Ultimately it came down to his relationship with SMU’s new staff over the new Houston staff led by Tom Herman.
“I just know the SMU staff more than I know the U of H staff. I love the SMU staff. They’re great guys, they care about you, they’re going to show you they really do want you,” West said. “It’s not just, oh go to this and that, they’re really going to focus on you and not just rush it (the visit).”
Chad Morris impressed West with his confidence and the winning attitude he’s brought to bring to the program.
“He’s going to expect winning and nothing less. He said we have to trust in him because obviously he can show us his winning record from the year before and he can show us he’s from a winning past,” the 5-11, 165-pound running back said.
After his visit this past weekend to SMU, SMU’s new head coach was what impressed him the most.
“Coach Morris impressed me the most. He was a great guy. He had great enthusiasm and you can tell how much he really cared about the recruits, the rest of the staff, his family and everybody around him,” West said. “He’s going to treat you like family no matter who you are he’s going to show you the same love that he does for his own family.”
SMU’s new running backs coach, Claude Mathis, spent plenty of time with West this past weekend and left a lasting impression about the type of coach West will have working with him.
“Coach Mathis is a great guy. I really got a chance to speak with him and he’s the type of guy that’s going to push you and expect your best and he’s going to be intense about it,” the three-star running back said. “I’m going to college obviously to get my best out of myself.”
Not only was West looking for good coaching on the field, but someone who is going to help him off the field.
“He’s going to help me as a man, be the best athlete, be the best student and in every way I can be to help in the future so when I’m not playing football anymore, it won’t be all I know is football, I will know other things other than football.”
SMU offensive coordinator Joe Craddock is also excited about all the different ways the staff will get him the ball.
“Coach Craddock told me I’d do some inside zones and outside zones, jet sweeps, bubbles to get my on the edges and use my speed and stuff like that,” West said.
Craddock and West also talked more about what SMU is going to be doing on offense and what the staff is bringing from Clemson.
“He seems like a guy, who knows what he’s doing so if he’s doing the same things he brought from Clemson, I have no doubt SMU could be one of the top offenses in the nation,” West said. “Obviously he’s told me about Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins and Andre Ellington and all of them.”
SMU made sure the recruits were fed, “more than we needed” according to West and the people were welcoming and making sure everything West saw everything he needed to see.
“There were great people in Dallas and at SMU. We met with the professor, who was a great guy,” West said. “The coaching staff made sure we always had something to see. I was actually more tired and wanted to lay down than go see some more stuff, but it was great.”
West also came away surprised by Dallas, but loved it.
“Downtown Dallas seems like a lot of lights and things going on and then campus is completely different from downtown. I was surprised by that.”
West is planning on majoring in broadcast journalism and got to meet with some of the professors.
“I talked to them about majoring in broadcasting and that professor was telling me about majoring in that and signing up for the Dallas Cowboys and writing for that,” West said. “He talked to me about signing up for that.”
“They were really great. The recruits I were with told me don’t expect anything less than to win so they have their mind set like coach Morris does so they’ve already bought into the system,” West said. “They seem like guys who come from winning and all they know is winning so I can see myself playing with them. They were great guys and athletes and people I can see myself in an offense with.”
Starting to build a program from the bottom is something that West is equally excited about.
“Just knowing that you started something that was down. Knowing that you weren’t just coming into something that was already going, that you were a part of making it go to championships and bowl games.”
West is the first running back in SMU’s class and will not take his previously scheduled visit to Houston this weekend. On Thursday, West will host the SMU staff for an in-home visit.