star
Positional Rank: 39th overall, 7th in Texas
Height/Weight: 5-11, 315 pounds
School: DeSoto High School (Tex.)
Status: Uncommitted. Considering
Official visits scheduled: SMU (Jan. 16).
Notes: English would be a monster (literally) land for SMU that needs to shore up its defensive line in a big way. With James Proche committed and Kevin Thomas possibly flipping from Kansas, that would only encourage English to pick the Mustangs. English did name Arizona State, Kansas State and TCU as his top three at the Semper Fi All-American Bowl though. English will have to pick two of those to visit or visit TCU and SMU this weekend.
Commitment probability: 40 percent

OL Keaton Bates

Rating: 2-star
Height/Weight: 6-4, 265 pounds
School: Arlington (Tex.) Lamar High School
Status: Uncommitted.
Official visits scheduled: SMU (Jan. 16) and no other visits planned
Notes: Bates has offers from Navy, Fresno State, UTEP, SFA, Utah State and others, but lists Utah State as No. 2 right behind SMU because it’s the only other school Bates has visited. This athletic lineman plays well in the open field and does an excellent job in pulling and has quick feet. This is a solid match and I fully expect Bates to commit on his visit.
Commitment probability: 90 percent

LB Matt McNew

Rating: NR
Height/Weight: 6-2, 215 pounds
School: Robinson High School (Tex.)
Status: Uncommitted.
Official visits scheduled: SMU (Jan. 16)
Notes: Another prospect who will likely commit to SMU. As soon as the Mustangs offered this tackling machine, SMU jumped to the top of his list. The Robinson product runs well sideline-to-sideline and could be moved around in SMU’s 4-2-5 attacking defense. McNew has said if it’s what he’s looking for on his visit, he’ll commit over offers from New Mexico, New Mexico State, Army, Navy and Air Force
Commitment probability: 95 percent

DB Rodney Clemons

Rating: NR
Height/Weight: 6-0, 190 pounds
School: Katy (Tex.) James E. Taylor High School
Status: Uncommitted.
Official visits scheduled: SMU (Jan. 16), Maryland (Jan. 23) and New Mexico (Jan. 30).
Notes: Clemons is a late bloomer and was converted to safety, but was still named first team all-district this past year. With three official visits planned, I don’t expect a commitment this weekend, but Clemons did list SMU at No. 1 this past week after talking to Maryland Scout. That’s a plus for SMU and if the Mustangs land Clemons it will be a good pickup in the secondary at the safety spot.
Commitment probability: 30 percent

Committed Elsewhere

K Jonathan Song

Rating: 2-star
Height/Weight: 5-9, 160 pounds
School: Ft. Worth (Tex.) All Saints Episcopal High School
Status: Committed to TCU.
Official visits scheduled: SMU (Jan. 16) and TCU (Jan. 30).
Notes: It’s down to SMU and TCU. That won’t be the first time SMU fans will likely hear that under Chad Morris, but Song has been committed to TCU for a greyshirt offer for a year. It’s unclear if Song’s offer to TCU is still a greyshirt, but if it’s not, SMU may have the upper hand here. Both teams have former teammates (Daniel Gresham at SMU and Foster Sawyer at TCU), but Song can get a little farther away from home at the Hilltop and probably start right away.
Commitment probability: 50 percent

SMU Commits

DE Hunter Thedford

Rating: 2-star
Height/Weight: 6-7, 230 pounds
School: Comanche High School (Tex.)
Status: Committed to SMU.
Official visits scheduled: SMU (Jan. 16)
Notes: Thedford’s commitment is noteworthy because he’ll take up a defensive line spot that might have been Eli Howard. The staff took Thedford’s commitment after the Comanche product had been committed to UTEP. While Thedford will have to pack some weight on, he’s a high motor guy that will be a project for the coaches.
Commitment probability: 100 percent committed to SMU.

WR Lamont Johnson

Rating: 2-star
Height/Weight: 6-0, 160 pounds
School: Dallas (Tex.) South Oak Cliff High School
Status: Committed to SMU.
Official visits scheduled: SMU (Jan. 16)
Notes: Lamont Johnson hosted SMU head coach Chad Morris and receivers coach Justin Stepp for an in-home visit last night and will trip to SMU this same weekend. Johnson needs to put on weight, but he’ll likely be a slot at the next level with Morris and Stepp going after bigger 6-3 and 6-4 receivers to “play to the boundary” as Morris says. Johnson is a solid addition from a program that regularly produces Division I talent.
Commitment probability: 100 percent committed to SMU.

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