It’s been well over a month since we last heard from 2015 Desoto High School wide receiver James Proche.
Last time we talked to him, he had met with newly appointed head coach Chad Morris who brought the entire coaching staff into Proche’s home- proving how much SMU still wanted him to come to the Hilltop.
These day’s Proche is doing his best to return the favor by being as involved in the recruiting process of other players as he possibly can.
“Social media, man,” Proche said. “So, I use twitter and Instagram. I DM them or follow them and if they follow me back really quick I know they are interested and we probably got them. I’ve done it with about five or six guys- including Kevin Thomas, Xavier Castille and Ben Hicks.”
And just recently, Proche made an official visit…as did a number of recruits including the aforementioned Thomas (also from Desoto).
“The visit was great,” Proche said. “I specifically picked this date, to do some recruiting. It was a good day.”
“I was excited, but I already knew about them though,” Proche said. “I’m just excited- right now people have no idea what’s about to come from SMU and its pretty cool. I honestly think people should be paying attention to this coaching staff. I keep repeating myself, but there is no other way to describe it I am just excited. I keep telling people that, ‘hey, this is not the same SMU as last year.’ Not even close.”
To those people Proche is referring to, it might seem strange that a team that went 1-11 a season ago can start recruiting this well and have this much hope for 2015. Proche says, it’s all about the atmosphere.
“It’s fun- they are like uncles and role models,” he said. “We can talk about anything with them. Its just a family atmosphere. That’s Pony Up Tempo- exciting, fast and energetic and with all these different personalities is great. And coach [Van] Malone is like the crazy uncle that doesn’t have any kids. You know, he is that crazy uncle that shows up to family reunions just wilin’out. But that’s just coach Malone.”
Now, keep in mind, Proche was originally recruited during the June Jones era, so he has the unique position of getting to see both coaching staff’s approach to recruiting. So what stands out the most about the Morris staff?
“They are just being themselves. When you talk to them, that’s who they are- that’s them. They are big on family. They want people who want to be at SMU. They don’t want someone to get there and be a totally different person. So that’s why they are upfront with recruits and are themselves.”
It is pretty easy to see that Proche is all in. He has bought into the program is on board. He knows what happened last season and he likes the idea of rebuilding and being a part of that process. He, along with many of the other recruits, believes in the staff and believes the program is heading in the right direction.
When you are rebuilding a football program, is there anything more important than having players buy in to your staff’s message?
I certainly don’t think so.
Side Note: Where is Proche’s favorite place to eat in Dallas?
“Chipotle- hands down. I get a burrito, white Rice, steak, extra sour cream, pinto beans, a little bit of chees and a little bit of lettuce- oh and I forgot the hot sauce- and a large lemonade.”